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Auntie Mame (1958)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 27 December 1958 (USA)
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An orphan goes to live with his free-spirited aunt. Conflict ensues when the executor of his father's estate objects to the aunt's lifestyle.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Coral Browne ...
...
...
...
Lindsay Woolsey
Peggy Cass ...
Jan Handzlik ...
...
...
...
Willard Waterman ...
...
Brian O'Bannion
Connie Gilchrist ...
Norah Muldoon
Yuki Shimoda ...
Ito
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Storyline

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 <thompson@adobe.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All Set to Convulse America All Over Again!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 December 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die tolle Tante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,240,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story opens in 1928 according to Dennis' will and closes in 1946 according to Mame's telegram. Patrick is 10 years old when story opens, so he's only 28 at the end, but he has a 10-year-old son. At Mame's party for the Upsons, Babcock complains he's had to deal with Mame for 9 years so it's 1937. At this party Patrick, who must be only 19 and still a college student, meets Pegeen for the first time. Even if they married the next day, they couldn't had have a 10-year-old son in 1946. The entire action of the story takes place in 18 years, between 1928 and 1946. See more »

Goofs

After Beauregard takes a picture of Mame in Egypt, he mounts a two humped camel, which are native to Asia. The one humped Dromedaries are the native camels in Egypt. See more »

Quotes

Auntie Mame: Run along to Ito and tell him to bring me a light breakfast - black coffee and a side car. Oh, oh. And a cold towel for your Auntie Vera.
Patrick Dennis: Is she in the guest room again?
Auntie Mame: Since Sunday, dear. Now run along to Ito and hurry my tray, darling. Your Auntie needs fuel.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tea for Two
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Youmans
Played off-screen on piano ay Mame's party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Perfect? Just about!
2 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When "Auntie Mame" was first published, I read and re-read it (and its sequel, "Around the World with Auntie Mame") for several summers. Believe it or not, the books are even funnier than the film. They were not "memoirs," though that was the PR at the time. Edward Everett Tanner, or "Patrick Dennis," ultimately admitted as much. Auntie Mame was a creation from Tanner's own talented imagination.

No one ever has, or ever will, embody Auntie Mame as well as Rosalind Russell, who, by the time her Broadway performance in the role was filmed, had honed her portrayal to one of the finest in American theatre and film.

Listen to her vocal technique: from high girlish squeals to basso-profundo sarcasm.

Or watch her remarkable body language throughout -- from grande dame theatricality to lowbrow burlesque.

Russell's supporting players are magnificent -- from the 12-year old Jan Handzlik, through Coral Browne, Peggy Cass, Forrest Tucker, Fred Clark, Patrick Knowles, Connie Gilchrist, Yuki Shimoda, Robin Hughes, Roger Smith, Pippa Scott -- and, my own particular favorites who almost, but not quite, steal their scenes from Miss Russell: Willard Waterman, Lee Patrick and Joanna Barnes as the unforgettable Upsons.

George James Hopkins' brilliant sets and set design, and Orry-Kelly's amazing costumes, along with Branislau Kaper's score and Morton Da Costa's direction are like Tiffany settings, showing off this flawless cast at the top of their form.

Lawrence and Lee's original Broadway script was adapted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, whose main contribution would appear to be the hydraulic furniture at the final dinner party.

The famous line, originally from the Broadway play and not found in the novel, is "Life is a banquet! And most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death!" "Damn" and "hell" both are heard in the film: but "sons-of-bitches" was apparently too strong for the MPAA in 1958.

Is the film dated? I suppose. In the same way that "Citizen Kane" is dated, or "Some Like It Hot." It's also timeless. And Miss Russell's performance, here at the zenith of her long and distinguished comedic and dramatic career (Eugene O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra," anybody?) is an acting lesson unto itself.


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