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HarryCarter

Lucy & Desi Documentary

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We’ve had little mentions of the Lucy & Desi documentary Ron Howard is producing, but we now have a lot more information!

https://deadline.com/2020/08/amy-poehler-directing-documentary-lucille-ball-desi-arnaz-marriage-imagine-documentaries-white-horse-pictures-1203021502/

Amy Poehler will direct! I don’t think I’ve heard Amy (who I love) discuss Lucy before. 

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42 minutes ago, HarryCarter said:

We’ve had little mentions of the Lucy & Desi documentary Ron Howard is producing, but we now have a lot more information!

https://deadline.com/2020/08/amy-poehler-directing-documentary-lucille-ball-desi-arnaz-marriage-imagine-documentaries-white-horse-pictures-1203021502/

Amy Poehler will direct! I don’t think I’ve heard Amy (who I love) discuss Lucy before. 

I have something from years back I remember recording that also had Tina Fey on too. I can't recall what it was though. 

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The film will hit Amazon March 4!

Directed by Amy Poehler, LUCY AND DESI, tellS the story of the groundbreaking comedian who forever changed the way the world viewed comedy and paved the way for scores of women who followed in her footsteps. Using never-before-seen archival film and personal still photos, and first-person narratives, the documentary traces Lucy’s surprising journey—as a performer as well as a businesswoman, and will illuminate her upheaval of male-dominated comedy, breaking barriers for women in entertainment and beyond.

Ball’s childhood was defined by financial and emotional hardship but she was determined to pursue a career in show business. She met her future husband Desi Arnaz on the set of the 1940 musical, Too Many Girls  and in 1951, they used their own money to produce and film the pilot for I Love Lucy, which was then bought by CBS. During the height of I Love Lucy, two-thirds of the nation tuned in to watch Ball and her husband Arnaz every Monday night. The show was known not only known for its broadened view of what comedy could be, but also for tackling subjects many deemed too risqué for broadcast – the most prominent being the marriage of a multi-ethnic couple, and Ball’s real life pregnancy. Ball’s pregnancy became a story arc in the series, and when Ball went into labor on the show, which aired the same day she gave birth in real life to her second child, Desi Jr, it drew 44 million viewers, 15 million more than President Eisenhower’s inaugural speech from earlier in the day.

Long after her death in 1989, Ball’s legacy continues to be reflected in the TV industry at every level and continues to inspire and influence the work of our most lauded comedians. Her relationship with her husband and professional partner, Arnaz, was not only one of Hollywood’s great love stories, but also one of its most legendary business partnerships, transforming the television industry and American culture for decades to come.

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I'll all for it!......but what is left to say?  To the unschooled viewer, it would seem Lucy's career ended in 1960.  There's no doubt that I Love Lucy was her creative peak, but in that TV Encyclopedia book, the top TV shows are listed in order.  I don't know what criteria they use: longevity, ratings and/or more, but in the last edition I have The Lucy Show/Here's Lucy (counted as one show) tops I Love Lucy in their rankings.  I'm a "Lucy Show" booster, mainly based on those first two seasons, but it will forever be stuck with the also-ran treatment in any documentary.   So I assume this one will also ignore everything post I Love Lucy:  Conquering Broadway with Wildcat (and YES SHE DID, despite the short run), 10 full seasons in the top ten with "that other show(s)", 2 more Emmys, a hit movie YM&O.  Though her accomplishments in the 70s are not as impressive, she was still a draw.  Lucy insisted that Mame made money.  Who knows?  Yes, it wasn't a runaway hit but the reviews were not horrible overall.  The bad ones receive the most quote citations.  But whatever the bottom line of Mame was, Lucy was still in demand.  Other than Hepburn, the female stars of Lucy's era were scrambling for any job they could get.  And even Hepburn's 70s-80s output was slim in volume.  The Lucy Show & Here's Lucy: 300 episodes, the equivalent of 78 feature-length movies (by my rough math) and that's 6 1/2 movies per year. 

I wonder how much damage the public domain Lucy Shows, packaged  dozens of different ways, did to the show.  Made up mostly of the 5th and 6th season episodes, this was not The Lucy Show at its peak. 

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The documentary had its premiere at the virtual Sundance Film Festival over the weekend before its March 4 bow on Amazon. It’s wonderful! It’s told in a very affectionate way and the home movies, audio recordings, and clippings are incredible. It’s beautifully produced. 
 

SPOILERS below. 

The film does do a good job covering the later Lucy years. The two series are covered with some nice clips and Lucy’s 1967 Emmy win was shown in its entirety. There was an odd statement that, without Desi, Lucy had to become more of the straight man on her later shows. I’m not sure where that thinking came from. 
Wildcat was discussed with audio from Lucy talking about what she felt the problem was. Her reasoning was not exactly accurate. 
Yours, Mine and Ours and Mame did not get mentioned. Neither did Life with Lucy. 

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11 hours ago, Neil said:

I'll all for it!......but what is left to say?  To the unschooled viewer, it would seem Lucy's career ended in 1960.  There's no doubt that I Love Lucy was her creative peak, but in that TV Encyclopedia book, the top TV shows are listed in order.  I don't know what criteria they use: longevity, ratings and/or more, but in the last edition I have The Lucy Show/Here's Lucy (counted as one show) tops I Love Lucy in their rankings.  I'm a "Lucy Show" booster, mainly based on those first two seasons, but it will forever be stuck with the also-ran treatment in any documentary.   So I assume this one will also ignore everything post I Love Lucy:  Conquering Broadway with Wildcat (and YES SHE DID, despite the short run), 10 full seasons in the top ten with "that other show(s)", 2 more Emmys, a hit movie YM&O.  Though her accomplishments in the 70s are not as impressive, she was still a draw.  Lucy insisted that Mame made money.  Who knows?  Yes, it wasn't a runaway hit but the reviews were not horrible overall.  The bad ones receive the most quote citations.  But whatever the bottom line of Mame was, Lucy was still in demand.  Other than Hepburn, the female stars of Lucy's era were scrambling for any job they could get.  And even Hepburn's 70s-80s output was slim in volume.  The Lucy Show & Here's Lucy: 300 episodes, the equivalent of 78 feature-length movies (by my rough math) and that's 6 1/2 movies per year. 

I wonder how much damage the public domain Lucy Shows, packaged  dozens of different ways, did to the show.  Made up mostly of the 5th and 6th season episodes, this was not The Lucy Show at its peak. 

One reason I like the two part “Funny World of Lucy” documentary is that the second half devotes a lot of time to TLS and HL, something few other programs have done. Considering they only had public domain footage to work with, that company did a great job providing an overall career overview for Lucille.

Interesting question re: the public domain episodes potentially damaging TLS’s reputation. You’re right that the bulk of the 30 PD episodes don’t reflect the show at its finest. Also, the number of companies that attempted to trick people by using “I Love Lucy” era imagery on the packaging probably didn’t help. It might’ve earned a stigma as the “bargain bin” Lucy program. The official releases hopefully have rectified this perception somewhat. 

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I saw this and it made me love her (Amy) all the more!! Plus, NO ONE mentioned / no reference was made to BTR, which was not only welcome but a huge relief as just a week or two before, when interviewing Kidman when she was on her Plugging the Crap tour, they all GUSHED over her and IT and how wonderful it was! Ugh! If only they'd had a "Lucy Expert" on too to help debunk all the errors etc. in that monstrosity! :HALKING:

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