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Trivia / Mame

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  • Box Office Bomb: While the film version was made on a small budget of $12 million, it only grossed over half of that amount at the box office.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: Covers of "We Need a Little Christmas" frequently play on the radio during the winter holiday season.
  • Creator Backlash: Bea Arthur regretted her involvement in the 1974 film musical. Alhough she'd loved working with Angela Lansbury in the stage production, Arthur called the film a "tremendous embarrassment" and made no secret of her opinion that Lucille Ball was miscast in the title role. She'd never wanted to make the movie without Lansbury in the first place, but her husband was director Gene Saks, and Arthur later said he essentially guilted her into doing it.
  • Role Reprise: Bea Arthur and Jane Connell, who respectively played Vera Charles and Agnes Gooch in the original Broadway production, reprised their roles for the 1974 film.
  • Self-Adaptation: Gene Saks, who directed the original Broadway show, also directed the 1974 film.
  • Similarly Named Works: No relation to the arcade emulator.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Lucille Ball got the worst reviews of her life for the film, whose box-office failure was largely attributed to her miscasting in the title role. She never made another theatrical movie before her 1989 death.
  • Star-Making Role: The original Broadway production made Angela Lansbury into a major star after over two decades of mostly playing supporting parts.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • George Cukor was supposed to direct the film version, but after its production was delayed for nearly a year due to Lucille Ball breaking her leg skiing, he was forced to withdraw due to other commitments and replaced with Gene Saks, who'd helmed the original Broadway show.
    • Madeline Kahn was originally cast as Agnes Gooch in the film, but Lucille Ball disliked her performance and had her replaced with Jane Connell, who'd played the character on Broadway.
  • You Look Familiar: Willard Waterman, who'd played Claude Upson in the 1958 Auntie Mame film, appeared as Dwight Babcock in both the 1966 and 1983 Broadway productions.