Movie Mom

Movie Mom

I Remember Mama

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Profanity:Uncle teaches child to swear to help manage pain
Nudity/Sex:Very mild references
Alcohol/Drugs:Mild reference to drinking problem
Violence/Scariness:Mild tension and peril, child injured, sad death
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:1948
DVD Release Date:2004
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Profanity: Uncle teaches child to swear to help manage pain
Nudity/Sex: Very mild references
Alcohol/Drugs: Mild reference to drinking problem
Violence/Scariness: Mild tension and peril, child injured, sad death
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date: 1948
DVD Release Date: 2004

Kathryn Forbes’ memoirs of her Norwegian immigrant family are lovingly brought to life in this classic, often found on television on Mother’s Day. Mama is played by the luminous Irene Dunne, far from the sophisticated comedies and glossy romances she appeared in with Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, and Spencer Tracy. She presides over a large extended family with wisdom and good humor, and, in the best possible sense of the term, family values. A daughter’s adored cat who is injured, a roomer who skips out on the rent, a shy sister who wants to marry her timid gentleman friend, a gruff uncle who is not going gently into that good night, another daughter who wants to write—she handles them all so smoothly that it isn’t until the writer daughter sits down to tell her story that they see what she has done for all of them. i%20remember%20mama.jpg
This movie provides a good opportunity for a discussion of honesty. Mama bends the rules more than once. She pretends to be a washerwoman at the hospital when she is told that her daughter cannot have visitors. She gently blackmails two of her sisters so that they won’t tease the third about her fiancé. She doesn’t tell Dagmar the truth about her cat. And, she lies to her children about the bank account so that they will feel secure. Yet she has an essential honesty and all of her actions are grounded in her devotion to her family and her strong sense of values, lovingly communicated to her children.

  • Steven Robinson

    Simply, a movie I can watch time and again, and shed some tears time and again.
    I am lucky to have similar memories of my own, mostly recent immigrant, family.
    This film, is good.

  • Nell Minow

    Oh, Steven, I am so glad you wrote! I also love this film. It is funny, touching, inspiring, heart-warming, with so many unforgettable moments — one of my favorites.

  • Cindy K.

    I was born in 1955 and I am now 53,but I remember watching this movie as a child/teen and as an adult. The mother sitting at the table with her change trying to put them aside for bills. She reminds me of my mom,except my Mom would sit on her bed with small baggies and dividing up my Dad’s paycheck, for the bills.
    I really loved all the movies and the series of I Remember Mama. There are stories and recipes someplace on the internet. I am going to look for those links again. They are real nice.
    Take care,
    Cindy from Mass.

  • Jackie

    I agree this is a wholesome, gently humorous family film. But maybe you could have posted SPOILER ALERT, before explaining the film’s finale?

  • Nell Minow

    Good point, Jackie. There is a different standard about spoilers for older films, and I did not really consider what I said to be a big reveal but it is always good to remember that even old movies are new to people who have not seen them before. Thanks for writing!

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