Directed by Morton DaCosta. US. 1958. NR. 143 minutes. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sun., February 19, 2012
Oscar-nominated Rosalind Russell turns in a rollicking performance as the title character, whose philosophy is simply summed up as “life is a banquet, and most suckers are starving to death,” in this award-winning adaptation of the novel and stage play by Patrick Dennis. Her role as young Dennis’ eccentric and free-wheeling aunt, who takes the boy under her wing and helps him to fly, is one of the best of her long career. As reviewer Steven H. Scheuer has stated, “Russell’s comic cyclone of a performance supplies enough centrifugal force to keep a dozen comedies in motion.” If the story and some of the hilarious incidents portrayed seem a bit familiar, this is probably because Auntie Mame was converted, some years later, into Mame, the hit 70s musical comedy of stage and screen. (Bill Roth)