Auntie Mame


(1958, Morton DaCosta)

A Rosalind Russell tour-de-force. Her portrayal of an counter-culture New Yorker attempting to expose her nephew to the bohemian side of life continues to stand the test of time. The film, however, relies on hacky jokes and dated references to upper-crust stodginess, which push the film toward complete camp. It’s all about Ms. Russell’s Mame, however, who grounds the story with her outpouring of emotion for her beloved nephew.

Haven’t seen it in years, but figured I’d give it another look. An odd thing: I think Russell changes hair color four times throughout the film, and she always looks natural.



Posted on July 7, 2008, in Film log and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Does she actually say “Patrick my little love!” in the movie? Or have we created a catchphrase from something that was never really said, like “You dirty rat!”

  2. It’s a lot of “My little dahhhhhling” and “my Patrick”, but I don’t recall that particular phrase. But the feeling is the same.

    I could’ve missed it. She dotes on the kid so often that it might have slipped past me. Oh well. Play it again, Sam.

  3. Incidentally, this film also features a Pittsburgh joke. As a former resident, I love these.

    From Auntie Mame:
    Patrick Dennis: Is the English lady sick, Auntie Mame?
    Auntie Mame: She’s not English, darling… she’s from Pittsburgh.
    Patrick Dennis: She sounded English.
    Auntie Mame: Well, when you’re from Pittsburgh, you have to do something.

    Another goodie, from Sullivan’s Travels:
    [discussing a prior ‘serious’ film]
    LeBrand: It died in Pittsburgh.
    Hadrian: Like a dog!
    John L. Sullivan: Aw, what do they know in Pittsburgh…
    Hadrian: They know what they like.
    John L. Sullivan: If they knew what they liked, they wouldn’t live in Pittsburgh!

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