Because 603 posts wasn''t enough to cover everything there is to say about this film and Lucy''s beloved performance in it
So glad you started this OP because I have a question. Did Janis Paige ever play Mame? That clip of Jane Morgan reminded me of Janis except for Jane''s slide trombone phrasing of the lyrics.
The Janis Paige Fan Club
Janis Paige replaced Lansbury in Mame, I think.
I don''t think it was Janis. I think it was Ann Miller who replaced Lansbury.
You are WRONG, r3. Janis Paige did replace Lansbury, followed by Jane Morgan, and then finally Ann Miller.%0D\
The other Broadway Mame was Celeste Holm, who did it during Lansbury''s vacation.
Also, for the record, the Broadway Mames in the straight play were Russell, Miss Greer Garson (whose performance I would LOVE to have seen), and Lady Peel (Beatrice Lillie).
No, Ann Miller came after Janis Paige. %0D\
Paige was the first Mame replacement. Celeste Holm, who did the national tour did do the role while Lansbury was on vacation but it was Paige the replacment. I think Jane Morgan was third followed by Ann Miller.
And let''s not forget that Ginger Rogers headed the London company and Susan Hayward, the ''tab'' version in Vegas.
Now that we''ve settled that matter, can we please get the thread back on track to its original purpose: the heated debate about whether or not Lucy was good in the movie.
Anyone know who took over for Celeste Holm in the tour? Did she do the entire tour?%0D\
Was there a second bus and truck tour?
I know Gretchen Wyler and Constance Towers did the role in stock
[quote]Susan Hayward, the ''tab'' version in Vegas.%0D\
What''s a "tab" version?
Tab version----Las Vegas would pare the show down to 90 minutes. Got to get those gamblers back out to the tables.%0D\
The one show that currently plays in Vegas and is full length is MAMMA MIA! Maybe JERSEY BOYS. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA clocks in at 90 minutes and believe me, it''s an improvement!%0D\
When HAIRSPRAY played Vegas, it was cut back to 90 minutes.
Mame? When did I eat Mame?
The DVD was not released in stereo but in mono.%0D\
It is in anamorphic wide screen so it looks good on widescreen TVs.
I'll never forget seeing Helen Lawson, who replaced Totie Fields, who replaced Joyce Van Patten, who replaced Rhonda Fleming, who replaced Opal Bailey (Pearl Bailey's semi-retarded cousin), who replaced Celeste Holm as Mame, one matinee when I attended as a chaperone for the Staten Island Blind League's Annual Manhattan Field Trippe. Miss Lawson quickly realized that 80% of the 60%-full house was as sightless as her bald pussy, and proceeded to park her ass on a folding chair with a bottle and what looked like a very large shot glass, and recite her part while reading a combination of Variety, the Racing Form, and some yellowed fan mail with her feet up on a table. Hence the comment about her blind, bald pussy.
Nevertheless, the audience loved the performance, although the other actors obviously were at a loss of what to do with the blocking in lieu of their star's presence. The male dwarf they had playing Gooch (No, not Michael Dunn. The other one.) finally ran over and tried pulling her chair closer to center stage, and Lawson proceeded to hit him over the head, forgetting her cigarette and drink, setting his Gooch wig on fire. The few sighted people in the audience screamed, and the blind people thought something risque was happening and started clapping and shouting in a strange suggestive manner that I assume they thought was what adult Manhattanites did when "turned on." Luckily the little man was doused before the flames reached scalp or scruff.
Lawson attempted a bow at the end but fell out of her chair and when the curtain closed only her head was visible, without a spotlight on it or anything. But I had six ladies to tend to and by then it was raining and all those slickers to get arranged.
A memorable day!
But the Lucy movie made me rather wish I was blind. In fact, she was filmed through so much Vaseline I actually thought I had cataracts and I spent $75 at the eye doctor to be told that it was Lucy and not my eyes that was at fault.
