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My guess is that they wanted her for the movie role first, but were too intimidated to ask such a big S*T*A*R.

:MrsRichardCarlson:

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This pic accompanied a rather length LA Time Sunday section article written during the making of "Mame".  A pretty positive article.  The one quote I remember "Okay so when the sun hits her right in the face she's not Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm anymore"

9687.JPG

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Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm anymore? What the hell does that imply? She's showing her age? A rude and unnecessary remark...that's why lighting and makeup and lifts exist...thoughtless remark..very prickish IMO.

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Searching the "Kennedy Center" website for Lucille Ball, this article on the history of "Mame" came up. Are they confusing "Mame" with "The Sound of Music"? Captain Beauregard Jackson Picket Burnside y de Von Trapp?

 

"Meanwhile, Hollywood wanted to reap a little more of Mame's magic, so in 1972 Warner Brothers decided to bring the character to the silver screen again. With an eye on maximizing profits, the studio overlooked Angela Lansbury to star in favor of America's most popular comedienne, Lucille Ball. Despite her lack of singing and dancing abilities, the studio thought her star power would make the movie successful. Ball did request some of the original Broadway cast be hired. Beatrice Arthur returned to her role as Vera Charles and after a disastrous first-day reading with Madeline Kahn, the role of Agnes Gooch was reprised by its original actress, Jane Connell. After a delay in the release date, the film opened in March of 1974 to poor reviews. Many critics felt Ball was too old for the part and complained the film version neglected the relationship between Patrick and his aunt in favor of the romance between Mame and Captain Burnside."

 

AND I'm a getting a little bit TIRED of them adding "and dancing" to "singing". Lucy was as much of a dancer as any other Mame with the exception of Ann "1000 taps per minute" Miller.

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Little known "Mame" trivia:  Betty White's mother in a cameo!

Here's the scene before it was edited down

 

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Little known "Mame" trivia:  Betty White's mother in a cameo!

Here's the scene before it was edited down

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOpz2brGXqE

Well that explains a lot.

 

You've got to hand it to Bea: whatever qualms she had with Betty, she never let it show in public or in any professional capacity. I've heard the rumors about what was said in private but I take them with a grain of salt.

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I was just kidding about the woman being Betty's mother.

Yeah, I got that. My "well that explains a lot" was meant as a joke, though I did mean the rest of what I said.

 

Nonetheless, funny video!

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A couple of Mame questions:

How dumb is Mame anyway?  I have to agree with floorwalker.  How hard can it be to write up cash sales?  Especially after being taught THREE times in the same week?

How is Mame able to keep from losing Beekman Place?  Assuming it's a condo (did they have condos then?) and paid off, there's still the HOA,  property taxes and utilities.

What's the point of the scene where the piano is confiscated and Mame says "But why this? I bought it at the Paris Exposition" and mover says "Sorry, lady"?  end of scene.  Is there a joke there?  I know they're showing how the depression affects her but without some sort of hook, it's slows the picture down. 

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I recently saw a famed Liza Minnelli impersonator in Sydney. At one point in the act, Judy comes back and "possesses" Liza, and proceeds to tell us how she was considered for the role of Mame. Prior to launching into an eerily spot-on rendition of "If He Walked Into My Life," Judy tells us:

 

"If not Broadway, they should've considered me for the movie. The fact that I was dead shouldn't have stopped them...Lucille Ball had been dead 10 years by the time she did it."

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I recently saw a famed Liza Minnelli impersonator in Sydney. At one point in the act, Judy comes back and "possesses" Liza, and proceeds to tell us how she was considered for the role of Mame. Prior to launching into an eerily spot-on rendition of "If He Walked Into My Life," Judy tells us:

 

"If not Broadway, they should've considered me for the movie. The fact that I was dead shouldn't have stopped them...Lucille Ball had been dead 10 years by the time she did it."

 

YEEE-OOUCH!!   and so unfair....It could be that I've completely lost perspective and am too much "in Lucy's corner" to see it, but the "Mame" criticism and cracks never let up....mostly pot-shots at her age and I think they've gained a life of their own that have little to do with the quality of the movie.    If it wasn't for those 4 or 5 too-damned-obvious soft focused shots;  AND had her actual age not been printed in just about every write-up (usually ADDING two years to the 61 she was during filming), she wouldn't have been the subject of so much cruelty.  And as I have said dozens of times, many of them right here, if only they had tailored the vocal arrangements better, added filler music and background vocals, and brought in a dubber to alternate with Lucy's actual voice*, there wouldn't have been all this "Lucille Ball couldn't sing OR DANCE" crap that still is floated today (the latter always GALLS me right in the STONES) , with her solid "Wildcat" vocals now having gotten swallowed up in the negativity. 

