Mame is the right kind of remake for the Christmas season. Well, it’s the musical version of the classic coded 50s film. Have you heard We Need A Little Christmas? Well, it’s from this musical/film/novel. If you can handle Lucille Ball singing and dancing with Bea Arthur, then you might enjoy it. Honestly, I like to think of it as Ball’s last big hurrah before she got sick. Most of my early memories are of Lucy looking like death on Joan Rivers’ talk show.
Lucille Ball was looking to define a new era in her career. The material works at a superficial level, but you keep finding yourself why you aren’t watching the original film. I’ll still give it credit for looking so crisp for the era. But, there are way too many odd casting choices and slavish devotion to the source material. Plus, it feels 20 minutes longer than it should be for something lighter. Oh well, I’d still recommend it to Lucy fans.
If you are a fan of 1950s drama that gets closer to the source material, then check out our review of the original movie. Somehow, the 1970s version lacks any real bite for some odd reason.
Mame is now available from Warner Archive!