Jump to content

Put the Blame for Mame


Neil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Compare these two virtually identical scenes from 'Auntie Mame' and 'Mame'.

It's scenes like this that gave Lucy's version bad reviews. It just lays there when it should be "madcap" like Roz's version. Part of the problem is that there's no motivation for the make-over. Roz is trying to get Gooch all dolled up for a reason: going to the party with Brian so she, mame, can get out of it. In Lucy's version, it's too late into the movie for this non-plot-driven sidestep.

Saks's direction is lackluster which is not Lucy's fault--although it makes her look bad. But Lucy is too gruff-sounding in this scene and whose fault is that? Her voice varied throughout the movie, probably depending on a lot of factors on any given day, but as director, that's Sak's responsibility to get a better performance out of her--no matter HOW resistant she may have been, and in spite of her reputation I think she would listen to someone if she had confidence in their opinion. She comes off a tad mean here when the character should be more motherly. THIS scene particularly is key to the movie because it ends with the "Life is a banquet..." speech so familiar from "Auntie", prompting more than one critic to remark the Lucy's line readings were stagnant compared to Roz's.

Saks and/or the editor should NEVER have kept that second "OFF!!" in; it sounds like the bark of a junkyard dog.

It doesn't help that Lucy's dress looks like an all-white version of the doorman outfit she wore as "Smith" in "Lucy and the Hollywood Premiere"

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil, sorry but I prefer Lucy's MUCH more. Rosalind and whoever plays Gooch overact their parts - Lucy's seems much more realistic. It's almost as though Roz's version is a stage play and they are projecting to the audience. Lucy's version is more like a movie. The only part I do prefer is Roz's version of "Life is a banquet" - that part is good the way she overacts it. So all in all I prefer Lucy's version (bar the end)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Compare these two virtually identical scenes from 'Auntie Mame' and 'Mame'.

It's scenes like this that gave Lucy's version bad reviews. It just lays there when it should be "madcap" like Roz's version. Part of the problem is that there's no motivation for the make-over. Roz is trying to get Gooch all dolled up for a reason: going to the party with Brian so she, mame, can get out of it. In Lucy's version, it's too late into the movie for this non-plot-driven sidestep.

Saks's direction is lackluster which is not Lucy's fault--although it makes her look bad. But Lucy is too gruff-sounding in this scene and whose fault is that? Her voice varied throughout the movie, probably depending on a lot of factors on any given day, but as director, that's Sak's responsibility to get a better performance out of her--no matter HOW resistant she may have been, and in spite of her reputation I think she would listen to someone if she had confidence in their opinion. She comes off a tad mean here when the character should be more motherly. THIS scene particularly is key to the movie because it ends with the "Life is a banquet..." speech so familiar from "Auntie", prompting more than one critic to remark the Lucy's line readings were stagnant compared to Roz's.

Saks and/or the editor should NEVER have kept that second "OFF!!" in; it sounds like the bark of a junkyard dog.

It doesn't help that Lucy's dress looks like an all-white version of the doorman outfit she wore as "Smith" in "Lucy and the Hollywood Premiere"

 

Is that the great Peggy Cass as Gooch? Yes, the auntie mame version is much too theatrical for my liking and Lucy's version is very badly directed. Notice how the funny lines were split between Lucy and Bea whereas Roz got to do them all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I'll have to see Auntie Mame now. Looks so enjoyable! So energetic and full of life. Lucy didn't act the scene bad, but Saks's direction is so abysmal. No styling or whatever, just blandness. And I agree about Lucy coming across too harsh. It should've been played more for laughs. She should've done her energetic, busybody Lucy schtick but she didn't, and just came across bitchy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Watching Auntie Mame now, it's divine! Roz is so brilliant. The scene where she's trying to get dressed and have Vera help her with her wigs is hysterical.

I don't even remember that scene you're describing . . . the most annoying thing to me about that movie is the brat who played the prissy little kid, LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that the great Peggy Cass as Gooch? Yes, the auntie mame version is much too theatrical for my liking and Lucy's version is very badly directed. Notice how the funny lines were split between Lucy and Bea whereas Roz got to do them all.

 

 

I think Lucy's version of Mame is way better than Rosalind Russell's version. Roz's version was very talky and boring. It wasn't funny and very long. I could not sit through Roz's version a second time. However, Lucy's version is a joyfull, jubiliant romp. Lucy is outstanding as Mame and her singing is passable. The Jerry Herman songs didn't require great vocals. I saw a clip of Angela Lansbury's version on Broadway and she looked stiff and sang like a bird. Angela doesn't have star power. Her only good role was in The Manchurian Candidate in 1962. She was never a leady lady and her TV series was the most corny drama on television. Roz on the other hand was a good actress but not better (in my opion) than Lucy. Roz made a few good films but didn't maintain longevity like Lucy. I think the critics tore Lucy's performance down because she is an icon - they like to tear you down when you're at the top and in 1974 Lucy was still at the top. The film over the years has been rediscoverd on DVD and is a top seller. Lucy's version can be watched over and over again and I plan on watching again during the holidays. It's a very feel good movie and was unjustly crucified by the critics in 1974 at a time when musicals were dead and people were going to see dreadful stuff like Last Tango In Paris (the pits).

