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Mister Hepburn

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Speak for yourself, Swami! :lucythrill:

Thought you were always complainin about lack of dates.  Must have mixed you up with one of the many others on this site who say that.

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Got that big Vanity Fair's Hollywood BOOK yesterday, it says 85 dollars for Canada, got it for 3.50.  Haven't found any Lucy mentions yet, no pics of her either, THE BASTARDS!  Great pictures of course and some of the articles are fascinating, justr read the Walter Winchell one where they mention he did the Untouchables on tv and just now I finished that article on Louella and Hedda which had loads if great info on them.

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Got that big Vanity Fair's Hollywood BOOK yesterday, it says 85 dollars for Canada, got it for 3.50.  Haven't found any Lucy mentions yet, no pics of her either, THE BASTARDS!  Great pictures of course and some of the articles are fascinating, justr read the Walter Winchell one where they mention he did the Untouchables on tv and just now I finished that article on Louella and Hedda which had loads if great info on them.

This one? So would you recommend it??

 

9780670891412_p0_v1_s260x420.jpg

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This one? So would you recommend it??

 

9780670891412_p0_v1_s260x420.jpg

NO, for it's lack of any Lucy mentions, but the pictures are great and the few articles are terrific, and remember that I got it for only 3.50.  A better OLD book to get would be LIFE GOES TO THE MOVIES where Lucy is featured at least four times.  And yes, that is the book and Lucy hasn't fared well in Vanity Fair as they did not publish in her best time of the 50's and 60's.  However the magazine HAS mentioned her a lot, Roxbury, street of the stars, her table at Elaine's, that sort of thing.

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Five Came Back is featured as one of the greatest films of 1939 in the new book "Majestic Hollywood":

 

http://www.amazon.com/Majestic-Hollywood-Greatest-Films-1939/dp/0762451564/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381731211&sr=1-1

W O W, shocker, at least Amy will be happy.  Now she'll be waiting for Hattie to beat Edith Head for all time best designer.

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I got Variety's all time best Film Guide yesterday and they gave a very good review to Lucy's MAME.  However, although Big Street also got an excellent review, Facts of Life and Yours mine and Ours weren't even listed.

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I got Variety's all time best Film Guide yesterday and they gave a very good review to Lucy's MAME.  However, although Big Street also got an excellent review, Facts of Life and Yours mine and Ours weren't even listed.

That's just plain KRAZY

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Great to see Mame and the Big Street get recognized.  Even in 1974 Variety gave Lucy a positive review of this role and others did too.  Seeing how much she decorated her house with Mame memorbilla I feel Mame had a good memory in Lucy's life and was of her favorite roles though she said the Big Street was her best movie.  I am surprised at the Facts of Life omission.  YOurs, Mine and OUrs was extremely popular and received awards and is great but there are so many family movies I am not surprised at that omission.

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Great to see Mame and the Big Street get recognized.  Even in 1974 Variety gave Lucy a positive review of this role and others did too.  Seeing how much she decorated her house with Mame memorbilla I feel Mame had a good memory in Lucy's life and was of her favorite roles though she said the Big Street was her best movie.  I am surprised at the Facts of Life omission.  YOurs, Mine and OUrs was extremely popular and received awards and is great but there are so many family movies I am not surprised at that omission.

It wasn't her whole house decorated with MAME stuff, it was just her one room out back with some Mame pics on the wall.  I dun't get why those two great films were not included in a book from Variety on reviews of movies, it's a great big book so it wasn't due to lack of space. 

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So I got this book about movies today, it's called A WORLD OF MOVIES 70 years of filmed history.  To my shock, Lucy was in it, a full page pic of her with the blonde hair in the section of The Forties and it says this . . . .WE USUALLY ASSOCIATE LUCILLE BALL WITH THE RAUCOUS  FOLLY OF HER TELEVISION COMEDIES.  BUT HER CAREER BEGAN IN MOVIES WHERE SHE WAS BILLED AS A GLAMOUR GIRL AS WELL AS AN ENTERTAINER - A ROLE SHE HAS JUST RETURNED TO IN THE NEW FILM VERSION OF MAME.  Yes, the book is from 1974.  It's that beautiful pic of her wearing that gigantic fox fur looking positively angelic.