I never posted on the other thread but I have to say that I saw it on VHS (I rented it myself!) when I was 12 and I loved it. I love Lucy.
The original Broadway MAME was down to three choices - Angela, Nannette Fabray & Dolores Gray.%0D\
I would have KILLED to have seen Gray. Did she ever do it in stock?
Well, if they were all so hot for Nanette and Dolores, it seems pretty strange to me that neither of those ladies ever did the show on Broadway or one of the tours. Neither were exactly very busy in the late 60s.
Karen Grassle was supposed to do Mame in Vegas fairly recently (within the past decade) but got cold feet and backed out at the last minute. Once she bailed so did most of the investors and there went that.
Lucie Arnaz said in her one woman show that Gene Saks made her lose 20lbs for Mame which severely impaired her health and her singing and dancing skills.
Who the fuck is Karen Grassle?
Karen Grassle is no Lillian Keegan, that''s fer sure.
Why would Gene Saks make Lucie Arnaz lose 20 pounds? Why would he care what she weighed?
Supposedly Lucie Arnaz is going to be playing Mame somewhere - I think in the autumn - I read it online someplace. Can''t believe it hasn''t been mentioned yet.
[quote] I stand by my sources. Not only did Depalma BEG Lucy to play the Angie Dickinson part he gave her veto power on the Michael Caine role.\
Your "sources" lied to you. It never happened. Check with DePalma himself.
Sorry R 22, Lucie said that Gene made her mother lose 20lbs (said she was too hippy to be a flapper and no one would by her if she didn''t drop the lbs pronto!)
[italic] "She didn''t want to be typecast." You don''t get typecast doing one film every fifteen years. [/italic]\
He''s referring to Manchurian Candidate. Lansbury felt Nurse Ratchet was too close to the character she''d already played in "The Manchurian Candidate."
Sorry, r24, you are wrong. DePalma was very vocal in Hollywood at the time about how sexually magnetic he found Lucy.
You''re lying, r27. Look up any Brian DePalma source and you''ll find that he wanted Liv Ullmann to play Dickison''s role - not Lucille Ball.\
Maybe your friend misheard DePalma describing how he found Lucille Ball "sexually pathetic" and he thought he said "sexually magnetic." That must be it.
I don''t need to look anything up, r28. I heard from his own mouth at a cocktail party how he used to screen MAME late at night and visualize the heat Lucy would have brought to the sex scenes.
[quote]Well, if they were all so hot for Nanette and Dolores, it seems pretty strange to me that neither of those ladies ever did the show on Broadway or one of the tours.%0D\
The producers wanted Nanette badly but she refused to audition for them. Her feeling was that they ought to know her work and if they really wanted her they''d simply cast her. Lansbury later scoffed at this attitude as she herself went through multiple auditions before putting her foot down and saying, "cast me now or lose me forever." %0D\
As Nanette felt it was beneath her to audition she (and perhaps Dolores Gray) would have also felt it was unbefitting her alleged star status to replace someone else on Broadway.
Oh yes, it made so much more sense for Nanette to just sit out the 1960s on her Palm Springs veranda.
She was waiting for the next revival of "Arms and The Girl".
Dumb Dumb Nanette
I know this is heresy....and I love Angela, but...%0D\
I wish Gray would have gotten it.
She would have been FEERSE!
This has got to be the gayest thread IN THE WORLD........Darling.
The Mame DVD is in mono? Why do they do that? Just so they can put out a "special edition" with stereo sound down the road?\
And how many times has the Roz Gypsy been put out on DVD, and still no stereo sound?!
I agree, R33. I love Gray and didn''t know she was considered for the role until the first Mame thread. Fabray though, I don''t know about that one.
R35- The Rosalind Rissell / Natalie Wood GYPSY DVD is in 5.1 surround. At least the first release was. Just checked.%0D\
Don''t know about the one that came with the Natalie W. collection.%0D
R14''s post is genius. I''m weeping with laughter at my desk!
