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Upon popping in my copy tonight, I have a few questions for the experts. The Lucille Ball Film Collection lists "Luc(k)y Mame" as a documentary on the making of the movie. I think it's just a ten minute commercial. When exactly did this air and what was its purpose? Open A New Window sounds like it wasn't quite finished when they included it. Seriously, what was this thing?

Yeah, just a promo for the film.  

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So I mentioned in the Weird Dreams thread that I usually listen to Pandora before I go to sleep. I have it on shuffle which brings a truly eclectic bunch of audio tracks to my late nights. I'll get Christmas music, comedians, rap, 80s pop, and Sondheim, which just about the only musician-specific station I have. A couple of nights ago this song came on that I assume was deleted from Mame's broadway run. It's called Camouflage and it's about Vera coaching Mame on how to be a mother. I tracked it down on YouTube after some decent searching:

I think this would have been nice to include in the film version (A) as a vehicle for Bea, and (B) because the the movie was practically a 2 hour parade of costumes and this would work. Opinions?

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So I mentioned in the Weird Dreams thread that I usually listen to Pandora before I go to sleep. I have it on shuffle which brings a truly eclectic bunch of audio tracks to my late nights. I'll get Christmas music, comedians, rap, 80s pop, and Sondheim, which just about the only musician-specific station I have. A couple of nights ago this song came on that I assume was deleted from Mame's broadway run. It's called Camouflage and it's about Vera coaching Mame on how to be a mother. I tracked it down on YouTube after some decent searching:

I think this would have been nice to include in the film version (A) as a vehicle for Bea, and ( B) because the the movie was practically a 2 hour parade of costumes and this would work. Opinions?

Sorry, it says video not available.

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Darn Canadians! Well, at least you got healthcare.

The thing that really pisses me off is when they show something that we get up here anyway but they refuse to show it in Canada, like Daily show or Colbert or even Fallon sometimes, so annoying.

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Networks ran movies as a series ("NBC Monday Night at the Movies") in a 2-hour time slot.  Sometimes the original movies were shorter than 2 hours and they would run some little filler during the remaining time (like TCM does).  I remember them being rather boring travelogues most of the time.   This is where "Lucky Mame" was run.  Someone told me they had seen it and I had no idea what it was.  Of course at that time (pre-VHS), I didn't think I would ever get to see it but then it was included on the DVD release.  It was actually a little disappointing because I thought it was going to be a behind-the-scenes "Making of..." short.  

Speaking of which:  I've never seen this deleted scene photo before.  I wonder if it was a scene they shot or just another in the photo session that included Lucy at the piano that was featured in the lengthy and very complimentary Saturday Evening Post article.  Memorable quote: "I throw up my hands searching for superlatives.  All I can say is Lucille Ball is Mame. Mame is Lucille Ball."

LucyMameMartini_zpsc22cnnbl.jpg

Upon popping in my copy tonight, I have a few questions for the experts. The Lucille Ball Film Collection lists "Luc(k)y Mame" as a documentary on the making of the movie. I think it's just a ten minute commercial. When exactly did this air and what was its purpose? Open A New Window sounds like it wasn't quite finished when they included it. Seriously, what was this thing?

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That pic is of a deleted scene... notice how the clock has been opened and they are pouring drinks.  I have seen this before and can't remember where or when.  But I do remember reading how it was a deleted scene during the Open A New Window number.  She is fixing Patrick a martini.  I have to admit here and now.. I rarely finish Mame in a sober state... THAT movie just goes hand in hand with cocktails ... and I seem to love it the more cocktails I have!  

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In the stage musical Mame teaches Patrick how to make martinis. He then does this throughout the play. I got a kick out of that when I saw it on stage. I don't think Patrick does it all in the movie so cutting the scene makes sense.

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Now what about that tandem bike pic. Where was that scene suppose to go?

