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Loving Lucy Pt. 2 - Columbia Pictures


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Here is the New York Post's great second installment in its online Loving Lucy series -- this time looking at Lucy's stint at Columbia:

 

In last week's column, I covered three recently released B pictures that Lucille Ball -- whose 100th birthday is being celebrated this year -- made during her busy 1935-42 stay at RKO. Today, I'm reviewing four films that premiered on DVD in August as part of Sony's Screen Classics by Request program, which Lucy made at Columbia Pictures between 1947 and 1951. Apparently originally intended as a set for retail release, they are now available only individually through this manufacture-on-demand service -- but will reportedly be offered as a set at the beginning of November.

 

Lucy had actually been under contract to Columbia, at $75 a week, in the early '30s, after her stint as a Goldwyn Girls dancer. She did bits in films like "Broadway Bill,'' before supporting the Three Stooges in "Three Little Pigkins'' -- and Lee Tracy in her first credited feature, "Carnival'' (1935) before being dropped and going to RKO.

 

Her RKO tenure was followed by a star buildup at MGM, which blamed unfairly her for the failure of such lackluster films as "Meet the People'' (1944) and let Lucy go after "Two Smart People'' (1946), the only one of her MGM titles that's not available on DVD.

 

After that, Lucy kept busy as a freelancer. Douglas Sirk's independently produced and highly watchable thriller "Lured'' (1947) and, at Universal, "Lover Come Back'' opposite George Brent, were followed by her return to Columbia, where she was signed for a single film. This was apparently at instigation of S. Sylvan Simon, who had just relocated to Gower Gulch as a director-producer after directing many films at MGM (including "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood'' in which Lucy had played herself).

 

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/movies/dvd_extra_loving_lucy_part_columbia_OOEWzHwZgGAEUU49WQ7bwM#ixzz1b9vUef6n

 

Lots more at the link above!

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Another terrific article! The Magic Carpet aside, I think Lucy's weakest Columbia movie is Her Husband's Affairs. Lucy's character, Margaret, is extremely likeable and sympathetic but Franchot Tone's character, Bill, drives me CRAZY! His childish tantrums due to his insecurity that his wife is the brains of the family are infuriating! He has good reason to be insecure since his wife's sharp wit, charm, and cleverness highlight the fact that he's an idiotic buffoon, but give me a break! That Bill's so stubborn and insecure that he's mad at his wife for getting him out of prison, after he's clearly shown us through the entire film that he's a bombastic baboon is annoying enough, but that Margaret STAYS with him afterwards invokes my gag reflex! :angry:

 

Okay, stepping down off of my soap box now. I should have used this movie in a paper I wrote when I was an undergrad about post-war films that reflect American society boosting men's egos and shoving women back in the home. :lucyhaha:

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