Decided to write a review since I just saw Auntie Mame on the big screen for the first time on Friday May 8 at the fabulous Paramount in Oakland. I have seen the film 3 or 4 dozen times, and it is one of my all time favorite films.
This adaptation of the Patrick Dennis novel, turned stage play, turned film, (and eventually to be come a stage musical and then a tragically miscast film musical) is pure fun on every level. Rosalind Russell absolutely was born to play the eccentric Mame Dennis who transforms the life of her orphaned nephew Patrick. Mame lives a life on glamor, romance, never ending redecoration of herself and her home, and is above all a person who deeply understands that, as the film's signature line says "Life is banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death" and lives by the mantra every day of her life. The film is subversive, progressive, campy, gorgeous, witty and hilarious, with humor that even 50+ years on still makes an audience laugh.
The monologue about a tragic ping pong tournament alone is worth the price of rental or admission.
This film is partly responsible for making the kind of Gay man I am today, it left a profound imprint on me as a young boy and has been a ritualized favorite of mine since.
To borrow from John Waters, if you don't like this movie, there's really something wrong with you.