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BAD MOVIE ALERT: MAME

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That sounds about right. I doubt that includes overseas grosses (probably not much).

 

...and I wouldn't be surprised if it did well in Germany. (They have such odd, masochistic tendencies and tastes.)

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I did come across quite a few interesting tidbits from the trivia section for MAME at imdb:

 

Madeline Kahn was originally cast as Agnes Gooch but was replaced right after shooting began. She was later told that when she reported for work on the set, star Lucille Ball took one look at her, realized that Kahn's curvaceous body could never be made to look like the frumpy, somewhat shapeless Agnes Gooch, and had her fired. Some sources claim that Kahn got herself fired on purpose so she could star in Blazing Saddles (1974) and still get paid, which by her contract wouldn't have happened if she'd merely quit.

 

Jerry Herman worked with Lucille Ball to improve her singing, but she could barely sustain even for one sentence without becoming winded. Even simple phrases like "Open a new window" had to be pieced together from multiple takes. Audio engineers tried to use whatever methods of processing existed at the time to make her vocals sound passable.

 

This film was originally intended to be released in late 1973 so that it would be close to the Oscar nomination season. However, when Warner Brothers executives screened the final results they admitted that its Oscar prospects were highly unlikely, and pushed the release back to the spring of 1974.

 

Costumes designed by Theadora Van Runkle for this movie often turn up in other productions. The loose, flowing white gown Lucille Ball wears during "Loving You" was worn (with a different belt) by Suzanne Pleshette in the television movie Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (1990), while the stylish dress, coat and hat Mame wears when she first takes Patrick to Ralph Devine's school is worn by Jane Alexander in Malice in Wonderland (1985). Currently, the red dress from the "It's Today" number is on display at Universal Studios Hollywood's Lucy exhibit.
 

 

In later interviews, Lucille Ball would say that making this movie "was about as much fun as watching your house burn down." Reportedly she found the costumes uncomfortable, and the hats and wigs induced headaches.
 
BUT MOST INTERESTING OF ALL IS THIS:

 

Angela Lansbury recalled her time when she was playing Mame on Broadway and was visited by Lucille Ball who told her she was amazing in the part, deserved all the honors she was receiving and was a cert for the film version. Lansbury was very touched by this until she noticed Ball in the wings during her performance, taking notes. It was then that she realized that she was never going to play the part in the film.

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...and I wouldn't be surprised if it did well in Germany. (They have such odd, masochistic tendencies and tastes.)

 

 

LOL. The dubbing for Ball had to be an improvement!!!

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LOL. The dubbing for Ball had to be an improvement!!!

 

I do so hope they got the same person who dubbed Kim Novak's German voice in THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE to do it!!!!

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I did come across quite a few interesting tidbits from the trivia section for MAME at imdb:

 

Madeline Kahn was originally cast as Agnes Gooch but was replaced right after shooting began. She was later told that when she reported for work on the set, star Lucille Ball took one look at her, realized that Kahn's curvaceous body could never be made to look like the frumpy, somewhat shapeless Agnes Gooch, and had her fired. Some sources claim that Kahn got herself fired on purpose so she could star in Blazing Saddles (1974) and still get paid, which by her contract wouldn't have happened if she'd merely quit.

 

Jerry Herman worked with Lucille Ball to improve her singing, but she could barely sustain even for one sentence without becoming winded. Even simple phrases like "Open a new window" had to be pieced together from multiple takes. Audio engineers tried to use whatever methods of processing existed at the time to make her vocals sound passable.

 

This film was originally intended to be released in late 1973 so that it would be close to the Oscar nomination season. However, when Warner Brothers executives screened the final results they admitted that its Oscar prospects were highly unlikely, and pushed the release back to the spring of 1974.

 

Costumes designed by Theadora Van Runkle for this movie often turn up in other productions. The loose, flowing white gown Lucille Ball wears during "Loving You" was worn (with a different belt) by Suzanne Pleshette in the television movie Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean (1990), while the stylish dress, coat and hat Mame wears when she first takes Patrick to Ralph Devine's school is worn by Jane Alexander in Malice in Wonderland (1985). Currently, the red dress from the "It's Today" number is on display at Universal Studios Hollywood's Lucy exhibit.
 

