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Lucille Ball stars in this film version of the hit Jerry Herman Broadway musical, which featured an electrifying performance by Angela Lansbury.
As Patrick Dennis' plucky and resilient Auntie Mame, Ball's low-pitched, growling moan of a voice (a spine-chilling reminder of the sound of Linda Blair's demon-possession in The Exorcist) and her gaudy and lumbering fashion-horse gait turns Mame into an elderly cross-dresser. In this guise, Mame rehashes the plot from Dennis's novel and the previous non-musical Rosalind Russell film.
During the Depression era 1930s, she enrolls her nephew into a liberal private school, tries a turn in show business (with the help of her friend Vera [Beatrice Arthur]), and marries a well-to-do Southern planter (Robert Preston).
After her husband's death, Mame concerns herself with her now grown-up nephew, his girlfriend, and the girlfriend's intolerant parents.