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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Auntie Mame (1958)

In 1928, a young orphan (Jan Handzlik) finds himself entrusted to the care of his unconventional high living Aunt (Rosalind Russell). Life is never dull as she takes him on a adventurous journey filled with all sorts of eclectic types of people. However, the boy's strait laced conservative trustee (Fred Clark) is determined to mold the child into a "normal" boy. Based on the faux autobiographical novel by Patrick Dennis by way of the smash Broadway hit, the film remains a bubbly paean to a liberal Bohemian lifestyle and one of the most enjoyable comedies of the 1950s. Due in no small part to Russell (recreating her stage role) as the Aunt every kid would love to have had and who creates a larger than life character that once seen you'll never forget. It's the role of a lifetime and Russell picks it up and runs with it. The director Morton DaCosta (THE MUSIC MAN) gives the film lush trappings, the film drips with glamour and Russell looks stunning in her Orry Kelly costumes (amazingly the costumes were not among the film's 6 Oscar nominations). The lovely melodic score is by Bronislau Kaper. Also in the cast: Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne (stealing scenes), Peggy Cass (Oscar nominated), Patric Knowles, Joanna Barnes, Pippa Scott, Lee Patrick, Connie Gilchrist, Yuki Shimoda and Henry Brandon.

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