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Lucy's version of Mame is way better than Rosalind Russell's version. Roz's version was very talky and boring. It wasn't funny and very long. I could not sit through Roz's version a second time. However, Lucy's version is a joyfull, jubiliant romp. Lucy is outstanding as Mame and her singing is passable. The Jerry Herman songs didn't require great vocals. I saw a clip of Angela Lansbury's version on Broadway and she looked stiff and sang like a bird. Angela doesn't have star power. Her only good role was in The Manchurian Candidate in 1962. She was never a leady lady and her TV series was the most corny drama on television. Roz on the other hand was a good actress but not better (in my opion) than Lucy. Roz made a few good films but didn't maintain longevity like Lucy. I think the critics tore Lucy's performance down because she is an icon - they like to tear you down when you're at the top and in 1974 Lucy was still at the top. The film over the years has been rediscoverd on DVD and is a top seller. Lucy's version can be watched over and over again and I plan on watching again during the holidays. It's a very feel good movie and was unjustly crucified by the critics in 1974 at a time when musicals were dead and people were going to see dreadful stuff like Last Tango In Paris (the pits).

 

Your comment got a +1 and I'm also commenting on it to say HEAR HEAR! Very well said! Completely agree!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Lucy's version of Mame is way better than Rosalind Russell's version. Roz's version was very talky and boring. It wasn't funny and very long. I could not sit through Roz's version a second time. However, Lucy's version is a joyfull, jubiliant romp. Lucy is outstanding as Mame and her singing is passable. The Jerry Herman songs didn't require great vocals. I saw a clip of Angela Lansbury's version on Broadway and she looked stiff and sang like a bird. Angela doesn't have star power. Her only good role was in The Manchurian Candidate in 1962. She was never a leady lady and her TV series was the most corny drama on television. Roz on the other hand was a good actress but not better (in my opion) than Lucy. Roz made a few good films but didn't maintain longevity like Lucy. I think the critics tore Lucy's performance down because she is an icon - they like to tear you down when you're at the top and in 1974 Lucy was still at the top. The film over the years has been rediscoverd on DVD and is a top seller. Lucy's version can be watched over and over again and I plan on watching again during the holidays. It's a very feel good movie and was unjustly crucified by the critics in 1974 at a time when musicals were dead and people were going to see dreadful stuff like Last Tango In Paris (the pits).

O M G , will YOU marry ME? I plan on playing it at Christmas also, it's a real feel good movie with the greatest star who ever lived!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry all, I have to stand with the majority here. Roz gets my vote for this one. Again, my problem with the musical isn't so much Lucy as the film itself. It's poorly made, and did little to complement any of its stars. Just beacuse Miss Ball is in it doesn't necessarily mean I'll like it. Not even she could save everything she did. I don't know where all the Lansbury hate comes from, but she was marvelous on her album. Had Angela done it the film would no doubt have gotten better reviews, but with Saks behind the wheel it still would've suffered from many of the problems that plagued the version we do have.

 

And I think a lot of the problem critics had with Lucy wasn't so much her performance but rather her attitude about the film. Even Fidelman in The Lucy Book commented on one interview she did plugging the film where she came across exceptionaly haughty, which led to it never being rebroadcast. A lot of people got rubbed the wrong way by how smug she was about it. She showed absolutely no humility or grace in promoting that film, and they took her to task for it. I'm not saying all their criticism was warranted, but she didn't play the game the way she should've. I think the film community felt affronted that a television star had the gall to criticise the film industry and they didn't let her get away with it. Perhaps it would've been different if her performance were truly oustanding, but as it is she hyped herself to a degree that not even she could live up to. It was just bad luck all around. She may have won more favour with the critics if she'd been just a bit more humble.

 

Even I'd probably like her performance more if she had behaved more like a lady during the leadup to the film. I understand she was very proud of it, and nothing wrong with that, but I'm not a fan of tooting one's own horn too loudly no matter how much you feel you've earned it. I had the same issue with Madonna in Evita. Her whole spiel about "nobody else could've pulled the role off like I could" was extremely offputting. I don't care how big of a star you are, there is always somebody else capable out there who could've done what you did equally or better no matter what you say.

 

The circumstances and timing were just not right for Mame. It was too little, too late. The ear of big musicals like that was essentially gone, and it had a star who showed a lot of potential but was just a little too basso in the voice, too creaky in the hinges to fully pull it off, in spite of giving it her best effort. Not to mention an inexperienced director who doomed the film's quality even before the cameras were rolling. Even Bea Arthur regretted doing it later, and apparently Jerry Herman wasn't pleased with the outcome either. Naturally a lot of people do like it, and it does have its charms, but it will never be the highlight credit for anyone involved in its production.