Dolores Gray (who did audition) would have been glam as Mame, but she would have been colder than ice in the role. She would have been much more suited for Vera Charles.
Someone''s posted a whole bunch of audio clips of a 1966 Mame rehearsal on YouTube. Fun to hear Bea and Angie perform the cut "Camouflage," and hear Angie sing "Love is Only Love.''\
There''s also an audio of Anne Francine and Angie doing "Bosom Buddies," and Francine isn''t nearly as funny as Bea.
[quote]The Mame DVD is in mono? Why do they do that?\
Because if they had released it in stereo, Lucy would have sounded like you were sitting in a swamp, surrounded by a chorus of frogs.
R22/23/24/26/28/41/42 practically carries the thread on her own, doesn''t she? It''s always nice to have an arbiter around to make sure everything is kept ultra correct. Let''s see what she has to say about the quality of other posts, once she''s done contributing her insights and trivia. I''ll bet she even checks troll-dar for us!
r44 is just pissed because he got caught posting weird shit on the Jessica Lange thread, and because he tried so very hard with that long Helen Lawson post when Helen Lawson jokes are as tired as his ass.
By "weird shit" R45 means the usual DL silliness. She is on a tizzy and running around troll-darring like a mad hatter. Since her favorite usage on this thread is to call people liars, you see what you have. Of course she is a font of knowledge, but like all specialists there is a lack of - uh - other qualities, leading to some scary behaviors. I''ll certainly try not to provoke it in the future. It''s too ugly.
Angela Lansbury sounds like a WASP getting fucked up the ass when she sings. She''s a little too virginal for the role. Bea you could believe as Mame. %0D\
The first "Mame" thread was taken over by ATC trash who still play the soundtrack on their wrecka players. Let''s try to steer this one towards more sane waters. %0D\
The poster in R45 and the rest is really over the top. If he wants to be the queen of this thread, fine, but stalking people on other threads makes him an ass hole.
Wow. That queen at R45 (and everywhere else) really thinks she owns this thread, and others, apparently. \
R14, I loved your Helen Lawson story. I wish I had been there.
I love a good Helen Lawson story too. R14''s was one of the funniest in ages. %0D\
Why do people think Bea Arthur would have been a good Mame? Her singing voice is a sort of thin braying sound and she can barely sustain a tone. I can see her shouting her way through "It''s Today" but I can''t imagine her pulling off "If He Walked into My Life." %0D\
Also, you know how you feel a little sorry for young Patrick because his character was stuck living with Lucille Ball? I always felt that way about Phillip, Maude''s grandson on TV, because he had to live in a household dominated by Bea ("we can hear you!") Arthur.
[quote]if they had released it in stereo, Lucy would have sounded like you were sitting in a swamp, surrounded by a chorus of frogs.
Instead you've got a chorus of frogs in front of you.
I thought this had been settled. Lucy was all wrong for the part. Even Bea Arthur said so.
The late in the run review of Anne Francine in the Broadway company said she heaved her bon mots like anvils into the audience. The review was also eerily prescient in its prediction of super long running shows...it said something like "forty years from now I expect to go to the Winter Garden Theatre and see Judy Garland's great-granddaughter as MAME"
[quote]At least the Lucy-Mame version has all the fascination of a slow motion car crash: people still talk about it as if they were emotionally scarred during a viewing.
I like that quote from a previous Mame thread.
[quote]I would have KILLED to have seen Gray. Did she ever do it in stock?
May I ask a dumb question? What is "stock"? I just know it's what Christina said she was acting in in Mommie Dearest.
[quote]people still talk about it as if they were emotionally scarred during a viewing.
That's true. It took a long time to recover from that horrible film.
This could have been a great film with the right star. I wish there would be a do-over. CZJ could nail it!
Madonna should star in a remake--what a perfect bookend to Lucy's MAME that would be!
[quote]May I ask a dumb question? What is "stock"? I just know it's what Christina said she was acting in in Mommie Dearest.
