Reviews

An I Love Lucy Episode is Always Funny and Fun to Watch No Matter How It is Presented

As always, the I Love Lucy cast is charming, funny, and a pleasure to watch.


I Love Lucy: The Movie and Other Great Rarities

Distributor: Paramount
Cast: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley
Release Date: 2010-04-27
Amazon
Lucy: Here I am with all this talent bottled up inside of me and you’re always sitting on the cork.

Ricky: Now Lucy…

Lucy: I’m gonna get in that show if it’s the last thing I do!

Combining three episodes from I Love Lucy’s first season, I Love Lucy: The Movie used newly-filmed scenes and introductory footage to connect the material into one full length feature film. The release of the movie was shelved due to a conflict in competing with another Lucy and Desi movie, The Long, Long Trailer. The movie was then forgotten until it was rediscovered in the Paramount vault in 2001.

The movie is bookended by a sequence involving a couple excited to be a part of the audience of the I Love Lucy show. They initially get an introduction into the behind-the-scenes workings of a television show, but then do not show up again until the end of the episodes when they are shown leaving the studio. The three episodes (“The Benefit”, “Breaking the Lease”, and “The Ballet”) used for the movie revolve around a rift between the Ricardos and The Mertzes, as well as the classic Lucy storyline of wanting to be in the big show.

As always, the I Love Lucy cast is charming, funny, and a pleasure to watch. The obvious chemistry among all four of the stars is clear right from the beginning. The first season plainly showcased the quality of the writing and acting of what would go on to be a classic sitcom. Ball really gets the opportunity to shine in her typically desperate attempts to get in on any performance she can. Arnaz is also very good in the opening sequence serving as host to the studio audience and explaining the wonders of television filming – exuding a natural warmth, especially when introducing Vance, Frawley, and Ball.

In some ways, I Love Lucy: The Movie is difficult to review as anyone familiar with the series would recognize that it is clearly made up of separate episodes, regardless of how seamless the connecting material is woven in. Plus, chances are even a casual fan has seen at least one of these episodes at some point. Essentially, the episodes are self-contained and despite the additional material they still feel like three different episodes. However, in the end, the material is a success, regardless if viewed separately or as one feature. An I Love Lucy episode is always funny and fun to watch no matter how it is presented.

The DVD also includes the only I Love Lucy episode filmed in color, “Lucy Goes To Scotland”. This episode is quite high concept that includes an element of fantasy thrown into the mix. It's noticeably a departure from what the series is generally known for. Lucy’s dream of visiting Scotland to look up her mother’s relatives is literally framed as a dream in which conversations between Lucy and Ricky, and Fred and Ethel play a prominent role. Suffice it to say that Fred and Ethel in a dragon costume is a key component of the dream. In the end, the episode reads as an interesting experiment, but not nearly as engaging as one of the series’ regular episodes.

Other extras include a short clip from The Ed Wynn Show featuring the first joint television appearance by Lucy and Desi; clips from the Sixth Annual Emmy Awards centered on I Love Lucy; and an original commercial filmed on the set of the series. The footage from the Emmys is a special treat and offers a real glimpse into the early days of the television industry. The days of the huge awards show spectacle are years away and the ceremony feels much smaller and more informal.

Although never theatrically released, the film has already been included in the I Love Lucy: The Complete Series set. For fans that bought the seasons individually or just never purchased the complete series, this release has some nice supplementary material that is understandably well sought after.

7

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.