This witty and heart-warming Technicolor comedy was based on the phenomenally successful novel and Broadway and London plays concerning a batty Bohemian who, following the adoption of her orphan nephew, loses her money in the Wall Street crash, struggles desperately to keep up appearances, eventually marries a rich man, is soon widowed, starts to write her biography when her nephew reaches manhood and after he has a son of his own blithely sets out to ” educate ” her grand-nephew.
The film gave Rosalind Russell the chance to duplicate on the screen her stage triumph, and she seized it.
10-year-old orphan Patrick Dennis (Jan Handzlik) becomes the ward of his highly unconventional Auntie Mame (Russell).
Mame is devoted to the boy, but her way of life so shocks stuffy banker trustee Dwight Babcock (Fred Clark) that he insists that Patrick be sent to a distant academy.
Mame’s assets are wiped out in the Wall Street debacle, and – at the suggestion of her hard-drinking actress friend Vera Charles (Coral Browne) – she tries her hand on the boards and as a telephone operator and a salesgirl, but with disastrous results.
Later, she weds Beauregard Burnside (Forrest Tucker), a wealthy Southern gentleman. During their world tour honeymoon – which lasts eight years – Beauregard, a keen photographer, steps off a ledge on the Matterhorn as he is snapping Mame, thus widowing his spouse.
The now-adult Patrick (Roger Smith) persuades Mame to write her memoirs, and she engages Agnes Gooch (Peggy Cass), a goggle-eyed blue-stocking, and Brian O’Bannion (Robin Hughes), a phoney Irish literary man, to help her.
Subsequently, Mame realises that Patrick is a prig and cunningly shatters the romance between him and Gloria Upson (Joanna Barnes), a snooty dumb blonde.
Finally, Patrick falls for Pegeen Ryan (Pippa Scott), Mame’s comely new secretary. They marry and have a son, and on the lad’s tenth birthday, the irrepressible Mame decides it’s time she assumed the responsibility for his future.
Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside
Young Patrick Dennis
Sally Cato MacDougall