Mame - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mame Reviews

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July 19, 2016
Lucille Ball nails the role and is wonderful to watch in this musical/comedy. Bea Arthur plays her best friend with comedic timing!
January 29, 2016
It had potential, but it fell short of the mark.
January 24, 2016
Sorry, but the only Auntie Mame for me is Rosalind Russell, who starred in the original play and non-musical film version. That includes Angela Lansbury, whom I saw in the original stage production of this lame musical version. The episodic nature and weak plot of the play did not inspire much of a score, and there has never been anything particularly "musical" about "Mame." Casting Lucille Ball in the title role initially sounded like a brilliant idea, but the result is very depressing, since Ms. Ball completely lacks the sort of dry, stylish wit that is the essence of the character. Her line readings are embarrassing, and the performance comes off like Lucy pretending to be sophisticated. The pace throughout the film is unbearably slow. Didn't Director Gene Saks ever notice that the scenes lacked any spark of vitality? Beatrice Arthur as Vera Charles is the only cast member who comes close to the requisite style of the piece, and I might have enjoyed her performance more if I did not know that Ms. Arthur was every bit as bitchy in real life. Honey, that's not acting, that's Beatrice being Beatrice. In every other way, the cast of this musical version does not live up to the cast of the original movie. See "Auntie Mame" a tenth or twelfth time and you'll be far more entertained than by this monstrous bore.
½ January 24, 2016
ok version of this tale but i prefer the rosalind russell version better.
December 2, 2015
The most surreal part of watching this film was recognizing how every scene in Auntie Mame (1958) did it better. I don't mean to let the superior affect my judgement, but every moment simply left me longing for Rosalind Russell's quirky, energetic performance. It has the kind of nostalgia that makes me think I may have underrated the original film if this is what the remake is like: static, boring shots leaving the viewer to focus on the raspy, aging voice of a miscast Lucille Ball.
August 2, 2015
It isn't perfect but there is a lot to love about this movie. Lucille Ball is a delight during her acting scenes but you can tell she is struggling with the singing but everyone around her elevates her weaker moments. Bea Arthur is absolutely fantastic in this. She's not in many scenes but she steals every scene and even the ones she isn't. It's well staged and choreographed with wonderful costumes, art direction, and music.
July 26, 2015
Love the movie even thought Lucy was miscast and cant sing and acts wrong.
July 24, 2015
Not as bad as claimed by critis. Above all this movie has heart which goes a long way to make up for its shortcomings.
½ March 24, 2015
terrible movie, I DON'T love lucy
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2015
Utterly ghastly in every way.
December 25, 2014
It has it's moments but would have been a lot better had George Cukor been able to direct as originally planned, Gene Saks was clearly in over his head. Also Lucy could have used some vocal dubbing like Rosalind Russell had in Gypsy.
½ December 11, 2014
You know, I've seen episodes of the ill-conceived 1980s sitcom "Life With Lucy" that were better than this tripe. But let's put that in context: The only reason "Life With Lucy" wasn't the worst television show ever made was because of the existence of "Small Wonder." Lucy in 1974's "Mame" is kind of like dried squid in a 15-day-old salad: putrid. I've seen corpses with more joie de vivre. And as if having an arthritic Lucy wasn't bad enough, the producers thought they'd throw in Bea Arthur, too? Jesus Christ. Immediately after watching these two in the same film I had to watch "Going Ape!" to cleanse the palate. "Mame" does offer a fine performance from the inimitable yet often misunderstood Kirby Furlong, so I'll give the movie a half-star for that. Overall, I wouldn't describe this movie as a train wreck. No. It's more like the Exxon Valdez of musicals, with Lucy as the drunken Captain Joseph Hazelwood steering the whole thing on a one-way path straight to hell.
June 21, 2014
Definitely very entertaining -- at least for me it was. It's a darling film and Lucille Ball is as entertaining as ever. Her singing voice? Not so much. It was always atrocious & it takes away from the beautiful music. Her "Mame" played really well off of Bea Arthur's "Vera." It's like a younger version of Dorothy Zbornak. Lucy goes through every hair color in this film...definitely a redhead. Overall, quite charming & entertaining...Lucy looked gorgeous & damn, kudos to Mame for being progressive enough to change things/people. LOVE!
Super Reviewer
½ January 21, 2014
The film has its problems: Lucy sings like she's smoking during the songs, and she's way too old to keep up with the spirit of her character. Bea Arthur looks like a man in drag -- but didn't she always anyhow? Despite its problems, it's one of my favorites. It's energetic -- and the costumes: "scrumptious"! (Watch the film to get that reference.) If you're looking for a feel-good time, I recommend Mame.
November 7, 2013
Poorly edited, sluggishly directed, badly paced, and miscast.
September 7, 2013
ROBERT PRESTON HAS THE BEST SINGING EVER
May 6, 2013
I can easily make the argument that MAME is the best movie ever made. It's much past time for this film to be re-evaluated by critics.
December 24, 2012
Go easy on Lucille Ball. She's one of the best actresses of the 20th century. Mame is a delightful musical.
½ October 19, 2012
Ball's voice is simply horrible, but a film this thoroughly wrong must be laid at the foot of the director.
September 25, 2012
By all accounts of the so-called "experts" in film critiquing, I should be drawn and quartered for giving this 1974 box-office flop a 5-star rating. Do I dare attempt to explain myself? Let me try...

Lucille Ball was a comic wizard, and any die-hard fan of "I Love Lucy" would tell you that her biggest comedic quality was her facial expressions and body language. Although many people felt Lucy was too old to play this role (and the many "soft focus" close-up shots in the film may be a huge indicator). Nevertheless, she played excentric, colorful and brash with perfect comedic timing and her classic hysterical pratfalls.

Add to this the completely PERFECT casting of Bea Arthur as Vera Charles and you really do have to give this film another chance. I know EVERYBODY says that the Rosilind Russell film is the best -- I LOVE that film also. But "Mame" is a retelling of that story in musical format, so it is very difficult to compare the two -- it's like trying to compare the musical film "Hairspray" with John Travlota in the part of Edna Turnblad to the original John Waters film starring Devine -- they are both enjoyable, but both very different movies.

The production numbers in the movie are done on a grand scale (I love the opening number, "It's Today") and although the film looks dated by some of the camera techniques used during the early 70's films, it stil holds an endearing quality about it that allows me to watch it over and again.

As a personal note, this movie became somewhat of a family tradition at my house growing up when VHS came out. Every year, after Thanksgivng dinner, our family would pop it into the VCR and enjoy a couple of magical hours together as a family, as we all sang along with the musical numbers and recited some of the funniest lines ("Vera, how old are you really? The truth, now!" "How old do you think I am?" "Oh, I'd say somewhere between forty and DEATH!")

Despite all its production flaws and perceived miscasting, I haven't ever been able to criticize this picture. If you really hated this film, try to give it another chance -- try not comparing it with Russell's performance and soak in the fun and the magic that Gene Saks was trying to capture in this story...it really is there!
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