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I Remember Mama

Irene Dunne , Barbara Bel Geddes , George Stevens    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Product Description


This high point in the 1940s vogue for movies about family life at the turn of the century was directed by George Stevens (Shane), and stars Irene Dunne as the matriarch of a Norwegian family that faces hard knocks with grace in 1910 (or so) San Francisco. Based on John Van Druten's hit play (derived from Kathryn Forbes's autobiographical memoir), the film is gorgeously rendered and quite moving as an act of memory. The sterling cast of character actors--Edgar Bergen, Rudy Vallee, Oscar Homolka, Barbara Bel Geddes, Ellen Corby, Cedric Hardwicke--add great texture and a depth of experience that make the film feel quite lived-in. Hardwicke's turn as a penniless boarder who "pays" his rent by reciting from classic literature is a special highlight. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For that old-fashioned feeling! March 29 2009
This movie will make you laugh and cry and recall all the family feelings you had or that you wish you had experienced. It is as special today as it was when it first came out. Set in a 1910 LA a family shares its heart with the modern viewer. It has a startling cast of characters, both as actors but also as the characters depicted. Definitely a family film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old & sweet times Jan. 4 2004
Format:VHS Tape
It was an otherwise uneventful New Year's weekend when we popped this video into our VCR. Quickly the story brought tears to our eyes as we so easily identified with the people, of a time long ago in California. We grew up in the days when I Remember Mama was a weekly and "live" T-V program with Peggy Wood. Surely this series was inspired by the movie with Irene Dunn handling the lead role. My wife and I pondered the distance entertainment has traveled since the days of 1910 as portrayed in this classic film. It is safe to say that even in those days there would have been disfunctional families; not every family was like the Larson's. But it was a sweeter time, a time when family members seemed to care for each other in ways seldom depicted in today's films and TV programs. It is a film which can stand along side others like Fiddler on the Roof, Its a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story. Its a film worth watching often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stor godt! Nov. 3 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is a must see for those of us of scandinavian descent.
It has all the qualities of a good family film; sorrow, laughter, you name it. Fantastic.
or as one would say in scandinavian, so meget god (so very good)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family Values Take Centre Stage July 17 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This episodic film tells the story of a Norwegian immigrant family living in San Francisco at the beginning of the twentieth century. Irene Dunne gives a terrific performance as the title character who is the moral and emotional core of the family. Various episodes in the family form the basis of the story, some humorous and some more sober. It's great to see a family where values are important and everyone does their part. Oscar Homolka as a frightening uncle and Ellen Corby as Mama's frightened sister standout in a strong supporting cast. The film pays tribute to a wonderful mother, but it also plays tribute to the support that comes from the family unit. It's nice to see this kind of story once in a while!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...but most of all, I remember Mama" May 24 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The timeless story of the self-sacrifices a mother makes to assure her family (especially her children) always have everything they need is a best selling novel, a charming Broadway Musical, and best-know as the star-studded 1948 movie classic.
Irene Dunn plays "Mama", the matriarch of a Norwegian immigrant family in early 1900's San Francisco. She and "Papa" are poor, but proud, raising several "American born" children. A repeated statement that they "won't have to go to the bank" eventually is revealed as a "white lie" told by Mama so the children wouldn't worry about the family's financial state. There really was no "bank".
The narrator is a teenage girl (wonderfully played by Barbara Bel Geddes), giving the viewer an insight into her extended family, often sharing funny moments, but also showing very touching scenes. A young Ellen Corby ("Grandma Walton") is wonderful as Aunt Trina, who is not taken seriously by her relatives, but gains respect when she is courted and wed by a man who loves and treats her well.
The film introduces each family member individually, then discribes the person, until the viewer seems "at home", knowing everyone well. The film climaxes with the lead character (Bel Geddes) reading the introduction to her first published book ("I Rememeber Mama"). -- This film is a delight to watch from beginning to end. Be sure to keep a box of kleenex within reach! This film has my highest recommendation!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Collectable.... June 5 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A Classic; "Worth It's Weight In Gold" ..... I'm Very Happy to have it in my collection....Happy Happy Happy Happy.....
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just Average Transfer for a Classic Family Saga March 5 2005
By Nix Pix
In retrospect George Steven's production of "I Remember Mama" is the high water mark in 1940s family life melodrama. Set at the turn of the last century in San Francisco, the film stars the usually scatterbrained Irene Dunne; on this occasion as the tender yet determined matriarch, Martha Hanson. Together with her husband, Lars (Philip Dorn) and extended family (buttressed by a stellar cast including Barbara Bel Geddes, Cedric Hardwicke, Ellen Corby, Rudy Vallee, Edgar Bergan and Florence Bates) the Norwegian clan weathers some hard knocks and poignant moments with grace and charm. This is one of those elegant little `jabs of pleasure' that American cinema used to dole out en masse during its golden age, but now seems rendered in exceedingly short supply. Based on John Van Druten's hit play (derived from Kathryn Forbes's autobiographical memoir), the film is a veritable feast for the heart and mind; a richly textured and moving experience - not to be missed.
Unfortunately more could have been done to clean up this print before rushing it out to DVD. Warner's transfer is marred by a considerable amount of age related artifacts. Though the gray scale is nicely balanced at times, the image often tends to exhibit an overly soft quality that is more blurry than evocative of mood or style. There is also a considerable amount of film grain present in most scenes. Otherwise, black and contrast levels on the whole tend to be deep and nicely balanced. There are no digital anomalies. The audio is mono and suffers at times from a muffled characteristic. Background hiss is detected in quiescent scenes. A brief introduction by the director's son, George Steven's Jr. is all the extras you get. Bottom line; this film still gets my recommendation for a must have Christmas stocking stuffer. It may not be presented here in its optimal condition but regardless, is sure to warm the heart throughout the holidays and beyond.
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