• Unrated, 2 hr. 14 min.
  • Drama, Classics
  • Directed By:
    George Stevens
    In Theaters:
    Mar 11, 1948 Wide
    On DVD:
    Dec 7, 2004
  • WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

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I Remember Mama Reviews

Page 1 of 5
rubystevens
rubystevens

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2012
don't really get why everyone loves this so much or else it's just far too sentimental for my tastes. the outlandish accents and gushing music put me off right away but i stuck it out for 2+ hours thinking there must be something...give me curtiz' 'life with father' any day
AJ V

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2010
A really great family drama, a wonderful cast, and a good story. I really liked it.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2009
A beautiful film that I used to watch with my Grandmother. George Stevens?s timeless classic is cinema at its best, with a brilliant performances from an excellent cast. Brilliant!
Red L

Super Reviewer

May 10, 2009
A film along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, but this is a first generation immigrant family with four kids in early 20th century San Francisco. The story teller is the oldest daughter who has a yen for writing. We go through the various troubles they encounter - lack of money, the stay in a hospital when a kid needs an operation, the good and bad relatives, etc.

It is a heart-warming movie, and if you get a chance watch it.
John B

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2013
You have to love this Irene Dunne performance here even if it borders on the overly sentimental. You hope that you have people around you that are as interesting as those who stop in to visit this San Francisco family.
jam233
March 17, 2010
90/100. A very heart warming film, wonderfully written and believably done. There is a fine attention to detail and the film has a loving feel of the time. Superb cinematography, good art direction but it is the marvelous cast that makes this film work, as well as George Stevens sensitive direction. Irene Dunne is so perfect in the title role and gives one of her best performances. The movie boasts an amazing supporting cast, Barbara Bel Geddes, Oscar Homolka, Ellen Corby and Edgar Bergen. The scene with the cat is a classic! Bel Geddes, Homolka, Dunne and Corby were all nominated for Oscars, as was the fine black and white cinematography.
filmqueen3
May 8, 2008
This is the most beautiful film I have ever seen! It was funny, sad, and the acting was absolutely brilliant. I wish they made films like this today.
FilmChic3175
April 21, 2007
This is the most beautiful film i have ever seen. It was funny, sad and the acting as absolutely brilliant. i wish they made films like this today. The more time passes and the more inundated we become with the raunchy, violent frentic world around us, the more amazing this film becomes. I am deeply moved by its lovingly crafted, richly detailed storytelling. My most favorite scene...the almsot heartbreaking tenderness of the scene where Papa decides that daughter Katherine is grown-up enough to have her first cup of coffee. A timeless treasure of a film!
nanoqna
January 18, 2007
i loved this movie 4 alogn time it was a pay and also a musical. i want ppl 2 saee this. its like learning how to be good ppl!
satinsongcats
July 25, 2006
Heartwarming story with George Stevens and Irene Dunne keeping it from being saccharine sweet. My favorite? Every scene with "Uncle Chris"!
gillianren
January 6, 2011
Tugging a Little Forcefully at the Heartstrings

The thing is, "write what you know" isn't always good advice. Sticking exclusively to people and places you know cuts down on huge, huge amounts of art. Not just writing, either. Yes, there's great art created from following that advice. If you think about it, [i]Citizen Kane[/i] is writing what you know, inasmuch as he knew William Randolph Hearst. On the other hand, Orson Welles didn't live that life. And while L. Frank Baum certainly found Kansas boring, he never lived in the fantasy world of Oz. Heck, William Shakespeare never left England. Sometimes, you have to step outside what you know. You have to invent. Degas went to the ballet and the horse races, and he painted and sculpted ballerinas and horse. Okay. But those medieval tapestries with the unicorns are certainly not woven from life. Even most nonfiction is based on the past, based on experiences outside the writers' lives.

Katrin (Barbara Bel Geddes) is the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. Her parents are poor, but they're thrifty and manage to keep the house and keep food on the table. Mama (Irene Dunne) and Papa (Philip Dorn) moved to San Francisco because that's where Mama's family is. The four children were all born in that house. Nels (Steve Brown) makes it very clear at the beginning of the movie that he's going to continue with school, and by the end, it's stated that he's going to be a doctor. Christine (Peggy McIntyre) doesn't seem to have much ambition, but she is, after all, the Middle Child. Dagmar (June Hedin) is crazy obsessed with animals. Aunts Jenny (Hope Landin) and Sigrid (Edith Evanson) are battle-axes, and Aunt Trina (Ellen Corby) is afraid they'll laugh when she announces her engagement to Mr. Thorkelson (Edgar Bergen!). And over all is Uncle Chris (Oskar Homolka).

