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Lucille Ball as SOTM October 2021


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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

It didn't play that way. Liza was like an adoptive step-sister to Lucie and Desi Jr. This is because Lucy and Liza formed a bond when Minnelli was directing THE LONG LONG TRAILER. Also, Lucy and Judy were very close pals from their MGM days and Lucy was at the star-studded premiere of A STAR IS BORN around that time. 

In Lee Tannen's book, he describes going with Lucy to see a Broadway show where they bumped into Liza, and Liza ran up and hugged Lucy calling her Mama. After Judy's death, Lucy was like a surrogate mother to Liza, and that was helped by the fact that Liza and Desi Jr. were romantically involved for a while in the 70s. So they were all one big happy extended family.

In addition to performing in the trio Dino, Desi & Billy, Desi Jr. made films for awhile. His motion career peaked from 1972 to 1978, before he segued into TV movies. He also headlined his own TV show in the 80s, Automan.

Lucie's success was more on stage and touring in musical shows. In Tannen's book, he talks about how proud Lucy was re: Lucie and that she believed Lucie had inherited her father's music performance genes. Lucy had the writers of Here's Lucy devise some episodes that were a showcase for Lucie. In one classic episode, Lucie sings with a young Donny Osmond and in another one, she sings with John Davidson. There is also a very good episode in the final season in which Lucie does a Sonny & Cher routine with Robert Goulet. Lucy enjoyed sitting back and letting her daughter perform and show off her own unique talents.

In fact it could be argued that the basic concept of Here's Lucy was to serve as platform that would continue Lucy's television career and at the same time serve as a launching pad for her kids' careers. She believed in their ability to entertain audiences. But she was also a stern taskmaster and made them work hard. She wasn't just their mother, she was their boss.

It looks like we are crossing signals here:   The fact Judy and Lucy were friends and that they knew each other children,   could be the reason Lucy was disappointed that her own children weren't as talented as Liza  (by a mile).     To see the super talented Liza (e.g.  I saw her on Garland's T.V. show as a teen and one could see this young woman was going places).    So Lucy saw all that Liza had to offer up close.

Of course that wouldn't impact the friendship between Judy and Lucy,  but instead between Lucy and her children.

  

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20 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

It looks like we are crossing signals here:   The fact Judy and Lucy were friends and that they knew each other children,   could be the reason Lucy was disappointed that here own children weren't as talented as Liza  (by a mile).     To see the super talented Liza (e.g.  I saw her on Garland's T.V. show as a teen and one could see this young woman was going places).    So Lucy saw all that Liza had to offer up close.

Of course that wouldn't impact the friendship between Judy and Lucy,  but instead between Lucy and her children.

Yes, I know what you are saying but I don't think that was a factor here. I think these actresses (Lucy and Judy) wanted to continue their own careers and wanted their children to have successful careers too. However, they knew that their kids may not have the same luck or opportunities as them. Or in this case, maybe Lucie didn't have the same breaks that Liza had.

I really don't think Liza is more talented than Lucie. I think they just have slightly different talents and their careers went in different directions. A mother like Lucy would not said 'my Lucie is not as talented as Liza.' She would have said 'gosh is Liza good, but Lucie is good too...and how much will it cost to come up with a new script that showcases Lucie's talents and makes her as popular as Liza.'

One of my favorite comments at the Television Academy Foundation occurs during an interview with Jayne Meadows. She describes guest starring on an episode of Here's Lucy and she was not very fond of the script. She said the script must have cost a quarter and that Lucy was trying to save money because she had overspent hiring Liz Taylor & Richard Burton the week before!

She goes on to say that they were doing a table read and Lucy got upset with one of the writers and turned up her nose and in a very dramatic gesture said 'this is not funny.' Lucy knew what would make her audience laugh and that this script was not going to cut it. She ordered rewrites. But Lucie, whom Jayne called Little Lucy, kept insisting it was funny. So you had daughter and mother arguing about the quality of the script in the middle of an argument that Lucy the boss was having with her writing team. 

I do think the finished episode, called 'Lucy Stops a Marriage' is quite good, so they must have really worked hard to bring it up to Lucy's standards. But according to Jayne, when the week began, the script was awful and they were in for a bumpy ride.

My point here is that you need to have a basic raw talent, which I think Liza and Lucie both possess, but you also need to have a chance to workshop the material and polish things to make it as good as possible.

Lucy was often accused of being difficult behind the scenes on her shows. But she knew that practice made perfect and she pushed them all as hard as she could to keep making it better. She usually co-directed each episode of Here's Lucy, uncredited. She expected them all to improve the quality along with her. If her kids, costars and guest stars didn't have a raw talent that she and her writers could use, they wouldn't be there on the set.

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20 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Yes, I know what you are saying but I don't think that was a factor here. I think these actresses (Lucy and Judy) wanted to continue their own careers and wanted their children to have successful careers too. However, they knew that their kids may not have the same luck or opportunities as them. Or in this case, maybe Lucie didn't have the same breaks that Liza had.

