‘Auntie Mame’

Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

So speaks Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell – Gypsy, His Girl Friday), the larger than life wealthy socialite who suddenly finds herself the guardian of her 12 year-old nephew, Patrick. Taking to the task like a duck to water, Mame revels in her responsibilities – even if she has to take a series of minor jobs when she loses all her money in the 1929 Wall Street Crash before, by marrying Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside (Forrest Tucker – Sands of Iwo Jima, TV’s F Troop), she makes it all back.

An elaborate and garish adaptation of a Broadway play, Auntie Mame avoids all sense of realism (World War II is not mentioned!) as Mame herself wafts through life determined to ensure the now adult Patrick (a stuffy Roger Smith – Man of a Thousand Faces, TV’s Sunset Strip), is, like herself, a free spirited adult. Episodic and lacking depth, played for its humour, as directed by Morton DaCosta (The Music Man, The Island of Love) Auntie Mame comes across as superficial and, ultimately, dull (along with the questionable portrayal of Ito, the Japanese servant).

Nominated for 6 Oscars in 1959 including best film, actress, supporting actress (Peggy Cass) and cinematography.

Rating: 47%


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