 

Lucy had nothing but praise for Angela Lansbury even going to far as saying Angela was offered the part but turned it down----really a kind way of covering up the real reason.    (And why was SHE being asked that question at all?)  All the press was anti-Lucy, pro-Angela but the only one of the two with snarky Bosom Buddies-worthy comments was Angela with "She plays Auntie Mame.  I think I played Mame Dennis"  (which doesn't seem like a put-down but somehow surely has the sound of one) and "when I see Lucy up there on those billboards with the cigarette clenched between her teeth, I HAVE TO ADMIT I do wince."  Note how the insertion of "I have to admit" tones it down from just a plain "I wince" and makes it sound less like the slam it is. No, Angela you don't "HAVE TO ADMIT" it at all!  

 

Would "Mame" have been better with Angela?  Maybe. At least it wouldn't have been the butt of jokes.  But having witnessed her stage performance, albeit on a crummy videotape of the 80s revival flopolla, I say what works on stage doesn't necessarily transfer to the screen.  Angela's Mame consists of a lot of eye-rolling takes, again fine for the stage, but Lucy dives into the Mame character more; and is perhaps a little TOO subdued at times (the Upson scene for one).  Of the two, Angela is the better singer, but LUCY IS THE BETTER DANCER, which is not to say that either of them is Cyd Charrise. 

 

*pointing out this fascinating video again: a vimeo posting from someone who cleverly edited together a version of "Some People" that combines Roz's unearthed vocal tracks with Lisa Kirk's and the transition from one voice to another is seamless.  Contrary to what's been written (which implies there was more Roz than there was) , for the "Gypsy" movie, Fog-horn Roz sang ONLY one song, the comedy piece "Mr. Goldstone", plus the first half of "Rose's Turn".  The soundtrack record of the movie oddly enough has Lisa doing the entire "Rose's Turn".  Kudos to Lisa for sacrificing some of her vocal skill and doing a pretty darn good Roz Russel impersonation.  

One more little Gypsy oddity: if you look at the trailer and the promotion art, you'd think it was a Natalie Wood movie.  The cover of the album has Natalie on stage front and center with Roz and Karl Malden, smaller and way off to either side, indicating two supporting players of equal screen time.  Also there's comparatively little of Roz in the trailer.  Natalie was a huge star in 1962, though I wouldn't call her a threat to the memory of Sarah Bernhart. 

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YEEE-OOUCH!! and so unfair....It could be that I've completely lost perspective and am too much "in Lucy's corner" to see it, but the "Mame" criticism and cracks never let up....mostly pot-shots at her age and I think they've gained a life of their own that have little to do with the quality of the movie. If it wasn't for those 4 or 5 too-damned-obvious soft focused shots; AND had her actual age not been printed in just about every write-up (usually ADDING two years to the 61 she was during filming), she wouldn't have been the subject of so much cruelty. And as I have said dozens of times, many of them right here, if only they had tailored the vocal arrangements better, added filler music and background vocals, and brought in a dubber to alternate with Lucy's actual voice*, there wouldn't have been all this "Lucille Ball couldn't sing OR DANCE" crap that still is floated today (the latter always GALLS me right in the STONES) , with her solid "Wildcat" vocals now having gotten swallowed up in the negativity.

 

Lucy had nothing but praise for Angela Lansbury even going to far as saying Angela was offered the part but turned it down----really a kind way of covering up the real reason. (And why was SHE being asked that question at all?) All the press was anti-Lucy, pro-Angela but the only one of the two with snarky Bosom Buddies-worthy comments was Angela with "She plays Auntie Mame. I think I played Mame Dennis" (which doesn't seem like a put-down but somehow surely has the sound of one) and "when I see Lucy up there on those billboards with the cigarette clenched between her teeth, I HAVE TO ADMIT I do wince." Note how the insertion of "I have to admit" tones it down from just a plain "I wince" and makes it sound less like the slam it is. No, Angela you don't "HAVE TO ADMIT" it at all!

