It is another winning performance from the talented Rosalind Russell in this production of Auntie Mame. Russell portrays the very eccentric and even outrageous Mame Dennis, better known as Auntie Mame. Russell is bold and uninhibited in her portrayal a Mama, a woman with her own set of rules and they usually do not coincide with the rules set down by society.
It is an awesome journey that we take with Russell’s version of this colorful character. Mame is full of spunk and pizzazz, and Russell plays that perfectly. She may be outside the norm, but that is also why we love her so much. The thing is that Mame is not just a nutty character, but she is a real woman, full of all the emotions and feelings that any woman has. We see her at her best and at her worst as life lands her a series of ups and downs. We are happy when she actually finds true love, and we are sad with her when she becomes faced with losing it all. It is a real life roller coaster ride, and we are happy to be with Mame in her journey.
My favorite portion of the movie is definitely the love story. This is when Mame finds love and marries her sweetheart, the unforgettable Beauregard, so aptly brought to the screen by Forrest Tucker. He’s simply bigger than life, which is what Mame is, so they make a great pair. The scenes with Russell and Tucker are hysterical. I really enjoyed them and my only regret is that there are not even more. It is the sweetest part of the entire movie in my opinion.
The heart of the movie, though, revolves around Mame and her ability to be a parent to her brother’s son, Patrick. Much of the conflict comes in dealing with this issue. Jan Handzlik plays the young boy, and he does a nice job of it. He is in about half of the film before being replaced by Roger Smith in the older, adult Patrick, for the second half. Smith also does a fine job.
The ending is fun and essentially takes us back to the beginning. There is a lot of story, all very entertaining. There are several others in the cast, the best being Peggy Cass who turns in a successful performance.