- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Paragon of American Film
- Dr. F.T. Lussier
Like the glorious cinematography from beginning to end, "Mame" sparkles in true silver-screen opulence and is to the embarrassment of 1950s musicals represented by "Auntie Mame" that 1970s "Stars Wars" is to the embarrassment of the 1950s represented by 1950s science-fiction films. On par with 1970s "The Black Stallion" and "The Godfather," the unsurpassed cinematography during a time when silver was still used in film-making, with every shot of Lucy a photographic masterpiece, the lush orchestration and arrangements of the reworked songs brought to life by the 1970s characteristic most monstrous orchestras in history, the seamless dance numbers and unparalleled choreography, and some of the most touching scenes in all of film, with young-Patrick singing to Lucy after her cameo stage number, all come together in a chef d'oeuvre that elevates this "Queen of Television" to her throne as "The Queen of Film" too. The intellectual and artist apex of this civilization represented by the 1970s is in blazing contrast against the campiest and most kitschy time-period in history represented by 1950s/1960s film and television. And this film, Lucy's most revered trophy, stands as that symbol.
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen, but it is also my all-time favorite. I got the video decades ago and I used to watch it at least once a week. I have no idea of how many times I have seen it. It came out in 1974 a week before I was scheduled to fly to Europe by myself to join Holiday on Ice. I was scared to death. But after I heard Lucy sing "Open a new window, open a new door. Travel a new highway that's' never been tried before before," I completely calmed down. I went to Europe and was a huge success. Lucy probably brought more joy to more people than any person in history. I hope she is now in Heaven enjoying her reward.
Mame proves Lucy's versatility
Although heavily criticized for her portrayal of Mame at age 63, Lucy gave the performance of her career. Though her singing voice was damaged by years of cigarette smoking, she sang each song in tune (as Lucy herself quipped..."what did you think Mame would sound like...she stayed up all night, smoked and drank champagne); she danced like a trouper and brought her unique comedic talent to the role. Succeeding both Rosalind Russell and Angela Lansbury in the title role, she was compared to these great women, and most critics didn't view her performance standing on its own. She was brilliant and larger than life...just as you'd expect Auntie Mame to be. And, Jerry Herman's music is the best of Broadway...memorable, toe tapping tunes as well as touching, well written ballads. The best is the title song in the middle of the movie, highlighting Robert Preston's unique talent and wonderful Onna White choreography. This movie is a timeless family classic. Lucy made this movie, in part, because she wanted to provide clean family entertainment in an era of emerging violent and sexually oriented first run flicks. I would disregard the critics of the 70s and enjoy this movie for what it is...an entertaining, musical extravaganza reminding us that "life is banquet and most poor sons of b*tches are starving to death".
- David Atkins
Warner Bros wanted to make the film version of the great Broadway hit "Mame" and cast Lucille Ball as the star due to Ms. Ball's worldwide popularity. It was then thought only Ms. Ball had the "bankability" to justify the expensive production and insure a worldwide box office success. Many knock this film but I found it to be a very enjoyable film. George Cukor was supposed to direct however Gene Saks who helmed the Broadway show was brought in to direct. Billy Wilder would have been a brilliant selection.A bit of trivia: Bette Davis wanted desperately to play Vera Charles but Ms. Ball refused Bette as a co star.
This remake of the original, "Auntie Mame" starring Rosalind Russell on Broadway and on screen in 1958, is as dull as dishwater! Lucille Ball is not a good fit. What was she thinking trying to outshine a Broadway Hit? She's a great comedienne, but notably a "B" actress.
One of the worst of the Broadway to Hollywood and there have been many dogs but this tops them all. Lucy proves why she was a flop as a movie star and belonged on the small screen. Bea Arthur makes you want to vomit. Every musical # is appalling and this would make a good double feature with On A Clear Day or Camelot, another Warner Bros. masterpiece.
- Louis Guili
I'm delighted that MAME will be available on DVD. I've always felt that this film did not receive the credit that it deserved. It was dismissed as an old-fashioned musical but that's exactly what it is and it should be enjoyed as such. Despite the criticism, I tnink Lucille Ball did a nice job in the role.
Blame who for no "Mame?"
This 1974 movie musical is long overdue for a DVD release. Critics slammed Lucille Ball's performance but I think she did a great job. So what if she didn't have the voice of Lansbury or dozens of actresses who have portrayed the madcap dame of Beekman Place, Lucy did justice to the role.