Lucille Ball plays Auntie mame, loving life and living it to the hilt with her nephew and assorted eccentrics in tow. Robert Preston, Beatrice Arthur and Jerry Herman's smashing Broadway score add pizazz. Year: 1974 Direct... more »or: Gene Saks Starring: Lucille Ball. Robert Preston, Bea Arthur« less
"This film has been considered a critical failure since the day it was released, and very unjustly so. I happen to find MAME quite charming and a lot of fun. The casting is super. I do not think Lucy was miscast, although I can understand how one might arrive at that opinion... Lucy was 62 years old during filming, but was playing a character 15-20 years her junior. Furthermore, one thing Lucy was NOT known for was being a singer, even though Mame is a musical role. But that's just what I find all the more appealing about this film... context is the key word here. Mame is not supposed to be Julie Andrews or Kathryn Grayson (although there are any number of musical actresses who would have made a fine Mame); a lower more raspy voice is more suited to the character. While no one will ever be able to top Rosalind Russell from the earlier nonmusical play and its 1958 film adaptation AUNTIE MAME, or Angela Lansbury from the Broadway cast of the musical, Lucy is in there trying her darndest and in my opinion pulls it off rather well. Playing Mame at 62 years old was no easy task I'm sure. Lucy really seems to be enjoying herself--just watch her during the "Mame" number...she almost seems to glow.
The supporting cast are outstanding. Bea Arthur is THE best Vera Charles, hands down. Seeing her and Lucy in "Bosom Buddies" is classic--whether or not they got along off camera is totally irrelavent. Robert Preston was born to play Beau, and Jane Connell reprises her role of Agnes Gooch, which she had played on Broadway. (Did you know she was nearly 50 in this film?)
MAME has been available on VHS for years, though it is now out of print, but still not really that hard to track down if you play your cards right. Unfortunately the VHS, while acceptable, is full frame (aka "pan-n-scan") and we really miss a lot by not having it in widescreen. The AUNTIE MAME DVD features the trailer for this film, in widescreen, and even that is fabulous.
COMING TO DVD IN JUNE 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Lucy MAME dvd - beware incorrect info here!
John M. | Southern CA | 06/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let's correct some erroneous info that's been posted here:
1. This dvd IS Anamorphic Widescreen, not Letterboxed, as has been reported. It is also a progressive transfer.
2. The film of MAME was never in stereo, not even in the theatres. It was always a mono film. George Feltenstein of Warner Home Video has said they spent quite a while trying to remix the tracks to stereo for dvd release, but were unable to because, among other reasons, of the tracks being pieced together so piecemeal to accomodate Lucy's vocals. Even the IMDB incorrectly states it was in Stereo, but it was indeed a Mono release theatrically.
So rest assured, if you are fan of the film or of Lucy, you are NOT missing anything with this dvd. The sound is the original mono, as heard in the theatres in 1974, and is quite satisfactory. And the picture is a very nice anamorphic transfer with few blemishes."
Been waiting forever for "Mame" to come out on dvd! YAY!!!
Mr. Neal Bakke | Studio City, CA United States | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love, love, love, love, love this movie! I was 9 years old when "Mame" was released in April 1974. I was all ready a huge Lucy fan from the reruns of "I Love Lucy" on local channel 11 KTTV here in Los Angeles. So, when I went with my family to see "Mame" at The Cinerama Dome, I was in heaven.....in awe! To see "Lucy" up on the big screen singing and dancing, it transported me to another place. I remember it clearly, all these many, many, many years later as if it just happened earlier today.
Looking back at the film now, I can be a little more objective. It didn't even occur to me at the age of 9 that Lucille Ball couldn't sing. or, perhaps, was miscast. Should Angela Lansbury have done the film?? Probably. Would it have been a better film? Probably. Madeline Kahn would have been fantastic as Gooch, had she not been fired.
Lucille Ball's costumes are stunning, she never looked better. The title number is well worth the price of admission. It's a complete showstopper! Bea Arthur is brilliant as Vera Charles. Robert Preston is fantastic as Beau and with his extra song, "Loving You," makes him the perfect leading man for Lucille Ball.
