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I Love Lucy: The Movie and Other Great Rarities

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1953, three classic first season I Love Lucy episodes (“The Benefit,” “Breaking the Lease,” and “The Ballet”) were edited together with newly-filmed connecting scenes to create this never-before-released feature-length film. The film had only a single "test" screening in 1953 at a small theatre in Bakersfield, attended by the Arnazes. But Lucy and Desi had just signed a deal with M-G-M to do "The Long, Long Trailer", and M-G-M, fearing competition, insisted that they shelve the film. And that's literally what happened. I Love Lucy: The Movie was put back on a shelf, in a mislabeled can, and was lost for nearly half a century, until it was discovered in the Paramount vault by Dann Cahn in 2001.

Amazon.com

Those who really love Lucy already have this material if they purchased the 2007 I Love Lucy: The Complete Series boxed set. But even for those who merely like Lucy, this is an essential trove of rarities and archival treasures. I Love Lucy: The Movie was produced in 1953 to capitalize on the Emmy-winning series' phenomenal popularity. It comprises three season 1 episodes, "The Benefit," "The Lease," and "The Ballet." No doubt you've seen them countless times, but what you may not have seen is the new footage that was created to set the stage for the episodes and connect them into a seamless film. The movie begins with a priceless scene in which Desi Arnaz warms up an I Love Lucy studio audience, complete with cast introductions, and a funny gag utilizing the studio cameras. This must have been what it was like to attend a filming at the Desilu Playhouse. The feature was shelved and never released theatrically due to a conflict with MGM's The Long, Long Trailer, which Lucy and Desi were reportedly contractually bound to promote. I Love Lucy: The Movie was long lost and unknown to all but the most hard-core fans, and its discovery in 2001 was, for classic-TV buffs, perhaps on par with the unearthing of The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes. The bonus features on this disc were also included in the Complete Series set, and they are babalu-tastic. Perhaps the best is an excerpt from the Sixth Annual Emmy Awards, at which Desi speaks on behalf of television writers, who at the time were not eligible for awards. Also included are Lucy and Desi's first joint TV appearance on The Ed Wynn Show, and a colorized version of the episode "Lucy Goes to Scotland." What's not to love? --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

Lucy Goes To Scotland
TV Academy PSA (Revised)
Emmy Awards Other: The Ed Wynn Show
Series Premiere Opening
Rear Window Other: Animated Commercial
Here's Johnny! Other: The Ballet - TV Version
Handcuffs/Movie
Wilbur's Hands

Product Details

  • Actors: Desi Arnaz, William Frawley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00363WGIC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I received the "I Love Lucy" complete boxed set for a birthday present, and this "I Love Lucy" movie was included, along with the "lost" pilot, several promos and commentaries, and a colorized version of "Lucy Goes to Scotland". What this is, (and I'm sitting here watching it right now)is three episodes of "I Love Lucy",-- "The Benefit" "Breaking the Lease", and "The Ballet"-- filmed totally separate ( and that you've already seen 1,000 times), "bridged" together with "tag" scenes, filmed at a later date, with the actors doing exposition, such as "remember the time when..." and so forth. For instance: one of the "tag" scenes has "Ethel" sitting at a table in her living room with "Fred", totaling up how much money their Woman's Club made after putting on one of their shows. Ethel wants to give Ricky an "appreciation tea" to thank him for helping them, and she discovers that this severely depletes the profits- which leads her to remember another time she and Lucy needed money.
The highlight of this "movie", to me, is that we actually get to SEE what an "I Love Lucy" audience looks like, as the movie opens with the ticket-holders to the show standing on-line outside, waiting to enter the "Desilu Playhouse." An (obvious) actor couple are ushered in, marveling at the sights. The announcer intros Desi Arnaz, who is as gracious and charming as ever. Desi, in smoking jacket, explains the technical stuff to the audience,cracks a few jokes to put them at their ease, then introduces the cast, ending with his favorite Red-head, (or "Rett- Hett", ala Desi) Lucy. You see the cast take their places, and wait to hear "action!", which, to my recollection, is the only filmed occasion where the actors broke character and acknowledged the audience.
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Format: DVD
I was among the few hundred "Lucy fans" to attend a "Loving Lucy" Convention in Burbank, CA in the late 1990's, when Lucy film editor (among other titles) Dann Cahn surprised everyone by telling (in person) the whole story of how it was made, put on the shelf, mislabled by Paramount or another entity. After our "fan club" had conventions for a year or two, he got thinking about it and was granted access to the vast Paramount vaults.