 

Auntie Mame remains popular for a reason and I'm so glad I got to watch it last night. Both Mames are worth a second look, flaws and all. It's all history and none of it should be forgotten.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't the person to issue a negative (although I do disagree with your opinion Lotus Bud) but I am really annoyed if someone removed the negative on purpose! The whole point of these plus and minuses is to agree or disagree with someone so if there is a negative next to a comment - WHO CARES??? Accept the fact that someone didn't like your comment and MOVE ON! Hence the whole reason for my thread about the +1 and -1's. If they are going to be manipulated just to keep the peace then I suggest they are removed! And it also looks like comments have been removed (which I also think is wrong) because it ruins the integrity of a thread!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What comments do you think have been removed?

 

If you recall, Loungers voted to keep the points system but if this back and forth nonsense of people people complaining about getting too many negatives or too few positives, certain people getting more positives than others, cancelling out negatives or positives, and blah, blah, blah, they are going to have to go. Can't guarantee, however, that the scores that have been accumulated already will be retained through. Doesn't say in the manual. I've already had to tweak the parameters of the program for point abuse (I honestly cannot believe I just typed that), so this is the next logical step.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't the person to issue a negative (although I do disagree with your opinion Lotus Bud) but I am really annoyed if someone removed the negative on purpose! The whole point of these plus and minuses is to agree or disagree with someone so if there is a negative next to a comment - WHO CARES??? Accept the fact that someone didn't like your comment and MOVE ON! Hence the whole reason for my thread about the +1 and -1's. If they are going to be manipulated just to keep the peace then I suggest they are removed! And it also looks like comments have been removed (which I also think is wrong) because it ruins the integrity of a thread!

 

No, no comments were removed, everything's remained in tact. It was just the principle of it. I have no real issue whatsoever with how many points I've accumulated. That's irrelevant. I just feel that a rebuttal or counterargument is more productive most times than a plus or minus. Whether or not you remove the system is no big issue, in the grand scheme of things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, however, while I do enjoy Roz's interpretation of Auntie Mame, I do not like the film as a whole. Morton DaCosta's old fashioned fade-almost-everything-to-black approach. That being said I don't think it is fair to compare the two versions of Mame as "Auntie Mame" is obviously far truer to the book while "Mame" the musical (Broadway and film) butchers the book into an entirely different beast, culling characters and storylines into its own thing. Pitting Roz's Mame against Lucy's Mame isn't exactly comparing apples to oranges, but maybe apples to pears. LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, however, while I do enjoy Roz's interpretation of Auntie Mame, I do not like the film as a whole. Morton DaCosta's old fashioned fade-almost-everything-to-black approach. That being said I don't think it is fair to compare the two versions of Mame as "Auntie Mame" is obviously far truer to the book while "Mame" the musical (Broadway and film) butchers the book into an entirely different beast, culling characters and storylines into its own thing. Pitting Roz's Mame against Lucy's Mame isn't exactly comparing apples to oranges, but maybe apples to pears. LOL

 

 

I'll have to do a side by side look at both of them. I'm more familiar with the storyline of the musical than the original book/play/film, so seeing Muldoon in place of Gooch for the first half of the film was slightly jarring.

 

And I know what you mean about Roz. She was better than the film itself. Like "Mame", both suffered from feeling too stage bound at times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, my mistake. I just got the feeling that a comment had been removed. As I've mentioned, sometimes people don't have the time or simply can't be bothered responding, hence why they will just +1 or -1 the post. Brock, I know you're referring to me re. point abuse and I presume calling me Tallulah Bankhead - not even sure what that means! LOL! (maybe it's better I don't know what it means) :marionstrong:

 

Stay or go, I really couldn't care less but I'll plus or minus a post as I see fit (and in all honesty, I think I've only ever negated two posts since being a part of this lounge)

 

Cheers, Miki

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and I presume calling me Tallulah Bankhead - not even sure what that means! LOL! (maybe it's better I don't know what it means) :marionstrong:

 

:lucyhaha: Don't take it the wrong way, it just goes with the flow of the Lucy reference.

 

:lucy1: She already thinks I'm a sneak and a bumbler, you wouldn't want her to think I'm a fibber too!

:desi1: But you ARE!

:lucy1: Well, YOU know it and I know it, but I don't see why Tallulah Bankhead has to know it too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:lucyhaha: Don't take it the wrong way, it just goes with the flow of the Lucy reference.

 

:lucy1: She already thinks I'm a sneak and a bumbler, you wouldn't want her to think I'm a fibber too!

:desi1: But you ARE!

:lucy1: Well, YOU know it and I know it, but I don't see why Tallulah Bankhead has to know it too!

 

LOL! Don't worry, I didn't take it to offence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...