Auntie Mame began as a novel by Patrick Dennis (aka Ed Fitzgerald), then was adapted into a long-running Broadway play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. This 1958 film version permits Rosalind Russell to recreate her stage role as Mame Dennis, the flamboyant, devil-may-care aunt of young, impressionable Patrick Dennis. Left in Mame's care when his millionaire father drops dead, young Patrick (Jan Handzlik) is quickly indoctrinated into his aunt's philosophy that "Life is a banquet--and some poor suckers are starving to death." Social-climbing executor Dwight Babcock (Fred Clark) does his best to raise Patrick as a stuffy American aristocrat, but Mame battles Babcock to allow the boy to be as free-spirited as she is. In 1974, Auntie Mame was remade as the filmmusical Mame with Lucille Ball.
by Hal Erickson synopsis