 

Seems like a good fit for the "Open a New Window" montage. Directorally, it would have made more sense than the clip where Mame and Patrick go to the Burlesque show, since Saks in his infinite wisdom decided to use a publicity shot from that segment in the very first scene where they pan to a photo of Mame in her brother's office. :huh:

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That pic is of a deleted scene... notice how the clock has been opened and they are pouring drinks.  I have seen this before and can't remember where or when.  But I do remember reading how it was a deleted scene during the Open A New Window number.  She is fixing Patrick a martini.  I have to admit here and now.. I rarely finish Mame in a sober state... THAT movie just goes hand in hand with cocktails ... and I seem to love it the more cocktails I have!  

Geez, never thought of that, LOL!

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And one more thing.. the powers that be could have made Mame a CLASSIC if they would have taken their time with the editing.. As it is .. I love it.. but it could be a tinsey winsey bit better!

Well, Amen to that brother.

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Seems like a good fit for the "Open a New Window" montage. Directorally, it would have made more sense than the clip where Mame and Patrick go to the Burlesque show, since Saks in his infinite wisdom decided to use a publicity shot from that segment in the very first scene where they pan to a photo of Mame in her brother's office. :huh:

Saks and wisdom, there's two words you never expect in the same sentence.

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I finally got around to watching this from TCM I tivoed the other night.  I saw this mentioned on the Bway boards so I was aware of it watching.  Did this print seem to have the orchestra cranked up too high and the singing too low?  I had a hard time hearing the signing.  I have this on DVD and do not have this problem.

 

Also All That Chat had a great reaction thread on the movie. Her are the good, bad and ugly highlights.

 

 

 

Mame with Angela Lansbury was a Rolls Royce. With Lucille Ball, it was a Chevy Nova.

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Lucy has some great costumes, but she's simply too matronly for the role. Also her singing... it's like Lucy Ricardo somehow chloroformed Ricky and got the singing lead in a show she shouldn't have been doing. At least her intonation is pretty good, if not her tone.
 
When "Lucy Mame" (as the film was advertised) tells her young grandson Peter at the end that there are some many wonderful things for him to see and hear, I felt like saying, "Yeah, liked the Angela Lansbury recording of this show!".
 
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I thought the addition of "Loving You," with the travelogue and Lucy's changing hair colors, one of the nicer passages, mainly because she looked at her prettiest when neither singing nor speaking nor dancing--she was a good model).
 
Arthur simply didn't film well in the costumes and she was so weighted down by Lucy in the "Bosom Buddies" number--how do you ruin a number that has garnered applause in even the tackiest drag bars across the globe?
 
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Lucy could take a pie with the best of them, but she was never going to be Mame Dennis,
 
I worked three weeks as part of Philip Lathrop cinematography crew. My main job was taking the costume photos of the main characters plus taking photos of the sets. I took I believe 6 to 8 photos of Lucille in various costumes. She was strictly professional to me but she did call me by my right name when she wanted the right angles.

Lucille was very demanding on the set not only to fellow actors but to the crew as well. I sometime thought she was the unofficial ass't director.

I became friendly with Jane Connell during the shoot and she was a hoot. Always friendly with the crew and love to josh around. I also got to know Bruce Davidson during this time. A damn nice guy. Also Robert Preston was always outgoing with the crew and loved to kid around.

 
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Has Jerry Herman ever commented on the massacre of his songs by Ms Ball?
 
 
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It's a mixed bag.

Lucy can't sing or dance, which of course is a liability.

She's at least a decade too old for the part.

However, the movie has its charms: Connell, Arthur, Kirby Furlong (young Patrick), Audrey Christie, a few others.

Robert Preston is excellent and for once, a new song ("Loving You") is justified and actually, as filmed, a real highlight.

It's worth seeing once. I have never understood the almost hysterical hatred for this film (see below).

It is highly doubtful it ever would seen the light of day with Angela Lansbury as Mame. If "Murder She Wrote" had been in vogue around that time, maybe.
 