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Howard Rafael's book "Where the Hell is Desilu?" may have been discussed already (but it may have been at a time when I was kicked off the board for inappropriate posts....JK!!).

 

I've re-read the Lucy portions (and frankly Howard, I'm not interested in your non-Lucy exploits)....and there's something about his tone that bothers me.  The MANY chronology errors aside, It's the Mel Torme style of 1st person writing that set my tith of etch.  Mel wrote "The Other Side of the Rainbow" about his time on the Judy Garland Show, published very shortly after her death---for which he took a lot of (deserved) flack.  EVERYBODY has the utmost respect for Mel.  Most of his co-workers are either muddled, clueless or a bit duplicious, while Mel remains the voice of reason.  Conversations are quoted and Mel, of course, has the last line: a zinger which leaves the other parties speechless as Mel turns on his heels and leaves the room.  (If Mel had a portable laugh/applause track machine with him, he would have turned it on full blast.)  However, there's just enough humbleness, praise of other's work and self-effacing observations that it would APPEAR to be non-biased.  And rather than toot his own horn, the "Mel" style of writer merely quotes others' praise of him, which is effect the same thing.  Or quotes other people giving him the credit HE DESERVES.  And by the way, all the girls are WILD about this squatty frog-faced tub, something I find highly doubtful.  I could never stomach Mel. "This is STINKY" is a succinct description.  Mel's versions of the events has been countered by just about everybody else involved, especially in the BEST written book EVER about the making of a TV series "The Judy Garland Show" by late, lamented Steve Sanders , half of the "Desilu" team.

 

Now, Howard may be as together as he portrays himself while in the midst of the near madness and buffoonery that surrounds him, but I have my doubts.  The person who comes off the worst is, OF COURSE, Gary---who just could NOT have been THIS bad. As does Milt and his unwillingness to hire fresh writers (which I SECOND)

Howard's just "like that" with a lot of major celebrities.  Richard Burton wouldn't have done the episode were it not for Howard, who also knocks the idea of hiring Bob and Madelyn for the show, despite their Emmy-nominated script.

He tells us over and over again he loves Lucy and I think he's sincere.  However he makes several derisive references to her quest for a fountain of youth.  "The lady was not afraid of dying.  She was afraid of getting old."  At one point, Hal King is putting the finishing touches on her make-up when Howard passed by and said "You look great for a 40 year old woman (she was 60 at the time, interjects Howard), but you'll never be 18 again", a remark that no doubt ruined Lucy's day. In his defense, he admits this was a crass and cruel thing to say.  But it's recounted to make Lucy sound Norma Desmond/Mae West delusional.  Bob Osbourne was perhaps most astute on this subject.  "It wasn't so much vanity as practicality.  She knew that past a certain age-look her career would be virtually over" (quoted from my memory) which I feel is more accurate than Howard's repeated cracks.

 

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I wrote this after I read the Lucy section of this book earlier in the year in response to another members suggestion.  I’ve updated it a bit and here are my thoughts.

Studio: What I got from his talk of working at the studio and what I also take away from interviews and stories from other top people who worked there was that it really was a good place to work and people got paid what they were worth. I like how Howard kept saying that it was a “mom and pop” place and this was in the 60’s not the early days in the 50’s. As much as Lucy was a performer first and the business side was just something she had to do, I think she took that just as seriously and was not an absentee President. I think she was limited though in that she was not a business person but knew that she had talent under her to get the work done. In a lot of interviews with top execs form the studio it seems like you had someone with a great idea and needed that last bit of President approval either for a money thing or an idea thing and whenever said person brought it to Lucy her response for the most part was yes, give em’ whatever they need. 

LBP: Does anyone have any idea how big the production company was? I know that ultimately they really only ended up producing Lucy’s shows even though there was talk of movies and shows.  One thing that I was happy to know here was that, at least form Howard’s view, people were paid well here too. I was a little skeptical before reading this as I figured Gary the cheapskate had more say in business here than at a studio level since it was much smaller and created within his time of being around.

