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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

Seriously this would be a very interesting theatrical experience.  During Act 1, Ball would be heard off stage yelling "Speak up, Richard".

I don't get the "Jingle Balls" reference. 

The only mention of the filming that didn't make Lucy look bad that I ever read was in a Burton biography.  The writer summed it up as a clash of styles.  Lucy knew she had 4 days to get the job done and had to attack a script head-on.  Richard was used to 'waiting for the muse to call'.   From the rehearsal footage on the DVD, you wouldn't know there was tension.  Lucy IS directing Burton, telling him to look the other way as they make their entrance so he can turn his head when Liz comes in, but was she doing it because she was overbearing?  Or was it because Jerry Paris was too intimidated by Burton to tell him what to do?

 

One has to wonder why Richard consented to revisit his "nadir" by introducing it for "CBS Salutes".  Certainly LBP wasn't paying these people much.  I wonder if Gary used the excuse with Richard "Well, we spent SO much on the Burton show".   Gary as producer of "CBS" couldn't resist including HL's most notable, maybe only notable, episode but it didn't really lend itself to the condensed form. (It showed up again when the Emmys gave Lucy a posthumous lifetime award.) Considering Gary's involvement centered around HL, there's very little of that series in "CBS Salutes" and virtually nothing of her two co-stars Lucie and Desi. I have to argue with a lot of the clips he selected but all in all, it was a great show. My recollection is that it was #2 for the week behind the then-red hot "Charlie's Angels".

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I don't get the "Jingle Balls" reference. 

 

Richard referred to Lucy as "Jingle Balls" rather than by name throughout his recently published diaries. He also referred to Gary as "her apology of a husband."

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Richard referred to Lucy as "Jingle Balls" rather than by name throughout his recently published diaries. He also referred to Gary as "her apology of a husband."

 

LOL.   :HALKING:

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I have gotten a hold of numerous Lucy mentions in various books recently, but I always forget to mention them here.  The best and worst though was a book about the lives of the rich and almost none of the information in there on her is accurate.  They added all the money that went to her over the decades and say she left a HUGE estate of almost a hundred million which we all know is bullshit.

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I found today, and recommend . . . Hollywood in Kodachrome, by David Wills.  Lauren Bacall's on the cover and it is the most beautiful collection of stars in the most stunning photographs over the decades.  It's a H U G E coffee table type book, quite thick and quite expensive, 40 dollars US and 47 in Canada.  As I rummaged through it, I found there was a Lucy section, called Technicolor Tessie, I think she has fourteen full color pages.  The book is about two inches thick.  I just found it amazing how many stars looked like Lucy as the make up people in the Hollywood studios only had so many options for doing the stars' faces over the decades.  I found Lucy friends, like Ann Miller, Betty Grable etc, there are even Lucy lovers like Bob Mitchum, there are a few men in there but lots more female stars.  I was especially struck by the many Lucy lookalikes, at least in some of their photos, Ann Sheridan, Hedy Lamar, Maureen Ohara, and so many others.  Some like Marlene Deitrich look terrific, some like Hepburn and Davis, not so much.  Even Yvonne De Carlo looked stunning, back then.  The last photos are of Marilyn Monroe, including that famous nude calendar.  Lucy co stars like Cornel Wilde, Agness Moorehead.  Some former neighbors like Jeanne Crain, Gable, and Betty Grable.  Looking at the Crain home, I wondered if I was seeing the inside of a Roxbury mansion.  I usually pay under five dollars for any of the thousands of books I've purchased since being unemployed but this one I made an exception for, and it was well worth the price.