It was a labor of love...he painstakingly went through many cans of film until he found "The Movie".

Other than the initial showing in the early 50's to Lucy, Desi and studio heads, the film was not shown until it's public unveiling at the "Loving Lucy Convention" on the giant movie screen at the Televsion Acadamy for Arts & Sciences.

It is such thrill to see it is in wide distribution. Contrary to an earlier post...it IS on the complete "I Love Lucy" boxed set. (The boxed set that is heart shaped).

There is such a thing as "institutional memory" and "loyalty", because Dann Cahn remembered the film and found it for us and future generations to enjoy.

To clarify...without re-hashing other reviews... yes, it is 3 episodes we have all seen "cut-together", but the film begins and ends with the audience waiting in line to see a filming of "I Love Lucy"...then you have the 3 episodes...with new material bridging the episodes...then at the end...the TV studio audience leaves.

A nice hidden gem for Lucy fans to enjoy almost 60 years later.

---Ron Middlekauff
Sacramento, CA
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewer, I also missed out on getting the "I Love Lucy Movie" because I didn't want to buy the Lucy megaset AFTER purchasing the seasons individually. I was very annoyed that the bonus materials included in the megaset were not offered as a separate disc. Now it appears they are being released and I am really happy.

Just for the record...
The Lucy movie was not made as a sort of pilot for the show. It's actually three episodes (I think it was three) from the first season that were edited together and bridged with extra linking scenes shot only for the film. Remember, when Lucy premiered it was 1951 and many Americans did not have TVs yet and therefore couldn't watch the country's favorite redhead. It wouldn't surprise me if many people got TVs just to see Lucy! After it's initial release the film kind of disappeared and was considered "lost". It's amazing to me with all the fame and popularity of "I Love Lucy" (since it premiered!) that the film was forgotten.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very happy to see this is coming out on DVD. I was one of the "losers" who faithfully bought every season of I Love Lucy seperately only to have the Complete Series come out with this as an extra. I'm hoping the colorized episode is included as one of the rarities, but if not I'll still be happy to just have the movie. I even tried getting a bootleg of it with no luck. Glad I am able to have it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I highly recommend the I LOVE LUCY MOVIE DVD for those who bought I Love Lucy - The Complete First Season series, one season at a time, like I did because I couldn't wait. This is the bonus DVD that was included in the complete set I Love Lucy: The Complete Series, according to my friend who purchased that box set.

Since I bought each season, I was kind of miffed that they released the entire seasons as one set, which included this bonus DVD! Anyway, it's great that they allow us fans to buy the DVD separately, rather than buying the entire box set, which would be double-dipping.

This DVD contains a special colorized version of "Lucy Goes To Scotland" and it looks really nice in color. I wish they did more episodes like this, especially "Lucy's Italian Movie," which would be a hoot to see in color. Maybe they'll painstakingly colorize all the episodes as an option for a future Blu-Ray release? That would convince me to buy.

The other offering is the "I Love Lucy Movie," which is three episodes strung together to create one seamless show. Not only does it edit the shows together, but you get to see what it was like for an audience member as you go from outside the DesiLu Studio to inside the sound stage where "I Love Lucy" was being tapped. Desi Arnaz comes out and gives a pep talk and then the show begins!
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