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The life of a Norwegian immigrant family in 1910 San Francisco centers around Mama and her detailed, pennywise household budget. We follow the Hansens' small joys, sorrows, and aspirations, with the boisterous antics of Uncle Chris as counterpoint.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Funny, warm movie about Norwegian family in San Francisco before WW I. How Irene Dunne lost the Oscar to Jane Wyman (Johnny Belinda) is a mystery. Dunne is so totally wonderful in this film--and what a film. Beautifully directed by George Stevens, he captures all the humor and life of this family. Stevens also uses techniques like fore- and background action--there's always several things going on in every scene. He also uses overlapping dialog 20 years before Robert Altman made it fashionable. And what a perfect cast. Irene Dunne (maybe her best performance ever) stars with Barbara Bel Geddes, Oscar Homolka, and Ellen Corby (heartbreaking yet funny as Trina)--all Oscar nominated. Then there is Philip Dorn, Edgar Bergen, Rudy Vallee, Hope Landin, Edith Evanson, Barbara O'Neil, Florence Bates, Cedric Hardwicke, and Steve Brown. The novel by Kathryn Forbes spawned this movie, a play, a TV series, and finally a Broadway musical. At one point Greta Garbo was considered as Mama, and even Marlene Dietrich sought the role. Thank goodness they gave it to Irene Dunne! The aunts as played by Corby, Landin, and Evanson are wonderful. And oh BTW, Homolka lost to Walter Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, while Corby and Bel Geddes lost to Claire Trevor for Key Largo.
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