'I Remember Mama' Movie, 'Gunga Din': George Stevens on DVD

I Remember Mama movie'I Remember Mama' movie DVD cover featuring Irene Dunne.

'I Remember Mama' movie version, 'Gunga Din' and two George Stevens documentaries on DVD

Two George Stevens movie classics, I Remember Mama and Gunga Din, and two George Stevens Jr documentaries about his father – George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey and the made-for-television George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin – are four Warner Home Video DVDs scheduled to become available on Dec. 7, '04. Below is some brief information about each movie.

'I Remember Mama'

Based on John Van Druten's play, itself an adaptation of Kathryn Forbes' novel Mama's Bank Account, the RKO-released 1948 movie I Remember Mama is a family drama starring Best Actress Academy Award nominee Irene Dunne (as the mama “I” remembers), who delivers one of the most affecting performances of her remarkable two-decade-plus film career.

I Remember Mama also features three other Oscar-nominated performers, all of them shortlisted in the supporting categories: Barbara Bel Geddes (later of Dallas fame, as the “I” who remembers her mama), Ellen Corby (later of The Waltons fame), and Oskar Homolka. DeWitt Bodeen (Cat People) was credited for the screenplay.

Curiously, even though both Irene Dunne and George Stevens were RKO contract talent in the 1930s, I Remember Mama was their first – and last – film collaboration.

Stiff Best Actress Oscar competition

Note: In one of the most competitive years in the history of the Best Actress Oscar category, five-time nominee Irene Dunne lost to Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda.

For the record, the other nominees were:

'Gunga Din'

Set in colonial British India and officially based on Rudyard Kipling's poem of the same name, Gunga Din (1939) is an adventure tale featuring Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Victor McLaglen, and Joan Fontaine in roles similar to those created by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur for their 1928 play The Front Page: Grant and McLaglen do their best to keep Fairbanks in the army and away from the arms of fiancée Fontaine. (In the play and its several direct film adaptations, tabloid editor Walter Burns does his best to keep ace reporter Hildy Johnson in the paper and away from the arms of his wife-to-be.)

In brown make-up, Sam Jaffe (Lost Horizon, The Asphalt Jungle) is the “Good Indian” who saves the day. Hecht and MacArthur were credited for Gunga Din's “story.”

George Stevens Giant James DeanGeorge Stevens with 'Giant' co-star James Dean.

George Stevens documentaries

The documentary George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) features interviews with the likes of:

And finally, the made-for-television George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin (1994) was the winner of three Emmy Awards.

George Stevens movies on DVD: 'Giant,' 'Woman of the Year'

Besides the upcoming George Stevens movies I Remember Mama and Gunga Din, other Stevens titles already available on DVD include the following:

  • A two-disc set of the critical and box office hit Giant (1956), starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. Stevens' sprawling oil-and-ranchers epic earned him his second Best Director Oscar. (The first one was for another Elizabeth Taylor movie, the 1951 socially conscious romantic drama A Place in the Sun, also starring Montgomery Clift and Shelley Winters.)
  • The romantic comedy Woman of the Year (1942), the first pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, earned the latter a Best Actress Academy Award nomination.
  • Alice Adams (1935) boasts another Oscar-nominated Katharine Hepburn performance. Stevens' early socially conscious romantic drama also features Fred MacMurray as Hepburn's knight in shining dress suit, and scene-stealer Hattie McDaniel in a hilarious supporting role as the (Hepburn) family's maid.

The suggested retail price for I Remember Mama, Gunga Din, and the two George Stevens Jr. documentaries is $19.97 each.

 

Image of Philip Dorn, Oskar Homolka, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Irene Dunne on the DVD cover of George Stevens' 1948 movie I Remember Mama: Warner Home Video.

James Dean and George Stevens Giant image: Warner Bros.

'I Remember Mama' Movie, 'Gunga Din': George Stevens on DVD © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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