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Ok, so today, I found THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, 30 YEARS OF UNFORGETTABLE IMAGES.  Thumbed thru it and HAD to buy it.  Originally went for 45 US, 60 Canada.  Got it for 3.50 as it's from 2001.  Just finished it, incredible images of every major star from that period.  Was shocked to find Lucy in it, two full pages, it's of her crying as Desi is singing at Lucie's second wedding, to Larry.  Not Lucy's best pic of course, no fake eyelashes, no wig, her own hair, in black and white, but it's one of the most touching pics of her ever taken.  There are worse shots of other legends in there, Bette Davis' vomit inducing one a few years before she passed on.  For every shot of Elvis in his coffin, or Martha Raye having just married her leach, there are beautiful shots of weddings, deaths, famous stars in unusual settings.  Zsa Zsa after being sentenced for slapping that cop, Spelling's incredible home in Beverly Hills.  Princess Grace's funeral, the Onasiss family, Jackie O, some famous people get TWO pictures in the book, some like little Mikey Jackson get THREE.  Some of them take you back to a different era, some remind you of the scum of the earth.  Robert Blake after killing his wife, same for O J.  Glad I bought this, well worth it.      

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Esther Williams' book, called The Million Dollar Mermaid has a few Lucy mentions . . . they did co star in Easy to Wed together.  Esther says that in the film, they had this confrontation scene that just did not work as written.  So the two of them got together and rewrote it in dialogue that made more sense than in the original script, it wasn't dialogue that was REAL in any way.  Esther says they had a confrontation scene in real life also.  In the hairdressing part of the MGM studio, she says all the stars were treated exactly the same, but that one day, she was seated near Lucy and Lucy loudly accused her of seeing her husband Desi.  She admits that Desi called her for dates a few times but that she was not interested and when she told Lucy that she did not find Desi attractive, that only made Lucy cry, so she just couldn't win.  Later, when Esther was dating Fernando Lamas, Lucy and Desi met them somewhere and Lucy told Fernando off for being a bad example to Latin men.  She added that Desi was trying to be a great Latin lover like HIM.  To which Fernando replied NO ONE HAS TO SHOW YOUR HUSBAND HOW TO MISBEHAVE, HE SEEMS TO HAVE A NATURAL TALENT FOR IT.  In another part of the book, Esther complains that the same thing that happened to Doris Day, thanks to her husband Marty, had happened to HER.  Seems Ben Gage loved to gamble and Esther did not know that Ben spent his days at the race track with Desi and she added that whatever money she and Ben accumulated, he would sell everything and bet all their holdings while neglecting their businesses, Lucy and Desi ALWAYS had more money than them so it did not present a problem to Lucy as it did to her.

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Well I guess all those bad feelings about Lamas went out the door later since they had him guest.

 

Those scenes Esther had with Lucy seemed to really show Lucy's insecurities.

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But don't you think there was JUSTIFICATION for those insecurities?  At least, she kept their money separate, so she never wound up like Doris or Esther.

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Bought another book called The Century by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster, a huge coffee table type book that originally went for $60 US and $85 Canadian, which I got for like TEN dollars at Goodwill.  I looked first if Lucy was featured, which she was, for the fifties section mentioning her shows, audience and so on, when I got it home and perused it, I then noticed she's even on the cover.  There are about twenty small pics on there and she is one of them where she is practicing looking surprised when the neighbors give her a Homecoming party.  Every singe time I have bought a book like this that talks about the TV Medium, the century and who accomplished what, she is always in there.

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Seems every book I buy has a Lucy mention in it, of course if they are books on the century, they have to mention her as she was such a big part of it all.

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Even this commemorative issue of Gone with the Wind, put out by T V Guide, has a picture of Lucy from the forties with a caption saying she had auditioned for the role of Scarlett, did not get the part and wound up as the biggest T V star of all time. 

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Ok, two new Lucy mentions today in books I bought . . . Earl Wilson's THE SHOW BUSINESS NOBODY KNOWS had two pages on Lucy and Desi and there's this smallish book WILD WORDS WILD WOMEN on every well known and accomplished women in show business, with Mae West on the cover and Lucy's contribution is her famous saying . . . THE SECRET TO STAYING YOUNG IS TO LIVE HONESTLY, EAT SLOWLY, AND LIE ABOUT YOUR AGE.  Lucille Ball, the loopy Lucy that America loved! 