When I watch this film on video, it takes me to another place. What I remember is the piece, the film. Can you remember where you were when you first saw it? That's what's important about art...not the reviews, not the number of awards it did or didn't win. Did it touch people's lives? Did it stand the test of time?
I agree with the one person who posted here that there should be more extras on the dvd. The episode from the LA Premiere that was on "The Merv Griffin Show" would be perfect, as would a comparison of the tv version...cleaning up some curse words, and different lines, to the original theatrical version. The theatrical version of "Mame," "down under" in Aust. is different from the US version. It has different camera angles, different takes, etc. All of this should be extras on the dvd. I'm sure if Warner Bros. dug through their film vaults, they could find hours of "Mame" related footage."
My first movie as a Projectionist
Bryant Cordova | 11/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I had to meet with the senior projectionist at a Theater in Glendale California, who was training me to how the run the old carbon fusion projectors. I had a very hard time learning anything that day as I have always loved Lucy, I was only 19yrs old but I had grown up with Lucy and to see her in a brand new featured film was exciting to say the least. I was so caught up in the move I forgot to do the change-over (switching projectors when reel ends on the current operating projector over to the full reel) this caused the audience to be some what upset however I recovered quickly and the show was back on the road. I miss Lucille ball and all of the I Love Lucy staff. A week later I was ask by my friend to do the change-over for Mame at the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. A few years later I had the honor of meeting Ms. Ball on the Tonight Show set (with Johnny Carson) this was when Lucy moves from CBS to NBC I remembered Glenn Campbell was also a guest that night. I was standing stage right and I met Ed McMahon who asked `Are you here to see Johnny?" I said no Sr. am here to see Ms. Ball with that he laughed and said " Johnny will love that!"
My Carrier as a projectionist never took off, I guess I was to busy trying to get hired at all the major movie and television studios working behind the camera rather in front but during the job freeze in the late 70's I had no chance, but non the less my biggest thrill was when I met the Red Head from Hollywood. MY GIRL LUCY. I recommend this movie to any and all ages, your families will enjoy every frame and will remember her as Mame as well is Lucy.
My prayer is that Mame is re-released in DVD format. "
Hilarious, Great Music, and very entertaining
R. Hinkle | New York City | 11/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1974 movie opened to generally negative reviews. Probably because most discerning movie-goers thought Angela Lansbury should've gotten the role, having been such a hit in the stage version.
Lucy was also about 15-20 years older than the role called for, which rubbed many traditionalists the wrong way. In the context of today, when the range of appropriate and respectable behavior for women in their 50's and 60's has expanded considerably, we are probably much more forgiving of her audacity in tackling the role of a middle-aged woman(she was 62 during filming). Unfortunately, she is filmed in such an extremely soft focus, you want to rub your eyes or squeegee your tv screen every other scene.
Otherwise, Lucy's beauty still shows - in 4 very different colored hair-dos, no less. Still tall, fit, broad-shouldered and leggy, Lucy carries her many sylish outfits terrifically, befitting the one-time fashion model from the 20's and 30's.
Another weakness is Lucy's singing voice, which is so low and lacking in vibrato, that in the more maudlin numbers, the effect can be pretty painful. However, those numbers are very few, and more than overshadowed by the many upbeat sequences, including some really wonderful classics, for which her limited singing voice is perfectly well suited. And, even at 62, and in recovery from a recently broken leg (during a skiing trip to Snowmass, Co in 1972), her dancing is remarkable skillful and agile (during her glamour days in the 1940's, practically every other role of hers entailed dancing.)
The comedy acting from just about everyone in the cast is first rate. Lucy's deep, gravelly voice, so ill-equipped for singing, is perfectly suited to the dead-pan one liners and humorous dialogue that she delivers with the skill and aplomb of an old pro. And, the physical comedy skills and timing for which she is legendary is on ample display. In addition, many of the comedic performances in the supporting cast are hilarious, particularly Bea Arthur, Jane Connell, Robert Preston, Joyce Van Patten, and Audrey Christie. It's the small role of Gloria Upson, played by Doria Cook, though, that never fails to crack me up.
Despite this movie's abysmal reputation, or maybe because of it, the quality and entertainment value will far exceed your expectations. What seemed in 1974 an old-fashioned and dated vanity piece for a fading star, seems today like a musical and comedy extravaganza starring a timeless legend."