 

Would "Mame" have been better with Angela? Maybe. At least it wouldn't have been the butt of jokes. But having witnessed her stage performance, albeit on a crummy videotape of the 80s revival flopolla, I say what works on stage doesn't necessarily transfer to the screen. Angela's Mame consists of a lot of eye-rolling takes, again fine for the stage, but Lucy dives into the Mame character more; and is perhaps a little TOO subdued at times (the Upson scene for one). Of the two, Angela is the better singer, but LUCY IS THE BETTER DANCER, which is not to say that either of them is Cyd Charrise.

 

*pointing out this fascinating video again: a vimeo posting from someone who cleverly edited together a version of "Some People" that combines Roz's unearthed vocal tracks with Lisa Kirk's and the transition from one voice to another is seamless. Contrary to what's been written (which implies there was more Roz than there was) , for the "Gypsy" movie, Fog-horn Roz sang ONLY one song, the comedy piece "Mr. Goldstone", plus the first half of "Rose's Turn". The soundtrack record of the movie oddly enough has Lisa doing the entire "Rose's Turn". Kudos to Lisa for sacrificing some of her vocal skill and doing a pretty darn good Roz Russel impersonation.

One more little Gypsy oddity: if you look at the trailer and the promotion art, you'd think it was a Natalie Wood movie. The cover of the album has Natalie on stage front and center with Roz and Karl Malden, smaller and way off to either side, indicating two supporting players of equal screen time. Also there's comparatively little of Roz in the trailer. Natalie was a huge star in 1962, though I wouldn't call her a threat to the memory of Sarah Bernhart.

 

I agree that Lucy gets flack she shouldn't and that the bulk of the problems with the film were less to do with her and more to do with poor direction and choppy editing. However, I take that comment in the context of the venue it was delivered in:

 

A gay man impersonating Liza Minnelli "possessed" by Judy Garland? Of COURSE there's going to be bitchiness!

 

Lucy wasn't the only target. "Liza" made a lot of comical cracks about Ethel Merman and Barbra Streisand as well. The Lorna Luft ones were my favorite. It was all done in jest with the aim to parody a diva.

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I agree Lucy was the better dancer she always was a gypsy as Shirley McLaine dubbed her (wish I could see the full special they did together) . Angie could sign better but they should have did this like in 1967 not wait so long for it. Lucy's voice on the Lucy Show signing had more quality I felt bad it got more deep but Leading Lady and Comedy Aint No Joke shows she could sign well in her octave. Annie was almost Lucy's age in the 1983 revival so part of the problem is newer generation wanted see Broadway star in film version

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Mame is a great movie musical.  Unfortunately, it came out in 1974, when movies like The Exorcist and Last Tango in Paris were the norm.  Lucille Ball made a great Mame and most of the critics were anti-Lucy and pro Angela.  In 1974 Lucille Ball was the most powerful actress in Hollywood and the richest too.  She had conquered TV like no other star could match.  She was a hit on Broadway in Wildcat and the only reason the show closed was because she got sicked.  She had only done 7 films prior to Mame (1950-1974) and most of them were hits, i.e. Fancy Pants (1950), The Fuller Brush Girl (1951), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), The Facts of Life (1960) for which she should have received a Oscar nomination and Yours, Mine & Ours (1968).  She did three movies that weren't successful during this time, i.e. The Magic Carpet (1950) a bomb and she knew it and only did the movie to get out of her contract with Columbia, Forever Darling (1956) with Desi and Critic's Choice (1962) a comedy with Bob Hope.  When you become a big star in Hollywood and attempt to make a multi-million dollar musical and you're 61 at the time of filming you just know the critics are going to tear you apart.  Lucy took a chance and she still came out the winner.  The movie broke all records at Radio City Music Hall and she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in A Comedy/Musical.  Her singing was okay and her dancing was great.  She made a perfect Mame.  The film was snubbed by the Oscars mainly because Angela Lansburied was not selected to play Mame.  Angela was never a major star.  She had a couple of broadway hits one being Mame but I've seen some clips of her on stage and she just wasn't that good.  Mame was a joyful, jubilant musical.  The costumes, sets and dance numbers were great as were Bea Arthur, Jane Connell and Robert Preston.  The press just couldn't give Lucy the credit she deserved.  She had just broken her leg a year before filming started and had done half of the fifth season of "Here's Lucy" in a cast.  She was at the top of her game and critics just love to tear one down when there at the top.  She didn't need to have the best singing voice for the songs in Mame but she was able to pull it off.  I'm just glad we have Lucy as the only Mame on film (not counting Roz Russell's 1958 comedy Auntie Mame) which i'm sorry to say I found boring.  The good thing about Mame the musical is that it found a new audience and new life on VHS/DVD.  It sells very well.  Most of the consensus is that more people love Mame than hate it.  Look it up on Amazon.com and you could see some of the reviews by people who bought the film and didn't see any problem with it and love Lucy.  It's one of my favorite musicals and when I'm depressed sometimes I watch it and it perks me up - like I said before it's a great old fashioned musical that got released (1974) when cinema was clearly bad, i.e. Last Tango In Paris.  Today, I still think Lucy atleast deserved an Oscar nomination but I guess this was Hollywood's way of snubbing her because Ms. Lansburied didn't get the part.  Lucy still wins because the film has a new life on DVD.  Lucy will always be the Mame for me.