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In Close Ups, the movie star book, Lucy has two mentions, one is for Stage Door and the other is in regard to actress Nancy Carroll.  She was in very early movies and then retired and went to the stage and did some television, The Aldrich Family was a show she did in 1950.  Shortly before she died of an aneurysm in '65 at the age of 61.  She was very optimistic a little while before she died, telling a friend that she had been talked about for a part in Torn Curtain, the Hitchcock film and a part in a Lucille Ball special.

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In Rob Lowe's autobiography STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS, he again talks about his disastrous opening at the Oscars the year Lucy attended a month before she passed on.  He says, the opening number sounded like a great idea at the time, the actress who sang with him was too nervous so her voice went up even higher than it already was and although the number had all these great stars, they found out they could barely walk so they had them seated at tables in a COPA LOOK.  He could see the mouthing of the words WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?  from director Barry Levinson of Rain Man who would win an Oscar at the end of the show.  The fact that the Oscars had not secured the using a lady imitating Snow White meant a lawsuit from Disney.  Anyhoo, the number finally ended and he went to the green room backstage and saw an elderly lady there, she asked him to join her as she was alone, they watched the show together and he realized it was Lucille Ball.  She told him she had no idea he was such a great singer and she told him she loved it.  She later asked for some aspirin saying she had a terrible headache, there's one sign of a coming stroke by the way . . . he then says how everybody in town hated the opening and he thought, hey, IF LUCILLE BALL LIKES WHAT YOU DO, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ANYBODY ELSE?  Which I LOVE by the way, he's got a new fan in me, not that didn't already like the man.  Note:  When you read those quotes from people who were on the set more than half a century later and they tell some story about Lucy that you doubt, This is 25 years ago and Rob says that Lucy went on to get her Lifetime Achievement award at the Oscars to a standing ovation.  Well, as we all know, she did get a standing Ovation with Bob Hope but they were there to present the new stars who would win Oscars in the future.  And Lee Tannen got that part wrong in his book also by the way.  So maybe he also screwed up the tear in her dress at the waist.

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Don't know whether this book has been discussed before:

Television's Top Rated Programs 1960-2010

 

It's well written, describing the plot and talking about the history of the series.

 

Whenever they quote ratings they never go back farther than 1960 for some reason leaving out ILL's great ratings and also LDCH---especially the first which I assume was the highest.  In this list, each of the 5 first season shows would qualify as a special so all may have made the list.  Season 2 and 3 were actually part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse series.

 

The list includes Super Bowls and specials and the highest rated episode of a given series. (For instance, Beverly Hillbillies has only one episode when it's likely many of them were ranked higher than others on the list).  They're ranked by rating and not share so it's unlikely the list will change with the paltry ratings the top ten gets now.  The MASH finale is #1.

 

"The Lucy Show" premiere comes in at #62

"Lucy Meets the Burtons" is #71.

 

Interesting because I read that Burtons was Lucy's highest rating since the baby's birth.  I KNOW I read in some similar book years ago that Lucy Show's highest rating was "Lucy Gets Involved" in Jan. 1968. 

 

 

Author states that before the season, CBS was poised to cancel HL at the end of the 70-71 season but the ratings improved so they didn't.   Makes no sense because HL's first two seasons were #9 and #6, the only time a competitor finished in the top 10 against a #1 show.  What more could they ask for?  Yes, the demographic was probably not as attractive as "Laugh In"'s, but what did they think they could counter LI with that would do better?

 

CBS wanted to do a 35th anniversary show, but Lucy said no.  Tom Watson proposed a reunion show in which Little Ricky gets married but plans for that stopped when Lucy returned with LWL.  Tom disputes this saying the reunion show idea was much earlier, but concurs that CBS did want to do a 35th ILL retrospective.

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I hate google news archives search now but I remember an article I read a few mounths ago where talk of the I Love Lucy 35th Anniversary Special took place in an article about Life WIth Lucy being cancelled.  Maybe someone patient can find it.  I would think with Desi so ill it won't have worked but I would of loved a special or even a clip show with all together sharing their history.  Though a clip show would be like the 25th anniversary special too much

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I know Neil, I got a new book today on top tens of all time and in the tv section, they list for the sixties, Hillbillies at number one and The Lucy Show at number ten.

