I picked up the book "The Mammy" at a bookstore on a whim. Flipping through it to make sure it would be appropriate for a young friend, I found myself completely entertained by this woman who despite having 7 children herself, is still charmingly ignorant about "organisms". I had to read sections out loud to my family so they could figure out the reasons for my delighted chuckles. Recently and suddenly widowed, she struggles to make sure her children are taken care of and have pride in themselves. Her challenge to explain life to her children as they enter puberty, poverty and the vulnerability of being a family without an adult male are funny at times, but would be heartbreaking if we did not also feel that Agnes Browne does not WANT us to feel sorry for her or her family.
Only later did I connect this book with an Angelica Huston picture I had heard about but never seen, called "Agnes Browne". Needless to say, I had to watch it.
Initially, it was hard for me to see the patrician Ms Huston in such a downtrodden role, but eventually, I began to see her AS Agnes Browne.
Agnes' relationship with her friend Marion is one of the true great friendships of sisterhood, making it all the more hilarious in the car scene and all the more heartbreaking at the end of it.
If I had to pick at this movie at all, I would pick at the lessened extent to which her children are just as much victims of being poor and fatherless. And I was so hoping that Harry Webb (AKA Cliff Richard) would make an appearance. In the movie, Tom Jones comes to fulfill the lifelong dream of Agnes Browne. A most deserving heroine.