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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.

Director:

Morton DaCosta

Writers:

Betty Comden (screenplay), Adolph Green (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:
Rosalind Russell ... Mame Dennis
Forrest Tucker ... Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside
Coral Browne ... Vera Charles
Fred Clark ... Dwight Babcock
Roger Smith ... Patrick Dennis - Older
Patric Knowles ... Lindsay Woolsey
Peggy Cass ... Agnes Gooch
Jan Handzlik Jan Handzlik ... Patrick Dennis - Younger
Joanna Barnes ... Gloria Upson
Pippa Scott ... Pegeen Ryan
Lee Patrick ... Doris Upson
Willard Waterman ... Claude Upson
Robin Hughes ... 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:

Perfect holiday treat...the one and only Auntie Mame and her whole wonderful wacky crew. More hilarious than the smash best-seller, more uproarious than the Broadway hit... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Russian | Hindi

Release Date:

27 December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die tolle Tante See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,240,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line,"...and I stepped on the ping pong ball" was the inspiration for a similar line in Trading Places. See more »

Goofs

During a scene set in 1929, 1940s-vintage cars can be seen through the rear window of the taxi taking Norah and Patrick to Mame's Beekman Place apartment. See more »

Quotes

Vera Charles: [brightly, eyeing the bar] Spirits!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hot Guys with Guns (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Till We Meet Again
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
In the score for the ship sailing sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Perfect? Just about!
2 January 2005 | by HoldjerhorsesSee 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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