Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Desiluforever

Before the Laughter and Lucy, TV Movie

Recommended Posts

O M G are you a professional writer, that was just perfect, excellent from start to finis, you got everything just right, congratulations, best blog I've ever read.

 

THANK YOU! :peachonthebeach:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're very sweet.

Well... and it pains me to admit this!! -- but he's right! ;) You're a wonderful writer!! Obviously "into" the subject matter as well! Congrats! Keep 'em coming! :D
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... and it pains me to admit this!! -- but he's right! ;) You're a wonderful writer!! Obviously "into" the subject matter as well! Congrats! Keep 'em coming! :D

 

:) Thanks so much

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) Thanks so much

You attacked the subject matter so thoroughly and it's all so detailed and placed in order, wish I could write like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was digging around and found this official press release for the 2003 telefilm. Thought I'd share it here for those who may be interested. Incidentally, the working title for this was Redhead: The Lucille Ball Story.


March 31, 2003

"LUCY," A NEW THREE-HOUR TELEVISION MOVIE EVENT STARRING RACHEL YORK AND DANNY PINO, WILL BE BROADCAST 8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT SUNDAY, MAY 4 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Executive Producers of the Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award-Winner "Chicago," Serve As Executive Producers

LUCY, a new three-hour television movie event starring theater actress Rachel York ("Kiss Me, Kate") and Danny Pino ("The Shield"), will be broadcast as the "CBS Sunday Movie," Sunday, May 4 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.  The drama, based on a true story, is an inside, little-known account of the celebrated, complex, passionate and tumultuous relationship between Lucille Ball (York) and Desi Arnaz (Pino), as well as a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the creation of one of television’s most groundbreaking and beloved shows, "I Love Lucy." 

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, executive producers of the Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award winning "Chicago," are executive producers. The pair were also executive producers of "Martin and Lewis," on the Network, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," "The Three Stooges," "Cinderella," "Annie" and "The Music Man."

Fifty years ago, the magical union of Ball and Arnaz enthralled American audiences who couldn’t get enough of the fiery redhead or her sexy Cuban husband. But off-camera, the situation couldn’t have been less comedic. Backstage battles, oversized egos, infidelity and the demands of phenomenal success undermined what was once a storybook romance.

In 1920 at her home in Jamestown, N.Y., young Lucy and her brother Fred enjoyed playacting for their mother, DeDe, and grandfather, Fred. While the loving family experienced its share of heartache and pain, a lively and spirited Lucy endured each disappointment and ambitiously forged ahead with her dream of becoming an actress.  A mixture of fate and perseverance led Lucy to modeling in Manhattan and movies in Los Angeles, but neither allowed the future legend’s comedic genius, which she herself was yet to discover, shine through. 

Sparks immediately flew when the pretty actress met a young, charismatic Latin musician from an aristocratic Cuban family.  It wasn’t long before the passionate couple was married – and Desi began to stray.  But despite the heartache – his constant and public philandering and their individual struggles to make it Hollywood – the fervor between them wouldn’t die.  The two needed each other and went on to build a family with the birth of daughter Lucie, and later, son Desi Jr.

It was during Lucy’s mid-30s, at the end of a disappointing movie career that never quite got off the ground, that her former MGM movie co-star Red Skelton and his friend Buster Keaton encouraged her comedic sensibilities and suggested a career in television. Although TV was considered a dead-end for an aspiring movie actress, Lucy, who had passed her prime in film, considered it an opportunity to extend her career – and keep her husband under her watchful eye.  While network executives were fervently opposed to casting the Latin Desi as her husband on a sitcom based on the radio show "My Favorite Husband," Lucy eventually got her way and the rest, as they say, is history.

"I Love Lucy," with its revolutionary three-camera approach, shot live from Los Angeles (as opposed to New York) in front of a studio audience, starring an aging B-movie actress and her foreign husband, and covering formerly taboo subjects such as pregnancy, broke every imaginable barrier and paved the way for the modern sitcom. Despite continued personal challenges, including Lucy’s investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee and a perpetually turbulent marriage, Lucy and Desi continued to break ground with their enormously successful television series and eventually their own studio.  Though their marriage didn’t last, their impact on comedy, television and their legions of viewers continues to live on.

Rachel York recently completed the national tour of "Kiss Me, Kate."  Her theater credits include "City of Angels," "Les Miserables," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Little Me" and "Victor/Victoria" on-Broadway and "Putting it Together," "Where’s Dick?" "Lost in the Stars," "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" and "A Minor Incident" off-Broadway.  Her film credits include "Billy Bathgate" and "Dead Center." York’s television credits include "Diagnosis Murder" on the Network, as well as "Frasier," "Reba," "Spin City," Arli$$," "The Naked Truth," "L.A. Law" and the television movies "Second Honeymoon" on the Network, "Taking the Heat" and "Au Pair II." 

