Category Archives: Auntie Mame

SCHEDULE: Rosalind Russell Birthday Marathon on TCM tomorrow June 4!

Here is the schedule for tomorrow’s marathon in Roz’s honor:

NOTE: All times are in Eastern Standard Time. If you’re like me and are in PST, all of these movies will be on 3 hours earlier for you!

6:15 AM EST They Met in Bombay (1941)

Starring: Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell

Rival jewel thieves on the run find love in the Far East.

clark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay
Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell in They Met in Bombay (1941)

8 AM EST Fast and Loose (1939)

Starring: Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell

Married book-dealers Joel and Garda Sloane investigate the killing of a noted collector.

robert montgomery rosalind russell fast and loose
Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell in Fast and Loose (1939)

9:30 AM EST A Majority of One (1961)

Starring: Rosalind Russell, Alec Guinness

A Jewish widow falls in love with a Japanese businessman.

rosalind russell alec guinness a majority of one
Rosalind Russell and Alec Guinness in A Majority of One (1961)

12 PM EST Auntie Mame (1958)

Starring: Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker

An eccentric heiress raises her nephew to be a free spirit.

Rosalind russell auntie mame
Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame (1958)

2:30 PM EST The Trouble with Angels (1966)

Starring: Rosalind Russell, Hayley Mills

Two free spirits cause problems at a convent school.

rosalind russell the trouble with angels
Rosalind Russell in The Trouble with Angels (1966)

4:30 PM EST No Time for Comedy (1940)

Starring: James Stewart, Rosalind Russell

A wealthy culture vulture tries to steal a playwright from his actress wife.

rosalind russell james stewart no time for comedy
Rosalind Russell and James Stewart in No Time for Comedy (1940)

6:15 PM EST The Feminine Touch (1941)

Starring: Rosalind Russell, Don Ameche

An author writing a book on jealousy discovers his wife is an expert on the subject.

rosalind russell don ameche the feminine touch
Rosalind Russell and Don Ameche in The Feminine Touch (1941)

Rosalind Russell: In Memoriam (June 4, 1907-November 28, 1976)

rosalind russell
Rosalind Russell (June 4, 1907-November 28, 1976)

Remembering Rosalind Russell today, who passed away on November 28, 1976. Just like three years ago, the anniversary of her passing once again falls on Thanksgiving. Roz is my favorite actress and my idol. Ever since I saw Auntie Mame and The Women in late 2009, she has fascinated me. Some people say I am her biggest fan and I even have a website dedicated to her. I have not been a fan very long, but I can’t imagine admiring another actress as much. She had that amazing ability to make you laugh until your ribs hurt and make you cry sometimes in the same movie. Not every actress can do that, although I know of several talented actresses who can. She had a way about her that let everyone around her know that her philosophy in life was to live life to the fullest, carrying her head high and a smile on her face. It is that philosophy that made me adore her more and more as I read more about her in the infancy of my fandom. I think she is a marvelous actress, but more importantly, she was a wonderful human being who gave much of her time to charities near and dear to her. This charitable work included causes for infantile paralysis and for arthritis. It is not always well-known, but she worked tirelessly for a cure for arthritis long before she came down with rheumatoid arthritis in the early 1970s. Above all, she had a sense of humor, no matter what she may have been suffering through—and with RA and breast cancer hitting her in her later years, she was a very strong woman. Strong, intelligent, witty, beautiful, joyful, entertaining, a loving wife and mother, talented, kind, charitable. These are words that describe Rosalind Russell, and so many more can be used. I do not think she was perfect, but I thought she was a tremendously admirable human being. Rest in peace, Miss Russell <3

Favorite Characters?

Many of you already know and have read about my favorite character of all time, Mame Dennis from “Auntie Mame.” But let me tell you about a few more of my favorites. A few obvious favorites are Sylvia Fowler from “The Women” and Hildy Johnson from “His Girl Friday.” These are purely comedic characters and make me laugh out loud. I am not sure if all of you know, but comedy is my favorite genre of film (no, you probably already knew that, ha ha). I like these characters for different reasons besides making me laugh. For instance, I like Sylvia not because of her sweet personality (because there isn’t an ounce of sweetness there) but because of her insane antics, her hilarious physical comedy, and… okay, her physical comedy. I have always been a sucker for physical comedy. I think it’s just perfect to get a laugh out of people and it’s something you could easily encounter in daily life, too. Ever seen one of your friends trip and fall or run into a door when you weren’t looking? Admit it. It’s funny! Now, why do I love Hildy Johnson?

cary grant rosalind russell
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday” (1940)

Because of her brains, her wit, and yes, her rapid speech! I have always been drawn to movies that have fast dialogue. There is something about quick banter back and forth that I think is absolutely enthralling and amusing. And in my opinion, practically no one could and ever will deliver dialogue as quickly and as brilliantly as Rosalind Russell.

