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Continuing through my boxes of Lucy clippings, I came across all the Mame reviews I collected.

Local papers were for the most part pretty positive; or at least positive-ISH.  Seattle headline "Lucille Ball Isn't Mame" sub-headline: "But She is Funny!".  Sub-sub "And Bea Arthur is even funnier".    People today seem to delight quoting the most savage reviews.  Milton Krims in Saturday Evening Post, a magazine with a still-large circulation, was thrilled with the movie and Lucy in particular.  Having seen many Mames,(play and musical) he proclaims Lucy the best ever. His review, if ever mentioned, is dismissed as "a breathless paean".    

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Oh, can't they leave poor "Mame" alone??

In "Center Square: Paul Lynde" biography,  Paul tells of advice Lucy gave him when he was starting his show.  For some reason, the author feels the need to add "Lynde should have been more dubious because at the time Ball thought she was perfectly suited to play the lead in the disastrous musical Mame."

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I wonder if Mame could even be done today.  

"You've done more for the south since anybody since Robert E Lee"

"Mother of Jefferson Davis!  She's passin' the FOX!"

"This time the south will rise again..MAME" 

And of course the charm of plantations is now OUT. 

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On 10/26/2020 at 9:14 PM, HarryCarter said:

I certainly hope Lucy saw this review from The Chicago Defender!

 

Screen Shot 2020-10-26 at 9.10.33 PM.png

Anyone know what “Los Angeles department store” was used for filming? I always assumed those scenes were done on a sound stage.

I appreciated this reviewer’s comments about Lucy’s singing and specifically that it’s her interpretations which make her so special for the role. As much as I do like Lansbury, I never got the warmth and heart from her recording.

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Just like the recent discussions of LWL, Mame's reputation is far more disastrous than the product itself.

I recently saw Mame again as well, and I agree with you. The film itself is entertaining, and Lucy's acting is fine. The soft-focus lighting was very noticeable, but I didn't have a problem with it. 

I know Bea Arthur did several interviews after the fact where she stated that she didn't want to do the film (and that she only did it as a favor to her husband because he was directing,) but I thought she gave one of the best performances in the movie. 

Although this sounds obvious, I think the biggest problem with Mame is that it's a musical, and Lucy was simply not a singer. She was also not very good at "speak-singing," either. This time around, I actually fast-forwarded through some of Lucy's solos because her singing voice, at times, was incredibly grating to listen to. (And I say this as someone who *loves* Lucy.) To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if someone like Carole Cook or Lisa Kirk had dubbed Lucy's vocals for this film - I think it would have made the overall experience more enjoyable. 

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1 hour ago, teenageluminary said:

 To be honest, I wouldn't have minded if someone like Carole Cook or Lisa Kirk had dubbed Lucy's vocals for this film - I think it would have made the overall experience more enjoyable. 

Carole would have been an amazing choice, I think she knew Lucy well enough to sing it “as Lucy.”

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