Upon the death of wealthy Chicagoan Edward Dennis in the late 1920s, his nine-year-old son Patrick Dennis becomes the ward of their only living relative, Edward's equally-wealthy New-York-residing sister, Mame Dennis. Edward's will states that Patrick is to be raised Protestant in a "traditional" manner and that the trustee, Mr. Babcock of the Knickerbocker Bank, will pay Mame for expenses incurred in raising Patrick, but he has the right to refuse to pay if he deems that she's not honoring the spirit of Edward's will. Mr. Babcock and Patrick's longtime nanny, the timid Agnes Gooch, are to ensure that Patrick is raised correctly. Edward included these stipulations in his will knowing that his sister is a flamboyant, freewheeling, eccentric woman who can be considered anything but traditional or conventional. Despite the disruption each provides in the other's life, Mame and Patrick form a loving, supportive relationship. Mame wants to provide her sense of guidance to Patrick, which ...Written by
Jerry Herman disliked this film so much (and was also unhappy with the film of his prior musical Hello, Dolly! (1969) that no film of his musicals can be made again without his direct involvement and approval. After the successful CBS-TV remake of Gypsy (1993), plans were announced for a made-for-TV remake. At alternate times Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Cher, and even Whoopi Goldberg were discussed as potential stars. As of 2019, it has yet to materialize. See more »
Mame claps her hands together and asks "Where's all of last year's tinsel and stuff?" Then the camera angle changes and Mame's hands are suddenly spread apart. See more »
[after Patrick and Pegeen say he can't go to Siberia with Mame]
You know what your problem is mom? You don't Live Live LIVE! Life is a Banquet and most sons of bitches are starving to death!
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This was Lucille Ball's penultimate film ("Stone Pillow" being her last) and proves, despite her age, she still has all her youthful charms and charisma, but strengthens the "Lucy Ricardo" in her as well--she can't sing. But she is quite talented on her feet (and she was recovering from a broken leg!). She brought a bit of the 'Lucy' persona into the Mame, which I feel didn't hurt the character-- now Auntie Mame is both free-spirited and screwballed; strengthening Mame's brother's wariness to let his son stay with her.
Rosalind Russell's 50's version was great as well, but was more solemn and serious than this, and was the nonmusical adaptation. That's all good and well, but I feel music enhanced the airy blitheness that is Mame.
Oh, and I forgot to mention Bea Arthur, who played Vera Charles impeccably, as if she was born for the role.
Let's face it: If you like Russell, you'll abhor this film; if you like Lucy you'll fall in love with it; if you like the nonmusical you'll feel the musical was deprived of proper depth; and if you liked the musical you'll think the nonmusical was rather pensive.
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