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Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »
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Mame is an unconventional individualist socialite from the roaring 20's. When her brother dies, she is forced to raise her nephew Patrick. However, Patrick's father has designated an executor to his will to protect the boy from absorbing too much of Mame's rather unconventional perspective. Patrick and Mame become devoted to each other in spite of this restriction, and together journey through Patrick's childhood and the great depression, amidst some rather zaney adventures. Written by
Ross Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Morton DaCosta maintained a theatrical feel to the film's visual style throughout, including his choice to use the artistic touch of blacking out the set and fading out on Mame's face at the end of each scene. This technique was known, according to author Richard Tyler Jordan, as a "Flanagan Fade," named after chief electrician at Warner Bros. Frank Flanagan, who came up with the unique flourish. See more »
During the fox hunt scene, a puff of white smoke can be seen coming from behind a bush as the fox runs by. This is likely from a small explosion, like a firecracker, used to scare the fox along a set path. See more »
[to Mame regarding her loud, jingly bracelets]
What the HELL have you got back there, reindeer?
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With a perfect match between character and actress, Rosalind Russell's unforgettable performance as "Auntie Mame" is almost enough to carry the whole movie by itself. The story is also interesting, if quite contrived, and most of the supporting cast helps out when needed. The variety of settings and situations also helps to make the movie an effective portrait of a life.
The story works best when taken as an appreciative but light-hearted portrayal of a memorable character. Many of Mame's adventures are stylized, and they work best when not taken too seriously. Given that, there are plenty of amusing sequences, and just enough thoughtful moments to maintain some balance.
Russell herself is in her element. With a character whom it is almost impossible to overplay, she gives the role plenty of energy and charm. She also works very well with the other characters, giving believable (given the character) and usually interesting reactions to what they say and do.
In the supporting cast, Forrest Tucker and Peggy Cass make good use of their scenes, and Fred Clark works well as Mame's frequent adversary. Coral Browne gets some good moments as Mame's old friend. The filming was approached in a rather stagy fashion, yet much of the time this seems appropriate. All told, the movie has a number of strengths, yet the memory most likely to remain is Russell's portrait of Mame herself.
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