I don't find the big screen Mame as offensive as some theater fans. You can get by with a Mame and Vera who can act the crap out of their roles. Lucille Ball just happened to sound worse by comparison because Bea Arthur sang quite well*. But honestly? I think Lucy is quite good in this film. She's entertaining, wry, and has great chemistry with Bea.
But how do you defend a performance where the star herself says that she can't sing?
But I can't. I'm not good at it. It's very tough for me but I did it.
By suggesting that anyone who has an interest in Lucille Ball off of the small screen track this film down. Mame is a great musical and this film does it justice.
Oh yeah, and with this performance of "If He Walked Into My Life." Heartbreaking.
*I love Bea Arthur's singing voice. I wish she got to do more recordings than she did as a singing actress. I wish more composers took advantage of her lady bass range and wrote her some killer roles. At least we have Vera. We'll always have Vera.