 

In later interviews, Lucille Ball would say that making this movie "was about as much fun as watching your house burn down." Reportedly she found the costumes uncomfortable, and the hats and wigs induced headaches.
 
BUT MOST INTERESTING OF ALL IS THIS:

 

Angela Lansbury recalled her time when she was playing Mame on Broadway and was visited by Lucille Ball who told her she was amazing in the part, deserved all the honors she was receiving and was a cert for the film version. Lansbury was very touched by this until she noticed Ball in the wings during her performance, taking notes. It was then that she realized that she was never going to play the part in the film.

 

 

LOL. I hadnt heard about the Ball taking notes story, but I did know most of the other stuff. Ball had Kahn fired. Some said she thought Kahn would upstage her. Unsure if Kahn ever went public as to what the reasons were. Didnt a bio on her just come out? Maybe some reader could comment (Kahn, I mean)

 

I had heard they had to piece together Ball's singing. She couldnt sustain a phrase or hit the right key. For that reason they couldnt release the soundtrack in stereo as planned.........Wonder why she wasnt dubbed? Did she have it in her contract they had to use her voice? (LOL) Am sure they regretted that if so........

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ps- it's crazy it cost so much money to make, there's just no reason for it, it's a pretty intimate story told on mostly one set, you could've done it for half as much as they did. 

Still, as good as it might now look on home video, it looked cheap when it was released in theaters, at the end of the roadshow era, where we were used to seeing films projected in 70MM and 6-track stereophonic sound.  35MM mono, just didn't cut it.

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I do so hope they got the same person who dubbed Kim Novak's German voice in THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE to do it!!!!

 

 

LOL!!!

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Thanks, now that you mention it: I see it. (Don't know why I missed it before, I am famous for missing things right under my nose.)

 

$6 mil in 1974 wasn't chump change- and considering how bad the film was, it's respectable. If the film had been worth a damn, it might well have done great business.

 

ps- it's crazy it cost so much money to make, there's just no reason for it, it's a pretty intimate story told on mostly one set, you could've done it for half as much as they did. 

 

 

When you consider almost half of the gross came from Radio City Music Hall, the gross is paltry indeed....

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I love the music for Mame. If this was being made into a feature film now, who would you cast as Mame, Vera, Gooch and Beau?

 

 

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When you consider almost half of the gross came from Radio City Music Hall, the gross is paltry indeed....

Yes, especially considering that RCMH had very few films flop, since when the venue still showed movies, the theatre itself was a major tourist attraction regardless of what film was playing. (Rockettes!).

 

Funny - Ms. ball's line about the making of the film not being much fun - VIEWING the film was less fun than watching one's house burn down!

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Yes, especially considering that RCMH had very few films flop, since when the venue still showed movies, the theatre itself was a major tourist attraction regardless of what film was playing. (Rockettes!).

 

Funny - Ms. ball's line about the making of the film not being much fun - VIEWING the film was less fun than watching one's house burn down!

 

Yes, especially the Christmas and Easter attractions.  It was smart of them to book it there. 

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LOL. I hadnt heard about the Ball taking notes story, but I did know most of the other stuff. Ball had Kahn fired. Some said she thought Kahn would upstage her. Unsure if Kahn ever went public as to what the reasons were. Didnt a bio on her just come out? Maybe some reader could comment (Kahn, I mean)

 

I had heard they had to piece together Ball's singing. She couldnt sustain a phrase or hit the right key. For that reason they couldnt release the soundtrack in stereo as planned.........Wonder why she wasnt dubbed? Did she have it in her contract they had to use her voice? (LOL) Am sure they regretted that if so........

There was such an enormous backlash when Audrey Hepburn got the role of Eliza, that from that point forward, women stars were very apprehensive to be dubbed in movie musicals.  People, today, would find it difficult to believe how major a news item Hepburn's casting was.  None of it positive.  I am sure that is what was behind Lucy's not allowing herself to be dubbed.  I even recall her addressing it on talk show, prior to MAME's release.  I think it was THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW.  I also remember her stating that Lansbury had, in effect, turned the movie role down, stating that she preferred to work on the stage.  Which, of course, was not true.  I don't believe the bit about Lucy taking notes in the wings.