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Regarding Neil's earlier comment on the "PIANO" scene, YOU are absolutely correct about the picture slowing down.  I believe from the "Rush Editing" to get the feature into theaters for the Easter Holiday many moments were not clearly defined.  We are to assume Mame's furniture and accessories are being carted off to pay bills or repossessed by the businesses.  She gives her distraught look at the rolled up carpet leaving her place and a fun look of "well it's food" when told about her dinner of SHREDDED WHEAT.  I'm assuming We Need A Little Christmas Now is sung in a room once upon a time filled with carpet and furniture.  Too bad some the character of the movie ended up on the cutting room floor and too bad Bea Arthur isn't in the movie more or for that matter Robert Preston.  Well, at least we have what we have with Miss Ball working her magic :)

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Mame is a great movie musical.  Unfortunately, it came out in 1974, when movies like The Exorcist and Last Tango in Paris were the norm.  Lucille Ball made a great Mame and most of the critics were anti-Lucy and pro Angela.  In 1974 Lucille Ball was the most powerful actress in Hollywood and the richest too.  She had conquered TV like no other star could match.  She was a hit on Broadway in Wildcat and the only reason the show closed was because she got sicked.  She had only done 7 films prior to Mame (1950-1974) and most of them were hits, i.e. Fancy Pants (1950), The Fuller Brush Girl (1951), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), The Facts of Life (1960) for which she should have received a Oscar nomination and Yours, Mine & Ours (1968).  She did three movies that weren't successful during this time, i.e. The Magic Carpet (1950) a bomb and she knew it and only did the movie to get out of her contract with Columbia, Forever Darling (1956) with Desi and Critic's Choice (1962) a comedy with Bob Hope.  When you become a big star in Hollywood and attempt to make a multi-million dollar musical and you're 61 at the time of filming you just know the critics are going to tear you apart.  Lucy took a chance and she still came out the winner.  The movie broke all records at Radio City Music Hall and she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in A Comedy/Musical.  Her singing was okay and her dancing was great.  She made a perfect Mame.  The film was snubbed by the Oscars mainly because Angela Lansburied was not selected to play Mame.  Angela was never a major star.  She had a couple of broadway hits one being Mame but I've seen some clips of her on stage and she just wasn't that good.  Mame was a joyful, jubilant musical.  The costumes, sets and dance numbers were great as were Bea Arthur, Jane Connell and Robert Preston.  The press just couldn't give Lucy the credit she deserved.  She had just broken her leg a year before filming started and had done half of the fifth season of "Here's Lucy" in a cast.  She was at the top of her game and critics just love to tear one down when there at the top.  She didn't need to have the best singing voice for the songs in Mame but she was able to pull it off.  I'm just glad we have Lucy as the only Mame on film (not counting Roz Russell's 1958 comedy Auntie Mame) which i'm sorry to say I found boring.  The good thing about Mame the musical is that it found a new audience and new life on VHS/DVD.  It sells very well.  Most of the consensus is that more people love Mame than hate it.  Look it up on Amazon.com and you could see some of the reviews by people who bought the film and didn't see any problem with it and love Lucy.  It's one of my favorite musicals and when I'm depressed sometimes I watch it and it perks me up - like I said before it's a great old fashioned musical that got released (1974) when cinema was clearly bad, i.e. Last Tango In Paris.  Today, I still think Lucy atleast deserved an Oscar nomination but I guess this was Hollywood's way of snubbing her because Ms. Lansburied didn't get the part.  Lucy still wins because the film has a new life on DVD.  Lucy will always be the Mame for me.

 

There are younger people who only know Lucy's Mame (my niece, for one) and don't know of Roz Russell's non-musical version. 

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IMDB "Mame" notes section. #1 would be interesting to hear.

