Monday, October 5, 2009

Vintage 1950s movie: Auntie Mame

Mame and Patrick get acquainted

Fabulous negligee! Love the poofy wrap. Mame and her actress friend face the (cough) morning.

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" You've probably heard that line. Auntie Mame (1958) is silly and fun, and I had a good time watching it.

Mame Dennis (Rosalind Russell) loves the unusual, the flamboyant, the diverse and this is reflected in her lifestyle and person. When her brother dies unexpectedly, she becomes the caretaker of her ten year old nephew, Patrick, who first meets her at one of her many parties. Mame has him keep a list of all the new words that he overhears during the festivities. He has an absorbent mind, and the two soon get along famously.

"Mame: Well, now, uh, read me all the words you don't understand.
Patrick: Libido, inferiority complex, stinko, blotto, free love, bathtub gin, monkey glands, Karl Marx... is he one of the Marx Brothers?"

Mame raises Patrick to embrace new things, and live every day with vigor. Through her, he meets an interesting bunch, including her hard drinking actress friend (Coral Browne), her drab secretary waiting to bust out, Agnes Gooch, and the students of his progressive school, who get naked and imitate fish to learn their natural science. Whether she's creating a party mood during hard times, falling in love with a well to do southern gentleman and standing up to his people, or meeting Patrick's snooty finance, Mame does everything with style.

I am pretty fond of Rosalind Russell (I love her in Gypsy), so I enjoyed this more than Mame, the 1974 musical starring Lucille Ball, but I haven't seen that in years. What's your preference?

1 comment:

Knitting In The Stacks said...

Rosalind Russell is my all time favorite. I love this move it always cheers me up.


Guinan 1990?-2009

Griffin ?-2010