The Lucy & Desi Collection (Too Many Girls / The Long Long Trailer / Forever, Darling)
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Lucy and Desi Collection, The (DVD) (3-Pack)
An All New 3-Disc DVD Collection from The First Couple of Comedy! Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz star in the only movies they made together - Forever, Darling, The Long, Long Trailer, and Too Many Girls.]]>
Besides making television history as the producers and stars of television's immensely popular I Love Lucy and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, starred in three quite agreeable feature films. The Lucy & Desi Collection includes the trio, all in excellent shape, plus a handful of nifty special features of archival interest. Many fans of Arnaz and Ball have probably seen one or both of the movies the duo made in the 1950s, at the height of their TV success: the 1954 The Long, Long Trailer and Forever Darling. Each is a comically cautionary tale about the dangers to marriage from misunderstandings, miscommunication, and differing goals. But the real find in this box set is the 1940 Too Many Girls, an energetic, Rodgers and Hart musical--direct from Broadway, with three original cast members (Arnaz, Eddie Bracken, and Van Johnson) making their movie debuts--in which Arnaz and Ball actually met.
Too Many Girls stars Arnaz as a South American athlete tapped by Princeton's football team to join its squad. The one condition is that he remain undercover until the season begins, forcing him to forgo women. Half-mad from deprivation, he shrugs off Princeton's heavy hand and agrees to join three football buddies hired to secretly chaperone a wealthy man's willful daughter (Ball) to a small, co-ed college in New Mexico. There the boys join the school's football team and immediately make it a success; of course, they also pitch woo to some comely young ladies. The Rodgers and Hart score is enjoyable, with a couple of minor classics ("You're Nearer" and "I Didn't Know What Time It Was"). The best moment, however, is Arnaz and Ball's very first scene together in what would become a historical partnership: Arnaz fainting at the sight of Ball, the first girl he's seen in months.
The Long, Long Trailer, in gorgeous Technicolor and directed by Vincente Minnelli, is a somewhat allegorical tale of a newly married couple who invest in a 40-foot trailer as their first home--and immediately regret it. Well, at least Arnaz's character does; he's the one who has anxiety attacks over operating electric brakes while steering up and down one-lane, mountain roads. Sight gags are plentiful: a scene in which Ball tries to make beef stew, a Caesar salad, and cake in a wobbling, moving trailer is classic Lucy. But there are some genuine dramatic sequences in this handsome movie, too, and the stars rise to the occasion. Forever Darling concerns the marriage of a sensible if visionary chemist, Lorenzo (Arnaz), and a high society gal, Susan (Ball). The latter can't decide if she should concentrate on entertaining friends and keeping up appearances or joining her husband on a two-year field test of his bug-killing spray. James Mason stars as a handsome guardian angel attempting to steer Susan toward happiness. But along the path toward resolution, lots of mayhem ensues. A lengthy camping scene full of disaster will delight I Love Lucy fans. --Tom Keogh
- Too Many Girls (1940)
- Vintage musical short "Frances Carroll and the Coquettes"
- Classic cartoon "Shop, Look and Listen"
- Theatrical trailer
- 1.33 aspect ratio, English mono
- The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
- Vintage Pete Smith Specialty short "Ain't It Aggravatin'?"
- 1954 MGM cartoon "Dixieland Droopy"
- 1.33 aspect ratio, English and French mono
- Forever, Darling (1955)
- Behind-the-scenes segment from the MGM Parade TV series, episode 22
- 1.85 anamorphic widescreen, English mono
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Top customer reviews
You get "Too Many Girls," the black and white movie where Lucille Ball met Desi Arnaz and two color films, "The Long, Long Trailer" and "Forever, Darling" both of which were filmed during the height of their popularity on I Love Lucy: The Complete Series.
Although it's difficult to separate Ball and Arnaz from their iconic roles as "Lucy & Ricky Ricardo," it's still fun watching them ham it up for the camera. Like I said in the headline all that's missing is Vivian Vance and William Frawley as their trusted side-kicks, but fans of "I Love Lucy" will spot many of the supporting actors and actresses, plus extras, that appeared on the TV show in these films.
The quality is excellent, especially the two color films where fans get treated to seeing Lucy and Desi in color. In "Forever, Darling," Ball sports some of the wardrobe she wears as "Lucy Ricardo" on TV, so fans get another feast seeing the fashions as they would've looked to a studio audience.
To top it off each DVD comes with extras, which I'm wondering if these were played in movie theaters back in the day, either during intermission or before the start of the movie, so it gives today's audience a glimpse of the past:
* TOO MANY GIRLS * EXTRAS
Frances Caroll & The Coquettes - 09:16-minutes -- fabulous all-female swing band that really play up a storm!
Cartoon: Shop, Look & Listen - 07:56 -- mice take a tour of a closed department store.
* THE LONG, LONG TRAILER * EXTRAS
Ain't It Aggravatin? - 08:19-minutes -- short film showing the funny situations that happen in life that can get on one's nerves.
Cartoon: Dixieland Droopy - 07:44 -- shows the famous cartoon dog and his Dixie band, "Pee-Wee Runt Dixieland Band" which are fleas.
* FOREVER, DARLING * EXTRAS
Promo Interview - 04:57-minutes -- Black & White interview of Lucy and Desi with clip from the film.
Definitely buy the set if it's under $25 and you can't get enough Lucy!
The first three-quarters of the film is mostly dialogue-driven, allowing minimal physical comedy. The best is saved for last as the movie opens up for broader situation comedy during a funny & disastrous camping trip climax. Desi is surprisingly effective in the role of a pesticide chemist. And Lucy does what she does best: Fumbling through situations, reacting with those wide blue eyes, and showing her natural gift for physical comedy. Her reactions when watching (and eventually, "dreaming" herself into) the movie at the theatre while swooning over Mason are hysterical. The camping trip has too many funny moments to recount.
Another good example why Lucy & Desi were the reigning "king & queen of situation comedy" of the 50's!