Howard mentioned about part of his payment was to be in stock.  From my understanding this was never a publically traded company but I think Howard sort of implied that it had intentions to be that but never did. I can’t think how a production company would be a publically traded company.  With the recent auction and those stock certificates coming up I guess that was the intention.

Bernie Weitzman’s radio interview with Stu he mentions Rudin a lot and in this book Howard really does get into some detail with him. If Lucy was not adamant that the divorce settlement was even I think it could have turned ugly quickly based on this guy’s rep.  I also heard that he was the major factor in telling Lucy to sell when she did against what some others thought, as the studio was doing really well with many top shows.   

The Burton/Taylor HL stories are always so great. I love the contrast of the diva attitude Liz had vs Lucy. I guess it’s one of the reasons Lucy continues to endure and Liz’s star didn’t continue to burn as bright as she got older and in the years after her death. The conversation Lucy and Howard had about using or not using the ring was interesting. What the heck was Lucy thinking they were going to use instead of the ring. Um the whole script was built around it. Gotta love that Gary and the dressing room story. I had heard it before but enjoyed this telling of it.
Also enjoyed the Lawrence Welk episode story. I had heard bits before about Welk delivering his lines directly to the camera. Funny that Lucy just stood there on the stage at 1am “my fault”. That episode wasn’t the greatest premise either with Viv not being able to see 2” in front of her face. Her appearances in the guest role were always so good but they took her into stupid land for this one and she just sort of grated on my nerves this episode.

Getting ideas to Lucy. Howard talks about this in pretty good detail. I wonder if more people would have just approached her with their ideas than going through the channels (and why was Gary a channel anyways) that Lucy may have done a great deal of work that was very different for her but that she would have been great in. I think sometimes she took the easy road and didn’t challenge herself as an actress as much as she should have. Catherine Curtis is such a wonderful example of going out of that current box she was in and doing a full dramatic piece. This and Facts of Life I think are here best non-Lucy roles post “Lucy”. Enjoyed the Diamond Jim Brady story as Lucy does mention this project in interviews more than once. Nice to know some details.  Also from the recent auction and seeing some of the correspondence was this maybe the biggest project of Lucy’s that did not get made?

So now we get to the Gary stuff. Caught the reference about with Howard telling Lucy that he just comes in, shoots off his mouth and has no knowledge to back it up. I know in the Stu and Wanda interview they both agreed that she was catching on later in life, but this story seems to date to the mid to late 60’s and her agreeing that this was an issue even then. What I do find in this book and with what Stu has said that given all the bad business stuff about him he really was a fun guy to be around. I so wish that Lucy would have been more secure in herself to realize that she did not have to put her husband in the role that she did. I know it worked in the past but she says Gary was his own man and that was one thing she liked. Maybe she thought that if he was just this guy who married her and then ran off to play golf, buy expensive cars and clothes all the time, she would look like some kind of sugar mamma, so she gave him a job to make them look like more of a team. Seems like from stories he didn’t care about the business. 

So how bad does this make Lucy look I wonder. It’s one thing to have being felt bad for because your husband cheats and drinks, but in return is respected for his business sense, innovation, and charm, but it’s another to have people wonder why you married this idiot and are now trying to have him run everything and not realize that his idiocy and the way he treats people is making you look worse. 

And as for the money thing, yes Gary was an employee and yes it was his money (to a point) to spend but it’s a little different than how it was in the first marriage. Lucy I think says in her book that as along as the house bills were paid she didn’t care what Desi did with his money and they really were not making money working together until 51’. But I look at them as pulling equal weight in that arrangement. He had the know how and she had the name. They were a team. The second marriage on the business side I don’t look at as a team. Lucy had the know how and the name. Whatever projects/work Gary got was solely because of her. He was given the opportunity to learn the business and Lucy knew how you learned it because she took those opportunities in her career to do that. I wonder if they ever fought about this. Probably not as the comment to Howard implies the knowing about it but maybe also some fear if it was ever brought up. Maybe she knew he didn’t really want to do it and rather play golf. She didn’t need to give him a job to know where he was but rather to support her and probably really wanted that team thing that she had in the first marriage. 