What about some dramatic characters? After all, those types do exist in her filmography. You could include those “Lady Mary” types she played in the beginning of her career, but they weren’t exactly my favorite. I am not a fan, really, of snobby, “nose-in-the-air” types, although when she does it, I like them anyway. A favorite of mine is her characterization of Harriet Craig in “Craig’s Wife.”

john boles rosalind russell
John Boles and Rosalind Russell in “Craig’s Wife” (1936)

One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is because she actually scared me when I watched it the first time. That’s right–Roz actually scared me in a movie of hers! That’s unheard of. As she said in her book, she was “playing a meanie” and she did it very well. This was her iconic ice queen role and she did a great job, even though she didn’t want to play this role at first. Another dramatic character I love very much is Rosemary Sidney, the “old maid schoolteacher” in “Picnic.” She didn’t exactly have a very big role in this movie (although she received very special billing), but I had never seen a finer piece of acting by Rosalind Russell. You could tell she really dove into the part and gave it her all. She gave the role so much desperation, so much pity, that you could only feel sorry for her. She may have made a fool of herself in the dance scene when she got drunk and forced poor William Holden to dance with her, ripping his shirt in the process. And in the next scene, when she pleads so desperately with her boyfriend Howard Bevans to “please marry me… please…” you can only cry for her.

arthur o'connell rosalind russell
Arthur O’Connell and Rosalind Russell in “Picnic” (1955)

While I’m on the subject, who are some of your favorite comedy characters and dramatic characters that Rosalind Russell played?

I want an "Auntie Mame"!


Where can I start on talking about the best movie of all time (in my opinion)? My experience with this particular film started when I caught the movie by accident on Turner Classic Movies because I had heard it was a funny movie. Suffice to say, I couldn’t stop laughing from the incredible kaleidoscope opening titles to the end about two and a half hours later, when Auntie Mame says, “I’m going to open doors for you, doors you never even dreamed existed. Oh, what times we’re going to have. What vistas we’re going to explore together. We’ll spend a day at an ancient Hindu temple. The head monk is a friend of Auntie Mame’s. And perhaps he’ll let you ring the temple bells that bring the monks to prayer. And then on the highest tower, you can see the Taj Mahal. Beyond that is a beautiful…” as her words fade into the glittery rhinestones that spell out “The End.” There is something unbelievably magical about this film and this is THE film that brought Rosalind Russell the actress into my view.

Not long after enjoying this movie for the first time, I received the book it is based upon, Auntie Mame: The Irreverent Escapade, which in turn introduced me to the marvelous comic writing talent of Patrick Dennis. Anyone who has seen this film has probably noticed that the little boy who Auntie Mame has taken charge of is named Patrick Dennis. Well, the boy is loosely based on Patrick Dennis the author (whose real name was Edward Everett Tanner III). Long story short, I could not put this book down because it was just brilliant and so darn witty. As soon as I started reading it, I could seeRoz as Auntie Mame. Once I finished that book and saw the film again, I knew Roz was Auntie Mame. There was just no comparison between her and anyone else who may have played the part on stage or on film in the comedy or the musical version. (P.S. If you didn’t know it already, Roz originated the role on Broadway just a couple years before she did the film version, being replaced by the great Greer Garson while she filmed the movie).

Now, let’s talk best scenes. I personally could say I just adored every scene and was entertained by everything, but to pick a few favorites isn’t hard.

A favorite scene of mine involves Auntie Mame getting a very small part in her best friend Vera Charles’ play “Midsummer Madness.” Now, Auntie Mame’s best friend Vera is a piece of work, let me tell you. First of all, she is from Pittsburgh, but speaks with a pretentious British accent. As the following conversation between Auntie Mame and young Patrick proves, what else was she to do?

Patrick Dennis: Is the English lady sick, Auntie Mame? 