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Credit should be given to Ball for wanting to create an appealing piece of family entertainment at a time when more adult fare dominated cinema.

That naturally leads to the question of why so much family entertainment of the time, such as Fleischer's DOCTOR DOLITTLE, was so bad. It seems family entertainment did not get back on its feet until 1977, when STAR WARS came along. I personally suspect it was because so much of it was addressed to a kindergarten mentality, whereas SW appealed to a more developed mentality.

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Credit should be given to Ball for wanting to create an appealing piece of family entertainment at a time when more adult fare dominated cinema.

That naturally leads to the question of why so much family entertainment of the time, such as Fleischer's DOCTOR DOLITTLE, was so bad. It seems family entertainment did not get back on its feet until 1977, when STAR WARS came along. I personally suspect it was because so much of it was addressed to a kindergarten mentality, whereas SW appealed to a more developed mentality

It did????!!!!

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Credit should be given to Ball for wanting to create an appealing piece of family entertainment at a time when more adult fare dominated cinema.

That naturally leads to the question of why so much family entertainment of the time, such as Fleischer's DOCTOR DOLITTLE, was so bad. It seems family entertainment did not get back on its feet until 1977, when STAR WARS came along. I personally suspect it was because so much of it was addressed to a kindergarten mentality, whereas SW appealed to a more developed mentality

 

 

I'm not sure how much more developed mentally Star Wars was but it did create a new genre for films that still exists today. Musicals, never really recovered from the failure of roadshows in the late 60s even though they continue to be produced sporadically......

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I had heard they had to piece together Ball's singing. She couldnt sustain a phrase or hit the right key. For that reason they couldnt release the soundtrack in stereo as planned.........Wonder why she wasnt dubbed? Did she have it in her contract they had to use her voice? (LOL) Am sure they regretted that if so........

Maybe if the movie had been titled LUCY SINGS: BLESS HER HEART, instead of MAME, maybe people would have been in on the joke and enjoyed it more.

 

cause you know, bless her heart.

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There was such an enormous backlash when Audrey Hepburn got the role of Eliza, that from that point forward, women stars were very apprehensive to be dubbed in movie musicals. People, today, would find it difficult to believe how major a news item Hepburn's casting was. None of it positive. I am sure that is what was behind Lucy's not allowing herself to be dubbed. I even recall her addressing it on talk show, prior to MAME's release. I think it was THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW. I also remember her stating that Lansbury had, in effect, turned the movie role down, stating that she preferred to work on the stage. Which, of course, was not true. I don't believe the bit about Lucy taking notes in the wings.

great post, and I should have specified that the trivia section of IMDB should be taken with the saltiest and grainiest of grains of salt.

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I love the music for Mame. If this was being made into a feature film now, who would you cast as Mame, Vera, Gooch and Beau?

it needs to be re translated to validate redoing it, so if it has to be done, I would do it as UNCLE MAME, with Terence Stamp and or Ian McKellen and/or Derek Jacobi and/or Patrick Stewart as MAME and/or Vera.

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So....

n i p s and G o o c h are censored, but the "T" word makes it through with a clean pass.

Makes sense.

 

ps- that's a word I've personally dropped from my vocab, albeit it with some effort, because as someone who's been called a name or two in the past, I know they can sting....but I leave it up to you to make your own choices.

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I cannot, for the life of me, seem to find an image of either that I "have permission to post in this community" (have any of you been having this issue a lot lately?) but I would also suggest Lady Elaine Fairchilde as Mame and Madame as Vera.

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I don't see how Mame could work, even restructured--the world has changed too much since the 1960's,when it was written.

 

Edit: I have had no posting issues.

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I have just unsuccessfully tied to post TWENTY FIVE DIFFERENT images in a row and have been told I don't have "permission."

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I don't see how Mame could work, even restructured--the world has changed too much since the 1960's,when it was written.

 

Edit: I have had no posting issues.

Then be a dove and post a couple pics of Mame and Lady Elaine Fairchilde so you all can get the joke...

 

Thankseverso.

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