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Auntie Mame (1958) Poster

(1958)

Trivia

Rosalind Russell broke her ankle in the first take of the scene where she comes flying down the stairs in the gown with the capri pants - shooting had to be delayed until she recovered.
Reportedly, the character of Auntie Mame was based on Patrick Dennis's real-life aunt, Marian Tanner. A good-natured eccentric, who lived to be nearly one hundred years old, Ms. Tanner's advice to those seeking a more interesting, adventurous life was to never be afraid to try a new experience and to keep an open mind about everything and everybody.
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.
The movie's line "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" was voted as the #93 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
The line, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death," does not appear in the book. It is derived from the stage play, where it was originally, "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." Though "damn" and "hell" are both heard in the film, "sons-of-bitches" was apparently thought too rough.
Rosalind Russell was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, but lost to Susan Hayward for I Want to Live! (1958). After the awards ceremony, Russell reportedly said, "Well, I have to admit that nobody deserved it more than Hayward. If it had to be somebody else, I'm glad it was Susie."
The stage play "Auntie Mame" opened at the Broadhurst Theater in New York on October 31, 1956 and ran for 639 performances. Rosalind Russell, Yuki Shimoda, Jan Handzlik, and Peggy Cass were in the original cast and reprise their roles in the film.
All in all it was a smooth shoot, save for a minor hiccup or two along the way. For instance, Coral Browne had an alarming hair mishap early on. "For me, the atmosphere became chaotic because the day before I was due on the set the hairdresser dyed my hair from dark brown to platinum blonde and it all fell out overnight on the pillow!" she recalled according to Richard Tyler Jordan's book But Darling, I'm Your Auntie Mame!. "I arrived on the set bald!" After Browne's head was treated by a doctor, a solution was assembled. "Costume designer Orry-Kelly had to quickly improvise a turban, and I played my first scene in this way," said Browne.
The name of Mame's husband, Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, is made up of the names of three Confederate generals (Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard,Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson and George Edward Pickett) and one Union general (Ambrose Everett Burnside).
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.
The technique Rosalind Russell uses to interrupt and insult Mr. Babcock - "Nuts?" - was previously used against her character "Sylvia Fowler" in The Women (1939) after Sylvia's line "I wouldn't dream of hurting Mary".
Mame's line in French at Macy's is "Après moi, le déluge" ("After me, the flood"). This quote is attributed to King Louis XV of France and represents a philosophy of living for now when disaster looms in the future. In the movie, it relates to purchasing Christmas gifts on credit so that one doesn't have to worry about paying for them right away, something that a rich socialite would be very comfortable with.
The film's success gave Warner Bros. a healthy boost to its bottom line and helped put Rosalind Russell back on top at the box office.
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The highest grossing film of 1958.
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Rosalind Russell was nominated for the 1957 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "Auntie Mame" and recreated her role in the film version.
The film spawned a successful Broadway musical "Mame" in 1966, starring Angela Lansbury. Rosalind Russell was asked to reprise her role, but she declined, saying, "It's not for me anymore. I've done it, I have to move along."
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Even though the original Broadway play, also entitled "Auntie Mame" was written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, and which was also based on the novel by Patrick Dennis, Lawrence and Lee did not receive any on screen writing credit for this film, only Dennis did.
A side car is a cocktail consisting of cognac triple sec lemon juice
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Rosalind Russell and Peggy Cass (Gooch) both won Oscar nominations for the film and Tony award nominations for the original play. Cass won the Tony for supporting actress.
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The Broadway production starred Rosalind Russell and ran from October 1956 - June 1958. Russell was replaced by Greer Garson, who was replaced by Beatrice Lillie before she opened the play in London. No other actresses have starred in this play on Broadway.
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Mega star Gloria Swanson tried to buy the film rights as a starring vehicle for herself, but Rosalind Russell had bought the film rights for herself before the play even opened on Broadway.
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The movie's line "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." was voted as the #94 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Mega star Gloria Swanson tried to buy the movie rights to the play. Even in the mid-1950s Swanson was looking for a big follow-up to SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), but Rosalind Russell already owned the movie rights and would not sell. The film was a great comeback for Russell.
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There was a 56 day shooting schedule to complete principal photography.
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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.
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