Danny Pino’s theater credits include "Up for Grabs," "Measure for Measure," "The Winter’s Tale," and "Thou Shalt Not." His television credits include a recurring role in "The Shield," as well as "Baseball Wives," "Men, Women and Dogs" and the television movie "Point of Origin." He will soon star in the upcoming series, "NYPD 2096."

LUCY was produced by Storyline Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.  Zadan and Meron are executive producers along with Emmy Award-winner Glenn Jordan ("The Long Way Home," "Barbarians at the Gate"). Jacobus Rose ("Blonde") is the co-executive producer and Dave Mace ("Brian’s Song") is the producer. Jordan directed the movie, which was written by Katie Ford ("Miss Congeniality") and T.S. Cook ("China Syndrome" and "High Noon").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this, Mot; great background stuff for which I give you credit this date, in chronology and referencing the airing of the  film itself.  Appreciate it....JK:fabrary:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This movie popped up on Youtube recently so last night I took another pass through it as I haven’t watched it in years. My opinion is pretty much the same. The whole movie is just constant fights. There is no balance in showing the happy times. The only happy times they did show were pretty much the life millstones, meeting, weddings, baby birth. Aside from the domestic problems they didn’t touch much on Lucy’s career other than to have her bitch about the direction it was taking. From everything I’ve read Lucy was ok with her career in the 40s. She wasn’t turning down scripts left and right because they gave her crap, as the movie depicted. Lucy pretty much did everything she was given.

We know they didn’t get the start of ILL correct but I forgot they also portrayed Lucy as the one who wanted to change her image and dye her hair red. As for all the other people portrayed in this film, I forgot how bad they were done. As soon as DeDe, showed up it was, I don’t know who that woman is, but she sure as hell isn’t DeDe. They weren’t even close on what she looked like and the personality was so wrong. My husband said the actress playing Vivian was like if you needed someone in high school to play a grandmother and slapped on a wig and frumpy dress. And how did they get Grandpa being alive for the wedding in 49’ so wrong. It’s not a secret he died 5 years earlier.

I know some Lucy related people were in this such as Larry Anderson and Jim Broche but I forgot Alan Oppenheimer was too. I couldn’t find Jim though. Who’d he play?  I hadn’t seen this movie since around 2000. Back then I took notes as to all the inaccurate things. I did that again this time to see if I spotted more, but to also keep me from yelling at the TV every five minutes.  I filled 5 pages this time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I remember, Jim played the MC at the club where Lucy and Desi celebrated their wedding. Lucy sashays in swinging her fur coat after Jim assured everyone she was on her way. Where did Larry Anderson pop up? I can never seem to find him. Additionally, John Wheeler appeared in Mame and Here's Lucy.

I think the casting of Frances Fisher was great, I just feel bad she didn't get the chance to play Lucille in a well-written film. I hated the version of Ball she was given to play - holding her nose in the air, spouting bitchy one-liners. Maurice Benard was awful, but I cut him some slack because even he admits it, and openly regrets that the film depicted Desi so negatively. 

Robin Pearson-Rose did kind of have Vivian's face, but the wig was way too much - Vivian didn't wear her hair in that type of style until later in the season. Plus, wasn't Vivian's hair actually reddish during that first week? Of course, most casual viewers wouldn't accept Ethel as anything other than blonde. What really galls me is that advertising materials billed them as Fred and Ethel, not Bill and Vivian. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry Anderson plays the makeup guy redoing Lucy's lipstick in the scene where she just finished welding (Meet The People?)

Oh the bitchtude that Frances was giving was just grating after awhile. There was basically 2 emotions they let her have. Smug and bitchy or crying. But then those are the only types of scenes they gave her. That's my complaint. No balance. The 2003 movie gave more to play with. Just Lucy recounting the Scarlet O'Hara story showed a soft, funny side to Lucy without having to resort to only getting the comedy from the "Lucy" moments.

The cello act was crazy long. It's almost the whole thing except for the seal part. That scene and also the "rehearsal" scene from the first episode are lessons in, never have your biopic Lucy try to imitate perfection. And from my 5 page list of inaccuracies, the rehearsals then were not filmed and played back in a screening room with a huge audience like they were movie dailies. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rehearsal dailies was clearly their way of showing something familiar without it being a direct copy of the actual episode. By not depicting it as the on-air footage, they were clearly hoping to gloss over the obvious differences. That technique worked much better in the Judy Garland miniseries than it did here, because those recreations were a lot more convincing  

Rachel York, I think, was better at playing Lucy's comedy scenes than Fisher was. Fisher was clearly trying too hard to be funny, whereas York seemed more at ease. You're right that the Scarlett audition story showed a naturally funny Lucy moment. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...