I think it's summer stock.
Helen Lawson should've played Mame.
Dont know if this has been posted but the interviewer said word was going round Hollywood that Mame was one of the best musicals ever produced. Surely for Lucy's benefit. She seems a bit worried and desperate here that people go see it and that people like it.
R56 rent Summer Stock. It's the movie Judy Garland sang Get Happy in and you'll get the gist about summer stock theater.
Helen Lawson did a tab version in Atlantic City.
I meant in the movie, R64. She would've brought a certain [italic]je ne sais quoi[/italic] to the picture that Lucy lacked.
I saw Janis Paige play the title role in Mame in May 1968. It was during my high school senior class trip to NYC from Fredericksburg, VA. Also saw Lloyd Bridges and Betsy Palmer in Cactus Flower. Dinner at Mama Leones'. What a great time.
Janis Paige... Janis... Paige...
No, doesn't ring a bell.
... hey, you! I want flan, NOW!
It's time for a do over on Mame - maybe a TV version.
Christine Baranski as Mame? Pop Megan Mullaley as Vera.
Baranski and Mullaley sound like a good team for those roles.
Yes, its time for a new movie or TV version of MAME.
It's exactly 40 years ago that MAME with Lucille Ball opened at Radio City's Music Hall.
How about combining MAME on Broadway with another long-running show that's still on -- "MAME MIA."
Until recently it was the worst performance by a female in a lead role in a screen musical.
Then, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse: Carrie Underwood's Maria von Trapp.
I get the idea that Gene Saks was kind of an asshole. In the Bea Arthur interview linked to up thread, she says that Gene more or less ordered her to take the part in the movie, even though she didn't want to.
She also says that "Maude" destroyed her marriage. Was Gene jealous of her success?
"It's exactly 40 years ago that MAME with Lucille Ball opened at Radio City's Music Hall."
I would have expected DL to have an automatic override that would replace any instance of the typed words "MAME with Lucille Ball" with simply LUCY MAME (or LUCYMAME?).
Dear [R5], don't forget about me!
Lucy in MAME was good.
She was over criticized because of her fame and the fact she is not a singer. Like anything else that is over hyped or has someone beyond famous, expectations are too high. It was a good, fun, sweet movie. Should it be on the best 100 movies list? No. Is it worth seeing if you are a Lucy fan (even if not). Definitely.
Time for a redo? Maybe. As long as NBC does not have its fingers in it or you will get another remade garbage Sound of Music type show complete with Wal Mart type people.
NBC could redo MAME but only if the title role goes to Stephen Moyer.
[quote]Lucy in MAME was good... she is not a singer.
Brilliant!!!!! She was "good" in a musical, followed by "she is not a singer."
That's like saying "Gabourey Sidibe looks slim these days" followed by "she weighs 347 pounds."
Lucy sucked big ones in MAME. She was horrible. She was totally miscast. She ruined a wonderful musical.
"She ruined a wonderful musical."
A musical that so many people seem to love (not sure why), but has never had a successful revival on Broadway.
It did not suck.
There is also acting in addition to singing in a musical and in case you have not noticed, MOST people who are in musicals can't sing a note.
Are you implying that Lucy's acting was good in MAME, r80?
If it had been a remake of "Auntie Mame" (a non-musical) she still didn't have what it would take to carry it off.
What's with all the Lucy haters?
She was just fine. Should she have won an award, no (but many award winners also should not have, calling Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, etc.
Yes, Lucy was pretty good. Do you remember her TV move The Stone Pillow. Pretty good acting too.
R84, you don't have to be a Lucy hater to think Mame was a disaster.
I like Lucy for a lot of things, but she really should have retired around 1968 at the very latest.
Jeeze, we've got another hate-monger, too stupid to know the difference between not liking a performance and "hate."
Mame's theatrical trailer at link. (For those who haven't witnessed it.) It's better than the movie itself.
