TCM Greatest Classic Legends Collection: Lucille Ball [2 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Bah Wilderness
Ain't It Aggravatin'
Du Barry Was a Lady
The racy, ribald Cole Porter musical Du Barry Was a Lady is here given a thorough dry-cleaning by prudish MGM. Richard "Red" Skelton takes over the role of Louis Blore (played on Broadway by Bert Lahr), while Lucille Ball steps into the shoes of the original play's Ethel Merman. The story proposes that Blore is a men's room attendant in a New York nightclub who has a yen for gorgeous showgirl May Daly (Lucille Ball). After drinking a potent mixture, Louis dreams that he is King Louis XV of France, and May is the magnificent Madame Du Barry. Also showing up in Louis' dream is Alex Howe (Gene Kelly), who in "real life" is the guy who ends up with May at fade out-time. It's hard to determine what's more fun to watch in Du Barry Was a Lady: the three stars, the antics of supporting player Zero Mostel, or the incredible sequence in which Tommy Dorsey & His Band -- including drummer Buddy Rich -- perform in 18th century garb and powdered wigs. Five of the original Cole Porter songs are retained for this Technicolor-ful film: "Katie Went to Haiti," "Do I Love You, Do I?," "Well, Did You Evah?," "Taliostro's Dance,", and, best of all, "Friendship." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Party Fever
Once again, Our Gang members Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and Tommy "Butch" Bond are bitter rivals for the affections of little Darla Hood. The nerdish Waldo (Darwood Kaye) comes up with a solution: Alfalfa and Butch will compete for the title of Junior Mayor during Boys' Week, and whichever one wins will earn the honor of escorting Darla to the annual Strawberry Festival. But despite the strenuous efforts of both young candidates, a "dark horse" wins not only the election, but also the girl. Originally released on August 27, 1938, the one-reel Our Gang comedy Party Fever was among the earliest directorial efforts of George Sidney (The Harvey Girls, Show Boat, Bye Bye Birdie). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Forever Darling
When Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz beat the odds against TV stars succeeding on the big screen in The Long, Long Trailer (1954), MGM contracted America's favorite couple for a second theatrical feature. Forever Darling casts Desi as Lorenzo Xavier Vega, a brilliant scientist and Lucy as Susan, his neglected wife. Wishing out loud that her husband would pay attention to her, Susan is surprised to find her Guardian Angel standing in her living room. Even more surprising is the fact that said angel is an exact double for Susan's favorite movie star, James Mason. Following the angel's advice, Susan tags along when Lorenzo takes a trip in the woods to test out a revolutionary new insecticide. Hoping that the trip will constitute a second honeymoon, poor Susan is in for a major disappointment; as for Lorenzo, he must suffer his wife's well-intentioned "assistance," which of course is no help at all. After a number of I Love {$Lucy}-style comic situations, the couple is on the verge of divorce, but the angelic Mason straightens things out. Forever Darling tanked at the box office, but at least Desi Arnaz cultivated a hit song by recording the title tune. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Daffy Doc
Booted out of an operation for his zany behavior, Dr. Daffy Duck decides to prove his worth by dragging Porky Pig off the street and forcing him to be his patient. The film's centerpiece is Daffy's encounter with an iron lung, which so "pixillates" him that he imagines a consultation with several clones of himself before operating on Porky. This bit also sets up the classic closing gag, with Porky and Daffy expanding and contracting like balloons. (Unfortunately, all references to the artificial lung have been censored from the colorized version of this black-and-white cartoon, rendering several gags incomprehensible!) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Seeing Hands
Dixieland Droopy
The Long, Long Trailer
At the height of their TV fame, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were contracted by MGM to make two theatrical films. The first of these, The Long, Long Trailer, stars Lucy and Desi as an upwardly mobile couple who decide to buy a trailer so they can live together while his job takes him around the country. Thanks to their naivete in such matters, they end up with a huge, bulky RV that costs five times what they planned. Their "seeing America" trip turns out to be a slapstick disaster, topped by Lucy's foolish decision to hide a heavy rock collection in the trailer; as Desi tries to maneuver a treacherous mountain road, the weighted-down home-on-wheels nearly loses its balance and almost tumbles off a cliff. The story is told in flashback, as Desi 'splains the breakup of his marriage to a motel court manager. Happily, Lucy shows up, goes "Waaaaah" a little, and all is forgiven. Despite the fact that audiences were getting Ball and Arnaz for free each week on television, The Long, Long Trailer was a big hit at the box-office. The film was adapted by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich from a novel by Clinton Twiss, with uncredited assistance from the I Love Lucy writing staff. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Room Service
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