Well we view the talent of Liza and Lucie much differently but moving passed that;   producers\directors etc... were exposed to both young women via their mothers.   I.e. those with the means to give them opportunities were aware of these young women.    

It wasn't luck that caused first time director Alan Pakula to cast Liza in The Sterile Cuckoo and it wasn't luck that lead to a Oscar nomination for Best Actress,  as well as the film being ranked 13th at the box office in 1969;   After this major splash Liza was on her way.

I have to believe none of the producers\directors of that time saw a similar potential in Lucie;   if they did why didn't they offer her a leading role in a major film?   

In this regard Lucie didn't get the same opportunities but I believe there is a reason for that,  and I guess that is where we disagree. 

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4 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Well we view the talent of Liza and Lucie much differently but moving passed that;   producers\directors etc... were exposed to both young women via their mothers.   I.e. those with the means to give them opportunities were aware of these young women.    

It wasn't luck that caused first time director Alan Pakula to cast Liza in The Sterile Cuckoo and it wasn't luck that lead to a Oscar nomination for Best Actress,  as well as the film being ranked 13th at the box office in 1969;   After this major splash Liza was on her way.

I have to believe none of the producers\directors of that time saw a similar potential in Lucie;   if they did why didn't they offer her a leading role in a major film?   

In this regard Lucie didn't get the same opportunities but I believe there is a reason for that,  and I guess that is where we disagree. 

Yes, we'll have to disagree on this point.  Lucie was a bit younger than Liza at that time. Plus Lucie was under contract to her mother's company, Lucille Ball Productions. So I am sure that Lucie would have been put before various producers when Lucy was ready for her to do that (in other words, after Lucy had finished training her on the sitcom).

I don't know all of Lucie's work history, but I do know that the fifth season of Here's Lucy was supposed to be the end of that show. This is because they had reached the magic 100 episodes for syndication, but CBS asked Lucy to return for another season. MAME's release date had been pushed back (possible retooling),  so Lucy agreed to do another year of the sitcom. However , Lucie thinking the show was over, had signed on to do a road show tour of some musical.

This meant that Lucie was only able to appear in about a third of the episodes of the sixth season. It was mostly just Lucy and sidekick Gale Gordon in those episodes.

I think Lucie's real love was the stage and she was encouraged by Vivian Vance who had started on stage and shared her passion for the theater. Lucie was not as interested as her brother in becoming a movie star. She stuck more to stage and television work as her career progressed, which was a different path than Liza took.

Anyway it's cool, you like Liza, I get it. But I sincerely doubt Lucy was biased against her daughter. As I said, she used the weekly show to train her children so they could be successful and she believed in them and their talent.

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  • 5 weeks later...


Of course she was SOTM when season 3 of The Plot Thickens Podcast Lucy first started.  Which I’m still listening to and just loving iit.  Of course they show The Long Long Trailer from time to time.  Which is one of the movies she and Desi Arnez did together.  Other then when she was SOTM?  How often do they show her films?

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14 minutes ago, David Guercio said:


Of course she was SOTM when season 3 of The Plot Thickens Podcast Lucy first started.  Which I’m still listening to and just loving iit.  Of course they show The Long Long Trailer from time to time.  Which is one of the movies she and Desi Arnez did together.  Other then when she was SOTM?  How often do they show her films?

Lucy's films are shown fairly often since she was under contract to both RKO and MGM.  RKO and MGM's libraries are part of the TCM library.  Lucy's films with Columbia are shown less often, but when they are, it seems that Miss Grant Takes Richmond gets the most airplay. 

Look for Du Barry Was a Lady on 1/23, this was her first film at MGM and is the film where her hair was dyed her trademark shade of red.  Lucy would have this hair color for the rest of her life. 

Too Many Girls, the film where Lucy and Desi met will air on 2/3 and 2/22.

2/22 actually looks like it features a block of Desi Arnaz films: Too Many Girls, Four Jacks and a Jill, Father Takes a Wife, Holiday in Havana, Bataan, Forever Darling, and my personal favorite, The Long Long Trailer.  There is also a short film about Desi Arnaz and his orchestra. 

Yours, Mine and Ours and The Big Street will air as part of Henry Fonda's SOTM on 2/15 and 2/16, respectively.

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

LUCY is always a treat.  75 solid years of television and I Love Lucy is still the best thing TV has come up with! 

I remember a scene from Crocadile Dundee. He hadn't watch T.V. in years. I Love Lucy  was on . He said T.V. hasn't changed. 

Sue Charlton: [helping Mick get settled in to his NYC apartment] There's a TV over there if you get bored.

Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: Oh, yeah - - I remember television from way back. I saw it at a buddy's house one time.

Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: [turns on the set and sees an "oldies re-run" of an "I Love Lucy" show pop up on the screen] Yup - - that's what I saw that time.

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