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The production design, costumes and musical dance numbers are handled well. Lucy really tires - but she misses the mark often. Preston is a welcome addition as is the song "Loving You"

Bea Arthur seems to have come in from another film.

 
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I agree. Lucille Ball might have been good in "Auntie Mame" in the 1950s if Roz Russell couldn't make the film. In "Mame" the singing and dancing seem to overwhelm her -- an understatement.

Yet, she receive good reviews in "Wildcat" a property written especially for Lucy.
 
 
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For about thirty seconds, Mame skating down Fifth Avenue on one skate is pure Lucy magic. 
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Seems like Lucille Ball wanted to cap off her movie career with a final triumph. I got to photograph Miss Ball when she was named WOMAN OF THE YEAR at Harvard at that time she was hoping to do the screen version DRIVING MISS DAISY .

Linked is Lucy with Merv promoting MAME -she looks great (sans vaseline over the lens) and is very honest about her dancing and singing - but the poor thing thought she was going to be nominated for an Oscar and crowds would be flocking to the theaters.
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The Madeline Kahn bio only devotes a few pages to Mame - and since Kahn was only involved with the project for an incredibly brief period, there's no reason to expect more. Paul Zindel (the film's screenwriter) says Kahn was cast in the film without first having been cleared by Lucille Ball or even meeting her. All Kahn knew was that Ball had seen her performance in What's Up, Doc? and, based on that, thought she'd be right for Gooch.

Both Zindel and co-star Robert Preston knew that Kahn wouldn't last on the film longer than a day. Trouble was immediately apparent during the first read-through; Ball wanted to know what kind of "trick voice" she was going to use for Gooch. Kahn replied that the voice would come after she'd had some time to rehearse and and build the character. To which Ball responded, "Oh, no. You use the voice now!"

The author reiterates what has already been said about their clash of styles; how it wasn't just about their different approaches to comedy but also the different generations they represented. Ball wasn't a fan of the new type of comedy that was emerging in the 70s; she called Three's Company "my kind of comedy" and had little enthusiasm for the character-over-slapstick approach of either Kahn or Lily Tomlin (who was one of Kahn's biggest supporters). Of Tomlin, Ball told People magazine that "I don't care for her type of whatever-she's-doing." Kahn said she wanted to come up with a "fresh approach" to Gooch, while Ball apparently wanted what had already been done on stage.

There's also the story that Ball was simply thrown off balance when she first met Kahn at the read-through; she expected someone who looked like Eunice Burns, and instead came face-to-face with someone who was "sleek, beautiful, 30 years younger than Ball, and a redhead, too." Kahn recalled that Ball eventually retreated to her trailer, closed the door, and "a few minutes later I was told that I had been fired." Gene Saks, who directed the film, remembered Ball as having been "so manipulative, so controlling, that she absolutely wouldn't have Madeline, who was too young and too pretty."

 

It's also been suggested (some say by Ball's partisans, others by Ball herself) that Kahn became aware of Blazing Saddles after she'd signed to do Mame, and wanted to be fired so she could play Lili von Shtupp. But the author says this story falls apart under "closer scrutiny" and that in fact "Madeline lost one job and lined up another as soon as she could, auditioning for (Mel) Brooks while she was in Hollywood."

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With all this anti-confederate flag controversy, I wonder if they'll change the line in "Mame" so future production will have Mother Burnside exclaiming:

"Mother of Harriet Beecher Stowe!  She's passin' the fox!!"

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When the Upson's maid shows up with the hors d'ouvres and Mrs. Upson is like "They're getting so snobby lately", I laugh EVERY time and feel like a jackass about it.

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It's funny because its funny ..no need to feel awkward about funny stuff

Well, you know how it is nowadays. Everybody's always getting accused of being racist or homophobic or whatever. It's difficult to laugh because everything needs to be so PC.

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