 

The Navajo and Rolls Royce story. Having self-awareness is not something I think Gary had. In Stu’s most recent 2013 Wanda/Frank interview I think it was Stu who told this story about they were at a party or something and Gary makes this comment about “oh I can’t stand him, he just rides his wife’s coat tails” or something like that and Stu thought he was joking and said something about yeah like you do and he did not get it having made the comment in all seriousness. 

 

As for the rest of the book, I did not read anything other than the Lucy parts.  It bounces a lot and it’s almost like you need a guidebook or something to get through it.  One thing about this book was if you know who the people are in relation to the studio/LBP then it really helps with his stories as he doesn’t offer too much detail about the role of each individual.

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LBP: Does anyone have any idea how big the production company was? I know that ultimately they really only ended up producing Lucy’s shows even though there was talk of movies and shows.  One thing that I was happy to know here was that, at least form Howard’s view, people were paid well here too. I was a little skeptical before reading this as I figured Gary the cheapskate had more say in business here than at a studio level since it was much smaller and created within his time of being around.

 

Bernie Weitzman’s radio interview with Stu he mentions Rudin a lot

 

The Burton/Taylor HL stories are always so great. I love the contrast of the diva attitude Liz had vs Lucy.

Also enjoyed the Lawrence Welk episode story. I had heard bits before about Welk delivering his lines directly to the camera. 

That episode wasn’t the greatest premise either with Viv not being able to see 2” in front of her face. Her appearances in the guest role were always so good but they took her into stupid land for this one and she just sort of grated on my nerves this episode.

 

 

As far as I know they just produced Lucy's TV work.  They filmed those Milton Bradley commercials.  There was the Tom Cruise "All the Right Moves" movie, but I don't know if that was an official work of LBP.  I think Gary's name is in the credits as producer.  Certainly a respectable hit.

 

This is the first and only time I've read or heard that Lucy was "intimidated by Liz's beauty".  Possible I guess, but doubt it.  True, in 1970 Lucy was on the cusp of losing her "youthfulness" (she hung on to it longer than any of her contemporaries) but would she really have compared herself with Liz, who was 20 years younger and known mostly for her beauty and her scandalous personal life more than her acting, a so-so talent despite two Oscars?

 

For all the kvetching and knocking of this project Burton did, it was their best gig in a period where they had become media figures rather than bankable movie stars.  And I would say, their last high water mark as Hollywood royalty.   Burton came off great in spite of (or BECAUSE OF) Lucy's direction.  Has anyone every taken Lucy's side in this?  The Burtons did nothing together or separately after "Virginia Wolf" in 1966 that was worthwhile or even remembered, so I say a posthumous "shut up" to Sir Richard who should be grateful to Lucy for giving them this place in TV history.

 

Yes, it was a direct rip-off of Carolyn and Harpo Marx, but I consider "Lawrence" one of the better HLs.  Viv brings a lot of energy and fun to it  Welk is a hoot BECAUSE of his clumsy and mush-mouthed performance. He's endearing in the same way Don Loper is.

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Lucille Ball Productions also produced the 1984 TV movie Sentimental Journey with Jaclyn Smith.

 

I recently read Furious Love, the book about the Taylor-Burton romance, and it said Richard considered Lucy Meets the Burtons to be the nadir of his career. This is the man whose film credits include Boom!, The Assassination of Trotsky, Staircase, and The Exorcist II: The Heretic.

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Oh, nertz to Burt(on)s....

 

I wonder if Liz did not use her "trick voice" at the reading, Lucy didn't consider replacing her with Jane Connell.

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I recently read Furious Love, the book about the Taylor-Burton romance, and it said Richard considered Lucy Meets the Burtons to be the nadir of his career. This is the man whose film credits include Boom!, The Assassination of Trotsky, Staircase, and The Exorcist II: The Heretic.

 

LOL!

 

I wish there were undiscovered diaries of Lucy's documenting this production. Dramatic recreations of Burton and Ball's respective diaries would make a brilliant play...if not a full-blown musical.

 

Act 1: Burton's Perspective (featuring an overproduced rendition of "Jingle Balls")

Act 2: Ball's Perspective

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