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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 <email@example.com>
Peggy Cass won the 1957 Tony Award (New York City) for Best Featured Actress in a Drama for "Auntie Mame" and recreated her role in the film version. See more »
The time line of the story is impossible. It begins with the stock market crash in 1929, when Patrick is 10 years old. We know he graduates college, and if he did so at the standard age of 21, that places his graduation year as 1940 at the earliest. The final scene is dated by a telegram as 1946, and Patrick is married with a 10 year old son. For that to happen, the story line would have to cover at least 21 years, ending, at the earliest, in 1950. See more »
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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