I think Lucy is okay in the movie. What I don't get and have never gotten is the love for the Rosalind Russell version, which is simply awful (Oscar nominated for it to boot!). Lucy's at least has some bad camp value to it. Russell in her prime was superb, but her late period work was wretched.
The Ball version would have worked better had Bea and Lucy traded roles. But no way would Lucy have agreed to play second to anyone during that period of her career.
The problem with Lucy is that she thought people would only accept her playing variations of Lucy Ricardo. The public never really got the full brunt of her talents those last twenty years, and that's a shame. She was a great actress.
Hopefully, someone WILL have something interesting to say. R14 alone redeems this thread.
Jane "Gooch" Connell died this year. Also too old for her role.
Does anyone remember Janis Paige's TV show early-mid 50s ' Its Always Jan" ? I think it was a summer replacement for Lucy
Janis Paige was the replacement for Angela Lansbury when Angela left the original Broadway production of MAME in the Spring of 1968.
The MAME replacements, bar Annie Miller, were rather uninspiring.
Ann Miller would have been better than Lucy in the film.
It's time for a good TV version of "Mame."
Starring Patrick Wilson as Mame.
Oh. That. Trailer. "The most versatile actress of all time."
Beatrice Arthur was so wooden, so disdainful of her character.
It is no surprise that she never got past the casting couch.
Lord, I was R14 and halfway through, having forgotten the post, was thinking that the queen who wrote it needed an editor. But it WAS a memorable performance.
It was the suggestion that Ann Miller would have been better than Lucy in the film. Ball was as bad as everyone (almost everyone) has said over the years - too old, too brittle, too slow, too lazy, too desperate, too past it - and lacking in the archness and clever-but-tending-to-smug-shallowness quality that gave Auntie Mame life. But in some ways she was recognizably human, at least.
Miller never, ever, not once, not a bit, ever ever conveyed the sense that, underneath the shellac, Max Factor and numerous simultaneous applications of the thousand bottles of perfume that she boasted of owning, she was human and that her characterizations were meant to represent a human being. She was a robotic - sometimes charming, weirdly pneumatic when dancing, startling in her grin - performer.
As a child I never could quite get the image of her sexless-but-thrusting, befringed crotch lurching repeatedly at the camera at great speed in SMALL TOWN GIRL. She would have been horrible as Mame, sucking the life force out of little Patrick instead of, as Lucy did, just intoxicating him with the nicotine vapors escaping from the crevices around her mouth every time she croaked a line.
[quote] Miller never, ever, not once, not a bit, ever ever conveyed the sense that, underneath the shellac, Max Factor and numerous simultaneous applications of the thousand bottles of perfume that she boasted of owning, she was human and that her characterizations were meant to represent a human being.
You should check out her studio recording of I'm Still Here.
40 years later and you old theater queens are still bitching slapping each other over her movie version of "MAME"?
Obviously Lucy did something right.
[quote] Obviously Lucy did something right.
Listening to Gary Morton, for one thing.
Bruce Davison, who of course has proven himself a fine actor, does his best. But why put him in swim trunks in the Upson Downs scenes opposite those two hunks, Boyd and Bunny?
Lots of people fingering themselves to stone pillow on this thread.
[quote]Obviously Lucy did something right.
Indeed she did. She made a deliciously awful movie that never ceases to amaze in its sheer badness. I posted on a Mame thread from long ago that we ought to bestow her with a posthumous medal or plaque for giving us bitchy queens countless hours of mean-spirited amusement.
She coaxed the blues right out of the horn and stomped those suckers flat.
[quote]She coaxed the blues right out of the horn and stomped those suckers flat.
That's my all-time favorite quote about this film.
Has there ever been a thread about "South Pacific"?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
That's a great post, R106.
Why does no one ever acknowledge that the title number is one of the most thrilling and goosebump-raising musical sequences ever committed to film? It even outclasses Streisand's Hello Dolly at the Harmonia Gardens. Geez, let's give the movie some credit for the few things that were done flawlessly!