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Mame (1974)

PG | | Musical | 27 March 1974 (USA)
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It's the late 1920s. Upon the death of wealthy Chicagoan Edward Dennis, his nine-year old son Patrick Dennis becomes the ward of their only living relative, Edward's equally wealthy New ... See full summary »

Director:

Gene Saks

Writers:

Jerome Lawrence (Broadway musical), Robert E. Lee (Broadway musical) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucille Ball ... Mame Dennis
Bea Arthur ... Vera Charles (as Beatrice Arthur)
Robert Preston ... Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside
Bruce Davison ... Older Patrick
Kirby Furlong Kirby Furlong ... Young Patrick
Jane Connell Jane Connell ... Agnes Gooch
George Chiang George Chiang ... Ito
Joyce Van Patten ... Sally Cato
Doria Cook-Nelson Doria Cook-Nelson ... Gloria Upson (as Doria Cook)
Don Porter ... Mr. Upson
Audrey Christie ... Mrs. Upson
John McGiver ... Mr. Babcock
Bobbi Jordan Bobbi Jordan ... Pegeen
Patrick Labyorteaux ... Peter
Lucille Benson ... Mother Burnside
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Storyline

It's the late 1920s. Upon the death of wealthy Chicagoan Edward Dennis, 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 with the Knickerbocker Bank, will pay Mame for expenses incurred in raising Patrick, he having the right of refusal to pay if he deems that the spirit of Edward's will is not honored. 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 as he knows his sister is a flamboyant, free wheeling and 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, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She'll coax the blues right out of your heart!

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | French | Russian

Release Date:

27 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ante todo, mujer See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The interior of Mame's Beekman Place apartment was built in Sound Stage 25 on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. See more »

Goofs

As the opening credits end, when we see the large portrait of Mame in her hallway in a wide shot, Mame's hair is flaming red's to match Lucille Ball's famous hair color. But when we see it again a minute or two later, from a closer view, the same portrait now has brown hair which matches the brunette wig Lucy is wearing in that scene. See more »

Quotes

Young Patrick: Can I slide down the banister?
Mame: Well, why not.
Young Patrick: My father would never let me.
Mame: That's too bad. You must come from a dreadful family.
Young Patrick: I only have one relative in the whole world.
Mame: Oh, really, dear? And who is that?
Young Patrick: You.
Agnes: That's right.
Mame: Who are you?
Agnes: Agnes Gooch.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Arrested Development: Indian Takers (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man in the Moon
Written by Jerry Herman (uncredited)
Performed by Bea Arthur
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely one of my favourite movies
15 October 2000 | by Comrade GenghisSee all my reviews

Yes, Lucille was filmed in soft focus. No, Lucille did not play Mame exactly like Rosalind Russell. Yes, Warner Brothers was foolish in rejecting Angela Lansbury. But if you are willing to look past that, you will find a WONDERFUL motion picture.

Although Paul Zindel perhaps changed more than necessary in his script rewrite, this is still some GREAT material. And one could not have asked for better direction or supporting cast. Gene Saks did a wonderful job on all counts...the cinematography is marvellous (if you can find the wide-screen version) and the whole film is delightfully theatrical. The art direction is to die for; Ball's singing notwithstanding, the musical arrangement is superior to the Broadway recording (possibly excepting "It's Today" and the title number [although it's still very much enjoyable]); and Wayne Fitzgerald's title sequence is one of the best in film history. Although there are a few notes here and there that may make one wince, Ball's singing is really NOT THAT BAD.

Folks expecting a musical duplicate of AUNTIE MAME, however, are in for a surprise. Rosalind Russell's performance, which I love, was outrageously campy; Ball interprets Mame quite differently, and plays her much less flamboyantly. Her portrayal is not as inherently funny as Russell's, but Ball is still a grand actress, and she shows real human emotions very well in MAME. Did Angela Lansbury deserve the film role? Most definitely. Lansbury, of whom I am an enormous fan, devoted years of her life to perfecting the role on Broadway (and she DID perfect the role), and she was more than willing to do the film. It is indeed a tragedy that we have no film record of her performance, but that should not be a factor in judging the quality of this film. Ball was perhaps older than the role called for, but she was an able Mame. Everyone around her, especially the great Bea Arthur and the superb Jane Connell (undoubtedly one of the most underappreciated comic actresses alive), is brilliant.

What was Ball doing in this picture in the first place? Although she had wanted the part badly ever since AUNTIE MAME was released, it was NOT her financial backing that took this part away from Lansbury. Initially she avidly pursued the role (not even her confidante Desi Arnaz could talk her out of it), but after she broke her leg in 1973 she had a sort of reality check. Realising that she was not in any kind of shape for the part, she told the producers that she was backing out of the movie. Warner Brothers promptly flew a representative out to see her and insist on delaying production for her, saying that she was the only reason the picture was being made in the first place. Lucy was a somewhat insecure person, as well as a person always concerned about others' jobs; feeling that dropping out of the picture would leave everyone else working on it out of a job, she acquiesced. Even when the director begged for Angela Lansbury, Warner Brothers refused on the basis of "star power." It was balderdash, of course, but the business side of show business unfortunately is always in the way of the artistic side.


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