Auntie Mame: She’s not English, darling… she’s from Pittsburgh. 
Patrick Dennis: She sounded English. 
Auntie Mame: Well, when you’re from Pittsburgh, you have to do something. 

She is the star of this play and acts like a star through and through. Auntie Mame, on the other hand, having a very small part, decides to bring some very flashy and very noisybracelets to make herself stand out in the thankless part. This only causes trouble, as one can deduce… She causes so much of a ruckus with her bracelets that she ruins the entire play and even gets her gaudy bracelets stuck to the back of Vera’s cape. This is what I call funny physical comedy and I enjoy it every time I watch it.

“I’m stuck!”
Another favorite scene of mine occurs after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and she gets a job as a switchboard operator. This is where Rosalind Russell’s amazing verbal comedy comes into play. Roz fans all know that if there’s one thing she’s known for, it’s her rapid, sometimes biting line delivery. In this scene, she gets tongue-tied and confused by all the plugs on the switchboard

 A case in point:

Widdicome, Gutterman, Applewhite, Bibberman and Black. You want to talk to Mr. Gutterman? One moment, sir. I’ll connect you. Widdicome, Gutterman, Applewhite, Bibberman and Black. Oh, yes Mr. Bibberman. You’d like to talk with Mr. Applewhite? Oh, yes, sir, he’s in. I’ll connect you. Widdicome, Gutterman, Applewhite, Bib-bib-bib-blib-bibman and Black? Oh yes, long distance, how are you? Oh. Mr Widdecome? I have your San Francisco call for you. Yes, Mr. Bibberman? Oh. Did I connect you to Mr. Gutterman instead of Mr. Applewhite? I’m sorry Mr. Bibbicome, Bibbibibbib…

Mind you, anyone would get tongue-tied trying to say names like Widdicome and Bibberman, but we don’t have to say them. We just have to watch Auntie Mame get tongue-tied and laugh our heads off.

While there are so many specific scenes I could keep talking about, I have to end with probably my favorite scene. I call it “Auntie Mame and the Horse Capers.” After she has fallen in love with Beau, she mistakenly lets an ex-girlfriend of his know that she knows how to ride a horse (of course she cannot), and so she’s got herself stuck at a fox hunt “riding to the hounds” with the rest of the southern family and friends. In my opinion, this could not get funnier, as she is wearing riding boots that she can’t even put her whole feet inside, and then is given an evil horse from hell named “Meditation.” Once she finally ends up on the horse, it goes riding off in the opposite direction, trampling over flowers, passing the hounds and even the fox, in the end jumping over the veterinarian’s truck. Auntie Mame lands in a bush, holding the steering wheel and the fox nestled under her jacket.

“I caught the brass ring!”

I have to mention a character who doesn’t even come until the second half of the movie named Agnes Gooch. This character was not nearly as funny in the book as Peggy Cass made her out to be. The woman should be applauded for making such a hilarious character come to life.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie between her and Auntie Mame:

[Pouring Agnes a drink] 
This will calm you down. 

Agnes GoochOh, no! Spirits do the most horrible thing to me. I’m not the same person! 
MameWhat’s wrong with that? 
Agnes Gooch: Will it mix with Dr. Pepper? 
MameHe’ll love it! Drink! 

Ha! I have repeated that line everywhere from my home to the supermarket (after all, there is Dr. Pepper there). I can’t get enough of it. I could obviously go on and on about this magical movie that is about the only thing that’ll make me happy when I am having a really depressing day (I walk away from it smiling every time), but then this post might never end. I actually started writing this for a little website I am making for a class (I needed content to add), but this has been fun and the full article is going here on my blog and not on the website, obviously.

I’ve had fun finally writing about my favorite movie of all time and I hope you enjoyed reading about it…

And of course, I should end with this:

Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! 


Photo of the Day

I feel like I became a recluse recently or something, and completely forgot about my blog. I need to turn my life around and get going on this blog as well because it does make me happy when I write for it. I just forgot about that joy. By the way, I will be helping out with the Classic Actress Tournament again, which I guess will start in March. This means that I need to start making my list for the 1940s era of classic actresses. Of course, if you have any suggestions of an actress you’d like to compete as one of the 32 actresses, let me know 🙂 Thank you!

Sorry about the watermark, but I thought you’d enjoy this one because Roz’s son, Lance and husband, Freddie are in it. I love family photos! This was, of course, when she was filming “Auntie Mame”