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Just got this beautiful coffee table type book, worth $60 US and $75 Canada, from 1998, titled Icons of the 20th Century, by Barbara Cody.  Lucille Ball rates two full pages of which one age is four pictures and the other is her bio.  They're accurate and very praiseworthy of her many talents.  Also found one called Hollywood Musicals and she has many references in the index, can't wait to check it out.  Again, it's a huge coffee table type book with intro by Gene Kelly, author is Clive Hirshhorn.

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In the Hollywood Musical book, in their review of her MAME, they mention all of the Mames who got to play the iconic character . . . Roz Russell of course, Angela somebody or other, Dolores Gray, Ginger Rogers, Bea Lillie, Constance Bennett, Eve Arden, Greer Garson, Sylvia Sidney and even Juliet Prowse.

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In the Hollywood Musical book, in their review of her MAME, they mention all of the Mames who got to play the iconic character . . . Roz Russell of course, Angela somebody or other, Dolores Gray, Ginger Rogers, Bea Lillie, Constance Bennett, Eve Arden, Greer Garson, Sylvia Sidney and even Juliet Prowse.

and the review?

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Well, it's not exactly a real review, it's every musical that was ever made listed with cast writers directors etc with a few comments on anything major so Mame goes like this in the review department for Lucy . . . Page 403, I'm thinking of getting it framed, it shows Lucy guiding the dancers through the main Mame number . . . after listing all who portrayed Mame they add . . . and for the film musical, Lucille Ball was chosen.  Although possessing just as much pizzazz as her predecessors, Lucy's infinite variety had been somewhat withered by age, notwithstanding the gallant efforts of photographer Philip Lathrop to envelop her in the softest of focuses, and those of choreographer Onna White to keep her on the sidelines of the more frenetic musical numbers.  The rather mechanically regimented choreography, in fact, proved an asset only in the catchy title number (illustrated, Ball Centre)  In which red coated, black-toppered huntsmen energetically hopped skipped and jumped around the slightly blurry star.  OK, LIKE LUCY ONCE SAID, THAT'S A GOOD REVIEW, LOL!  I think these people are commenting on the version they saw in the theater, or cinema, gigantic on screen, of course it looks blurred, which I don't think was the case on our much smaller tv screens.  The only instance I found blurred, a little, was the opening number, IT'S TODAY, where Mame is supposed to be her youngest anyway, so they would soften it to fake the appearance of youth.  As for the script, or the story, blame the writer for it not showing off Lucy's comic abilities.  Her talents were wasted here, in a project that was done much too late in her career and was in a genre that had lost favor with the public.  AT THE TIME. 

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Rereading The Lucy Years on my kindle.

People's memories can play tricks on them but a little fact checking would have reminded Sammy that Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen did NOT appear in the Joan Crawford episode and that Joan did NOT do a waltz with Gale Gordon.

With these kindle books, you can't thumb through pages so I don't know if I missed it, but if she revealed who this ingrate, alleged Lucy-stalking, tram- hopping, studio-crashing teenage kid was (so far it sounds like me except for the ingrate part--I did all of these things and yes, it was quite easy) I didn't catch it.  With all the build up, I thought the Steven was going to be Speilberg.

Is it just me or does the story just not quite ring true for anybody else? or make sense?

WHY for instance would she put her job in such obvious risk and stick her neck out for this" kid" she doesn't know at all, letting him on to the lot to roam around for what seems like MONTHS? AND taking responsibility for him?

Doesn't it seem like half the book is devoted to this and how she was unfairly let go? ("Lucy said she liked him")

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With all the build up, I thought the Steven was going to be Speilberg.

 

What makes you think this wasn't what she built up to? When I read it, she was practically waving him around like a flag -- discounting, of course, he was already a budding director without their help at this time. LOL

 

I'm drawing a blank...is it this e-book which tells the story about Gary and the air conditioner?

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