Movie Review: ‘Auntie Mame’ from Warner Archive Collection

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By Francine Brokaw, guest post

Rosalind Russell stars in “Auntie Mame,” a delightful film from 1958.  The movie was based on the novel by Patrick Dennis and was later made into a musical on Broadway and a musical film. But it is Russell who embodies the character of Mame Dennis.

Mame is a force of nature, to say the least. She is a free- spirit filled with love and a lust for life. When her brother dies, leaving custody of his son Patrick to Mame, she embraces the young lad with all the spirit with which she embraces life. She intends to widen his eyes and have him explore everything life has to offer, however that gets waylaid when the executive of the will, Dwight Babcock (Fred Clark) comes into the picture and insists Patrick be sent away to boarding school where he will be molded into a man of character and breeding. He doesn’t think Mame is the right person to guide this young man to adulthood.

When the stock market crashes, Mame’s fortune is lost. She picks herself up and takes a job where she meetsBeauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside (Forrest Tucker).  They are instantly attracted to each other and with their marriage Mame’s bank account is once again exploding. But things don’t go according to plan.

Patrick’s original caretaker, Agnes Gooch (Peggy Cass) soon becomes the latest project for Mame and her dearest friend Vera Charles (Coral Browne). They intend on turning this dowdy woman into a free spirit, like them. They want her to live!

All the characters are enjoyable to watch as the years progress and they each endure life with gusto. Well, except for Babcock who is keen to have the grown-up Patrick (Roger Smith) marry the snooty heiress Gloria Upson (Joanna Barnes), to Mame’s dismay and ultimate displeasure. But don’t worry. Mam has everything under control – her way. And who can fight a hurricane like Mame Dennis? No one!

Rosalind Russell makes this film. It is complete enjoyment from beginning to end, and the score makes it a perfect 10. A bonus feature on this new Blu-ray edition is a music track filled with the wonderful score by Bronislau Kaper and the memorable theme song.

“Auntie Mame” is now available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection. It can purchase at www.wbshop.com/warnerarchive or online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays® are sold.

 

 

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