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re: The character of Beau in MAME vs AUNTIE MAME
Posted by: Michael_Portantiere 09:12 am EDT 03/24/20
In reply to: The character of Beau in MAME vs AUNTIE MAME - Amiens 08:32 pm EDT 03/23/20

"Perhaps by the 1970s building up Beau's character seemed essential for some reason (and Robert Preston's casting enforced it). The source material is more of a lark and IMHO got more treacly and less anarchic with every succeeding version."

Thanks for the analysis, Amiens, and I certainly agree that Beau was pretty much a plot device in the original. Of course it's natural that the stage musical would beef him up a bit and give him some romantic/sentimental significance, as it is a musical. And as for adding that song for the character to the movie, I assume that may have been partly to make the role more attractive for Preston, partly to have a new song that would presumably be eligible for an Oscar nomination, and also just to have a new song that would be sung by someone who could actually sing very well.

I do think that SOME of the changes made when AUNTIE MAME was adapted as a musical were for the better -- for example, the combination of the characters of Nora and Gooch, and the complete elimination of the incredibly tiresome character Brian O'Banion.
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