It's really an "a bunch of stuff that happens" kind of movie. It doesn't have a real plot. Papa loses his job. Papa gets another one. The boarder, Mr. Hyde (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), spends time reading to the family then absconds, leaving a bad check for his rent. Dagmar gets sick and needs an operation at the same time as Cousin Arne (Tommy Ivo) gets an operation on his knee. Uncle Chris storms in and out of their lives. Mama goes out of her way to find Florence Dana Moorhead (Florence Bates), a Famous Writer, so that she can get good writing advice for Katrin. (She trades recipes for getting Miss Moorhead to read the stories.) And so forth. There are several instances where people Learn Valuable Lessons. The woman Mama's sisters scorn as "That Woman" (Barbara O'Neil, probably?) turns out to have married Uncle Chris several years before. Just everyday stuff from an ordinary immigrant family.

But we in this country have a complicated relationship with immigration. My most recent immigrant ancestor came to this country maybe a hundred years ago, and she was from a people despised throughout Europe and basically hounded from place to place. I think there are still countries with laws on the books against them. However, she was my great-grandmother, and all the rest of the family has been in the country even longer. But there are people who take pride in their family's immigrant status while denigrating others'. It all depends on when their families got here. I've been reading about Prohibition and national sex education and whatever, and so much of it was about Those Types. Blacks, yes, but there's a distrust of immigrants running all through the country's history, since before we've had a country. And perhaps the most interesting thing about the popularity of this movie--it spawned a TV series almost right away, long before most people even had TVs--is that these are people with ties to the Old Country who are still at heart Americans. Immigrants but not foreigners.

And, of course, it appeals to Americans' longing for schmaltz. The saccharine. I think we like to believe that there is an ideal family out there, and maybe we can find it if we just look long enough. And this family Has Hardships But Sticks Together Anyway. Mama budgets out their money meticulously. And even though it was really important to her that her daughter inherit a brooch which her own mother had given her, Mama was willing to trade it instead for a dresser set (with a hair receiver, whatever that is) that's what the daughter actually wanted. And of course the daughter finds this out, weeps a bit, and trades the dresser set back. Because it's important to her that her mother is happy, even if she finds her mother's brooch old-fashioned. Even if All the Other Girls get something fancy and modern, it's okay to get the brooch she thinks is dowdy, old-fashioned and, worse, [i]Old Country[/i]. Really, the story is about what it means to become an American, and the funny thing is that it seems to be in a way people don't much like these days.
October 23, 2010
Its very rarely a black and white film interests me but thanks to my own mama this one is a keeper. It's one of those warm movies of a family of Norwegian foreigners that are making it by and living the American dream. Overall its highly enjoyable, and Uncle Chris is a man you'll never forget from the film. You are given about 4-5 different stories that will make you smile and cheer you up for the day. In other words go see it already!
jazza923
March 17, 2010
91/100. A very heart warming film, wonderfully written and believably done. There is a fine attention to detail and the film has a loving feel of the time. Superb cinematography, good art direction but it is the marvelous cast that makes this film work, as well as George Stevens sensitive direction. Irene Dunne is so perfect in the title role and gives one of her best performances. The movie boasts an amazing supporting cast, Barbara Bel Geddes, Oscar Homolka, Ellen Corby and Edgar Bergen. The scene with the cat is a classic! Bel Geddes, Homolka, Dunne and Corby were all nominated for Oscars, as was the fine black and white cinematography.
Zeppo1
December 3, 2009
***1/2 (out of four)

A sentimental and loving look at motherhood without being overly melodramatic. George Stevens strikes just the right tone.

Irene Dunne plays the mother of a family if Dutch immigrants who settle in 1910 San Francisco. The oldest daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes) fondly reminisces about various situations where her mother came through in difficult problems.

Dunne is wonderful in the lead, but the entire cast comes through.
Virus
March 11, 2008
It's a very charming and wholesome film. Excellent cast and well made film.
gyglygirl
October 29, 2006
:up: another great 40's family movie. a true classic! :p
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