 

#1 It was originally planned to have Lucille Ball's singing voice dubbed if her vocals were not good enough to use in the film. Alternate vocals were rumored to have been recorded by Lisa Kirk, but at any rate Ball intervened and her vocals (a point of contention for many critics) were ultimately used.

Comments #2 and #3 are spread apart but they contradict each other.

 

#2 Rumors abounded for years that Lucille Ball was chosen for the role over Angela Lansbury because Ball provided most of the financing herself, supposedly in hopes of restarting her film career. Although these rumors continue to this day, they have never been confirmed and no proof was ever produced.

 

and then:

#3 Lucille Ball put up $5,000,000 on the agreement that she would be considered for the lead.

 

Not sure I see this:

 

#4 Lucille Ball felt that Rosalind Russell had clearly gotten some of her "inspiration" for her performance in the non-musical Auntie Mame (1958) from Miss Ball's character on the TV series, I Love Lucy (1951).

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IMDB "Mame" notes section. #1 would be interesting to hear.

 

#1 It was originally planned to have Lucille Ball's singing voice dubbed if her vocals were not good enough to use in the film. Alternate vocals were rumored to have been recorded by Lisa Kirk, but at any rate Ball intervened and her vocals (a point of contention for many critics) were ultimately used.

 

Comments #2 and #3 are spread apart but they contradict each other.

 

#2 Rumors abounded for years that Lucille Ball was chosen for the role over Angela Lansbury because Ball provided most of the financing herself, supposedly in hopes of restarting her film career. Although these rumors continue to this day, they have never been confirmed and no proof was ever produced.

 

and then:

 

#3 Lucille Ball put up $5,000,000 on the agreement that she would be considered for the lead.

 

Not sure I see this:

 

#4 Lucille Ball felt that Rosalind Russell had clearly gotten some of her "inspiration" for her performance in the non-musical Auntie Mame (1958) from Miss Ball's character on the TV series, I Love Lucy (1951).

At this point, we'll probably never know the real story behind the vocals, whether Lucy alone recorded the soundtrack or if there was in fact an Audrey Hepburn/Marni Nixon "My Fair Lady" situation going on; either way, unless Lucy did in fact put up the bulk of the budget to "entice" (ensure?) her casting as Leading Lady, I sincerely doubt she had little say (i.e. clout) to make the decision herself that her voice would be the only one used for the film. Remember she was already on her way out on TV and despite being still popular and on her way to becoming a "living legend" (I don't think in 1974 she was quite there yet!), she had virtually no clout as a Movie Star (nor movie producer) to 1) be the one to be primary backer (and in turn, boss) of a major film studio's multi-million dollar musical; so 2) if anyone decided -- right or wrong, we'll now never know how different or perhaps "better" the end product might have been had a dubbed voice been utilized -- given that she was there only in the role as Lead Actress, the only one(s) likely empowered to decide what voice to use were the producers, director and to some degree, whomever was head of the studio at the time, but certainly not Lucy.

 

Now in this day and age when thanks in no small part to the internet and 24/7 access to rarities we once thought would never be available to us, if an alternate soundtrack IS in existence, I've no doubt it will turn up someday, somehow or other (for me, one of the ideal ways would be on a long-overdue release of Lucy/Mame on BD, as it would make an amazing bonus feature, not unlike on the more recent incarnations of release(s) of Fox's My Fair Lady, where it is a fun "extra" to find scenes with the use of Audrey's REAL voice and not that of Ms. Nixon whom you see throughout the REEL scenes).

 

Also, I'm not up on Ms. Nixon and whether or not there's any auto-, biography of her life & career out there, but given what we know about the work she DID get credit for (even if in many cases it was years overdue!), I would imagine it would come to light therein if she in fact did any vocals for Lucy's part, even if they were not used for the final product.

 

Just my two centavos.  :lucywow:

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At this point, we'll probably never know the real story behind the vocals, whether Lucy alone recorded the soundtrack or if there was in fact an Audrey Hepburn/Marni Nixon "My Fair Lady" situation going on; either way, unless Lucy did in fact put up the bulk of the budget to "entice" (ensure?) her casting as Leading Lady, I sincerely doubt she had little say (i.e. clout) to make the decision herself that her voice would be the only one used for the film. Remember she was already on her way out on TV and despite being still popular and on her way to becoming a "living legend" (I don't think in 1974 she was quite there yet!), she had virtually no clout as a Movie Star (nor movie producer) to 1) be the one to be primary backer (and in turn, boss) of a major film studio's multi-million dollar musical; so 2) if anyone decided -- right or wrong, we'll now never know how different or perhaps "better" the end product might have been had a dubbed voice been utilized -- given that she was there only in the role as Lead Actress, the only one(s) likely empowered to decide what voice to use were the producers, director and to some degree, whomever was head of the studio at the time, but certainly not Lucy.

