I Remember Mama - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

I Remember Mama Reviews

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½ 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.
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.
November 14, 2009
Beautiful and heartwarming.
That basically sums up the whole movie.
½ June 22, 2009
It's a good movie, too bad it's in black & white because the cinematography is good, plus real San Francisco scenes, not fake. The acting and characters are charming, and this movie is tender, very refreshing from the violence of today's movies. Yet it's over two hours long, and slow moving at times.

Very nostalgic, and a slice of Norwegian immigrant family values and lives, not perfect in the rendering of the Norwegian accents, but not distracting either, if it hadn't been so long I'd rate it higher, color would have been nice too.

Overall a nostalgic 40's movie about a 1910 immigrant family. Captures the strong family values and simple life of those days, with good overall cinematography.
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.
April 19, 2009
Good family values classic, emphasises the importance of literature and one girl's dreams of becoming a writer, although her family are working class immigrants in turn of the century San Fransisco.
March 31, 2009
A wonderful, enchantingly nostalgic story directed by George Stevens and starring the magnificent Irene Dunne. Told from the daughter's memories of her Norwegian Mother, Dunne's portrayal is perfect as the stoic but tender-hearted Mama. The cinematography and overall craft bring authenticity and poignancy to immigrant life in 1910's San Francisco.
January 15, 2009
This is a wonderful movie. I first watched this in high school and enjoyed it so much that my mother purchased a copy for my sisters and I to watch whenever we wanted to. The acting is excellent everywhere--Oskar Homolka as the loud, boisterous Uncle Chris (and I believe he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal), Ellen Corby as the sweet but timid Aunt Trina (remember that she would go on to portray the beloved Grandma Walton), and Candice Bergen's real-life father Edgar Bergen as Aunt Trina's soft-spoken mortician husband. Very hilarious and touching moments all through the movie.
January 6, 2009
I Remember Mama is George Stevens's closest foray into comedy after his experiences in WWII, and though it is primarily a drama, a slice of life, it is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Kathryn Forbes's loving reminisces of a childhood in San Francisco and of her wonderful ex-Norwegian grandma are sprawled to broad visual scope and performed by an outstanding cast.

For maverick filmmaker George Stevens has conveyed her seemingly inconsequential story in all its warm and pleasant character to the screen. Framed by a progression of musings of a youthful author's gushing thoughts, Stevens has composed a pleasing and charming Home Sweet Home cloth of hilarious and moving chapters in the lives of an extraordinarily pleasant family of Norwegian-Americans. And its lovable cast of Hollywood performers catches the unspoiled radiance of character.

As it surely proves significant material further than the flicker of any cynic's reservations, this story craves no more than thoughtful treatment to reach the merit of triumph that only someone as insightful as Stevens would recognize. And he has comforted this with unflagging sway of the directorial pedals. His understated scenes are by no means ever excessively slushy, not even the scene where Mama sings her lullaby. Moreover, in the many fleeting outings of the family beyond their home, and above all in the frenzied shots of their gasping of their jalopy up and down their residential hill, he has swelled such traces as associate these people to an external world which, by the insular temperament of the story, is no more than abstractedly understood to be.

As Mama, the president, if you will, of the family, the unconditionally beautiful Irene Dunne gives a wonderfully touching, lovable and funny performance, in a wig and in dresses which truly seem to be aged. Controlling with level flair a tongue-in-cheek Norwegian accent and a worried look, Dunne has the fire and energy, and still the gentleness, that the role wants. As the oldest daughter, the one who frames the story, Barbara Bel Geddes plays most regularly as in a stupor, entranced by Mama and pure splendor, and that corresponds with the common atmosphere. As well, Philip Dorn as Papa and Peggy McIntyre and June Hedin as Bel Geddes's siblings have the flavor of angels, for all their delightful manner.

Oskar Homolka, who plays the overbearing Uncle Chris, one of the most laugh-out-loud characters I have ever seen in a movie, gives to it all the broad blunder and goofiness that Stevens has the undiluted sense of humor to augment with overwhelming close-ups and things of the sort. Edgar Bergen's Mr. Torkelson is also a side-splitting pleasure and so is Sir Cedric Hardwicke.

The film begins with eldest daughter Bel Geddes finishing her autobiographical novel. As she harks back to her family life, we flashback to 1910, where the first of a series of vignettes finds Dunne arranging the weekly budget with the help of her light, practical husband, her son and her daughters. Her son reveals his wish to attend high school. Each family member puts forward to make an economic sacrifice to throw in to the boy's education. How peaceful. Really. It may seem like nothing happens in the lives of this family, but it is a purely emotional experience. It does not aim for us to pity the immigrant experience but to embrace the hopeful aspirations the immigrant experience. I want to make love to this movie and everyone in it, especially Mama.
November 20, 2008
Probably my all time favorite film.
November 3, 2008
This one should be in every family's media shelf. Our family watches it year after year after year. It never gets old.
September 19, 2008
Wonderful family movie. I would definetly recommend.
August 24, 2008
brilliant film best I`ve seen in years, seen it twice and going again sept 10th. It was very funny and the whole audience were clapping and dancing and singing along to it.
½ August 21, 2008
Great family movie! Irene Dunee at her best as Mama. Get ur popcorn ready as well as the kleenex
½ August 8, 2008
makes me remeber my mum!
August 2, 2008
Tissues at the ready
July 9, 2008
The first time I ever watched this was with my mom and it's one of our classic favorites. It is certainly heartbreaking, but an all around great movie. One for the books. "DUMMYACHE!" Well, you'll know what I mean after you watch it...
June 15, 2008
WTF WAS THE POINT? This movie needed more shit blowing up.
June 8, 2008
I loved this movie, what really matter's most in life, and I bought it. A must see.
May 25, 2008
if you like your norweigan accents wicked fake, then this is for you! seriosuly though, its a well intentioned melodrama...the kind that has soft music playing behind it the entire damn movie. it is however, a little long and irene dunne's accent is awful as is oskar homolka (the most brooklyn jew sound norweigan to walk the earth)
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