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The Facts of Life

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I searched but couldn't find "Facts of Life" movie as a topic.

A friend gave me a huge Oscar book, containing all nominees.  I didn't know Facts of Life got so many nominations.  I don't remember Edith Head's designs being all that stunning but glad the movie won one.  (many categories were still being divided between b/w and color nominations).  Other nominations: screenplay, cinematography, set decoration and the title song, none of which I find Oscar-worthy.  I find the title song a little annoying.  Even the bouncy but frivolous "Yours Mine & Ours" is better.  The Lucy movie songs that should have been nominated: the melodic "Forever, Darling" or Mame's "Loving You", which is better than the 5 nominees that year.   I wasn't aware until recently that "Breezin' Along with the Breeze" was not written for "Long Trailer". 

For reasons that have never been more specific than "legal", "The Facts of Life" was shown on TV twice in the 64-65 season as part of ABC's Sunday Night movie: the debut and the rerun, then was not seen again for another THIRTY years and then, it was not on TV but the VHS release in about 1996.  (As far as I know, it was never rereleased to theaters).  Lucy and Bob would make reference to the movie but I don't think the general public was aware of it.  I haven't seen BO figures but it's been written it did OK, but not a smash.  Even in their "I Remember It Well" from Hope's 1987 show for troops "We used to sing....We used to dance....in "Facts of Life"...and "Fancy Pants".  So after 30 years of anticipation, good to great reviews, awards and all, maybe I was expecting too much when I finally saw it.  It's certainly good but the production values were strictly TV so I'm surprised at the nominations in the other categories.  The screenplay is well-done but really.... doesn't rise above good+ TV sitcom fare IMO.  I think the script to "Lucy Makes Room for Danny" is better. 

I don't know how they narrow the field down to 5 for Best Actress.  I wonder how close Lucy came.  I've seen "The Apartment", the best picture winner but don't remember much about it (again maybe expected too much from a Best Picture).  Have not seen any of the other actress nominees in their 1960 movies.  Probably the closest Lucy ever got to a Best Actress Oscar nomination. (Unless you could Nicole Kidman's nod playing her).   If Doris Day could get one for "Pillow Talk", then why not Lucy? The nominated actresses that year were all noteworthy with Elizabeth Taylor winning for Butterfield 8.  Haven't seen it but some say she got the nomination out of sympathy for some sort of life-threatening illness she recovered from.   Lucy fell off the boat in "Facts of Life".  Where's the sympathy vote for that!

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I think the film came in around 26th place at the box office, so it should have grossed over $6 million. 

There were a lot of worthy Best Actress contenders not nominated that year: Lucy, Jean Simmons for Elmer Gantry, Judy Holliday for Bells are Ringing, and Doris Day for Midnight Lace. Of those who were nominated, Shirley MacLaine would get my vote. Lucy’s New York Film Critics Circle nom had her against the 1961 Best Actress contenders. The film did not open in New York until February 1961 and it broke box office records at the Beekman Theatre. The film did very well in New York. 

I’m very happy the movie won an Oscar, but if you asked me, which Lucille Ball film was the least deserving of a Best Costume Academy Award, my answer might be The Facts of Life!

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