 

Now in this day and age when thanks in no small part to the internet and 24/7 access to rarities we once thought would never be available to us, if an alternate soundtrack IS in existence, I've no doubt it will turn up someday, somehow or other (for me, one of the ideal ways would be on a long-overdue release of Lucy/Mame on BD, as it would make an amazing bonus feature, not unlike on the more recent incarnations of release(s) of Fox's My Fair Lady, where it is a fun "extra" to find scenes with the use of Audrey's REAL voice and not that of Ms. Nixon whom you see throughout the REEL scenes).

 

Also, I'm not up on Ms. Nixon and whether or not there's any auto-, biography of her life & career out there, but given what we know about the work she DID get credit for (even if in many cases it was years overdue!), I would imagine it would come to light therein if she in fact did any vocals for Lucy's part, even if they were not used for the final product.

 

Just my two centavos.  :lucywow:

 

You pack a lot into two centavos!

I don't know what the state of the art of audio editing was like in 1974, but Liza Kirk would have been the perfect choice for at least a  partial dubbing job considering how well she replicated what Roz Russel's singing voice would be if she could sing in "Gypsy".  Marni Nixon did write her autobiography, but as a lilting soprano, I doubt she would have been considered a candidate for dubbing 1974 Lucy.

 

There was an article written before the film came out that said something like this (and I'm paraphrasing from memory) "The original plan was for Lucy to do most of the singing and have a singer-singer take the high notes.  A young Warners audio technician had just returned from listening to Lucy's vocals in "My Best Girl" and insisted that Lucy's tracks be used without a dubber.  'Now THAT', said Lucy to the interviewer, "gives me a thrill".  (maybe this was the vice-president sound engineer in charge of "My Best Girl" who had not listened to "It's Today") 

Before reading these imdb "fun facts", I did not know there was a possibility that Liza Kirk recorded any of the Mame songs.  Liza had to have been mentioned as a possibility because on a talk show, Lucy addressed the rumor and mentioned Kirk by name and added this self-deprecating quip, acknowledging her own vocal limitations "She has a real right to SUE!"

 

The idea that Lucy put up money to ensure her casting as Mame seems extremely far-fetched and , as far as I know, unprecedented in the history of studio casing and funding, though she negotiated casting approval obviously.   I'll say it again: if I were casting Mame in 1971 (or whenever Lucy was officially signed) Lucille Ball would have been the right choice.  Considering #1 what other woman in the Mame age-range had had a box office hit recently.  YMO was just 2 or 3 years previous to Mame casting.  And #2:  if I had watched Lucy display her lithe body doing the dancing and certainly passable singing in the musical finale of "Lucy Goes Hawaiian part 2" aired in 1971, no one would question my choice as Lucy as Mame.   Yes, Angela was 14 years younger, but photographed so much older.  I don't think anyone at Warners ever seriously considered casting her. 

 

If we put the low end cut-off age for the actress to play Mame at 40, I can't think of another 1971 actress (the year is was cast, I think)  who would have been under serious consideration.  Certainly there were many who were capable of being the screen Mame, but were names like Ann Miller even on the table?

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I'm afraid I can't watch this movie without constantly re-directing and re-editing it in my head. Just for the hell of it, I took a look at the title song tonight. Where do I begin?

 

The camera lingers when it should move, it moves when it should linger, it cuts when it should stay and it stays when it should cut. The tempo, especially during the dance segment, is so slow it's torturous. The orchestration has none of the energy and robustness of the Broadway album buts just plods along like it's wading through treacle. Lucy plasters that toothy grin on her face and holds it stationary for the entirety of the number; not necessarily her fault, I think she just should've been given stronger direction - Cukor would've helped her liven things up a bit. Then there are those beats of dead silence at the end that grind the entire film to a halt; Saks didn't even cut to a wide shot of everyone, what a wasted opportunity.

 

I haven't seen the film in its entirety since 2008 and I doubt I'd ever be able to sit through the entire thing ever again. 2 minutes feel like 2 hours where this film is concerned.

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