Still in Love with Lucy
by Thomas Watson
Monday, March 5, 2007
Dear Fellow Lucyfans:
MAME & Other Lucy Movies Come to DVD
Warner Home Video announces the Region 1 DVD release of “The Lucille Ball Collection” for 19th June 2007. Those who ‘love Lucy’ may be surprised to learn that Ms. Ball had nearly 20 years of big-screen credits prior to launching the TV show that made her a household name, and WHV will debut on DVD five of the films she made from 1940 through 1974: CRITIC’S CHOICE, DANCE GIRL DANCE, DU BARRY WAS A LADY, THE BIG STREET and MAME. In addition, BEST FOOT FORWARD will be available separately for the first time nationally. All the films will include special features such as Oscar® nominated vintage short subjects, featurettes and classic cartoons. Packaged as a collectible gift set, the five-disc Lucille Ball Collection will sell for $49.92 SRP, with individual titles and BEST FOOT FORWARD available for $19.97 SRP.
CRITIC’S CHOICE (1963)
Lucille Ball and Bob Hope shine in this comedy from the Broadway hit by Ira Levin (No Time for Sergeants, Deathtrap). Tossing inspired throwaway lines right and left, Hope is New York theatre critic Parker Ballentine, who loves writing pointed reviews that close insufferable plays. But there’s a new show in town – by his redheaded wife (Ball). Is it bad? Parker better think twice before he writes this time. Rip Torn, Jim Backus and Marilyn Maxwell co-star.
DVD Special Features:
Vintage comedy short CALLING ALL TARS with Bob Hope [1935 WB Short]
Oscar-nominated Cartoon NOW HEAR THIS [1963 WB Cartoon]
DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (1940)
Directed by Dorothy Arzner, classic Hollywood’s sole major female director in the ‘30s and ‘40s, this backstage musical has been embraced by fans for its feminist sensibilities as well as its powerful storytelling. Ball and Maureen O’Hara star as two very different types of women who are in the same chorus line. Judy (Maureen O’Hara) is a serious dancer, willing to suffer for her art, but while her friend Bubbles (Lucille Ball) loves to dance, she’s equally interested in paying the rent. To do that, she swaps her ballet shoes for a G-string…and turns patrons’ fantasies into dollars as burlesque sensation Tiger Lily White. Ball exhibits terrific onscreen chemistry as she vamps onscreen – and grabs the heart with her cynical acceptance of being a woman in a man’s world.
DVD Special Features:
Vintage comedy short JUST A CUTE KID [1940 WB Short]
Classic cartoon MALIBU BEACH PARTY [1940 WB Cartoon]
DU BARRY WAS A LADY (1943)
Lucy stars with Gene Kelly and Red Skelton in this glittery, tune-filled bon-bon featuring lavish sets and costumes, a supporting cast of wags and wits (including the inimitable Zero Mostel) and three Cole Porter songs from the original Broadway smash: Friendship, Katie Went to Haiti and Do I Love You? With Ball playing the glamorous nightclub chanteuse May Daly, who’s transformed into Madame Du Barry opposite Skelton as King Louis XV this is fabulous and fun musical comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Oscar- Pete Smith specialty short SEEING HANDS [1943 MGM Short]
Classic cartoon BAH WILDERNESS [1943 MGM Cartoon]
THE BIG STREET (1942)
This gutsy, touching melodrama was produced from a Damon Runyon story, the man who wrote Guys and Dolls. Ball and Henry Fonda play brilliantly against type -- Fonda poignant as a timid small-timer and Ball impressive as an icy vixen with an ego twice the size of her soul. Lucy plays haughty nightclub singer Gloria Lyons, a gold digger who doesn’t have time for anyone without money, including Little Pinks (Henry Fonda), the busboy who adores her. All that changes when Gloria is paralyzed after a mobster knocks her down the stairs, and she’s forced to see what and who really matter.
Vintage musical short CALLING ALL GIRLS [1942 WB Short]
Classic cartoon THE HEP CAT [1942 WB Short]
This lavish 1974 screen version of the beloved Broadway musical stars Lucille Ball as a high-living grande dame who’s outlandishly eccentric and, when suddenly faced with raising an orphaned nephew, fiercely loving. Veterans of the New York stage original join her: Beatrice Arthur as best friend Vera, Jane Connell as prim governess Agnes Gooch, choreographer Onna White and director Gene Saks. As Mame’s husband Beauregard, Robert Preston (The Music Man) sings Loving You, written specially for the film. Jerry Herman’s songs, from It’s Today to We Need a Little Christmas and If He Walked into My Life, rank among the best show tunes ever.
Vintage featurette LUCKY MAME
BEST FOOT FORWARD (1943)
Ball portrays herself as the attention-seeking glamour girl who accepts an invitation to the prom from a Winsocki Military Institute cadet as a publicity stunt. Costars June Allyson, Nancy Walker and Tommy Dix recreate their Broadway roles, and Harry James and his band play at the prom to make this a snappy frolic.
Vintage musical short THE KNIGHT IS YOUNG, with June Allyson [1938 WB Vitaphone Short]
Classic cartoon ONE HAM’S FAMILY [1943 MGM Cartoon]
"STAR NOTES" On the Radio
Many thanks to the friends and fans who called-in during the broadcast last Saturday of our new STAR NOTES internet radio series. Special thanks to our celebrity guest, Dann Cahn, who reminisced with Rick Carl and me (photo, right) about his career at Desilu and his long friendship with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. As usual, the two-hour program seemed to whiz by -- and we had time to ask just a few of our many questions for this gentleman. He has promised to return for second visit soon...
Congratulations to listeners Eddie Lucas and Gary Ammons, who called in with correct answers to our Lucy Trivia Questions. Prizes for our weekly contests are provided by the Gift Shop of The Lucy-Desi Center of Jamestown, New York.
If you missed Saturday's broadcast, it is being repeated all this week on Shokus Internet Radio ((www.shokusradio.com), 4-6PM Eastern Time (1-3PM Pacific Time).
Joining us for Show #4, on Saturday, March 10, from her home in Oklahoma will be Lucy's longtime personal secretary, Wanda Clark -- who was with us on February 24, when we experienced many technical glitches with our telephone connections. Wanda promises to share even more of her experiences working for the world's most famous redhead! Also joining us will be TV archivist and historian Dan Wingate, computer graphics artist and animator Jonathan Angus, and longtime Lucy fan Neil Wilburn... It promises to be an interesting program, indeed.
AND -- joining us the following week, on Saturday, March 17, will be actress Janet Waldo, who played Peggy Dawson ("Keep jiggling, Peggy") in the "Young Fans" episode of I Love Lucy, and played Lucy's sister in an episode of The Lucy Show.
If you have questions you would like to ask our guests, you can either "phone in" during the broadcast -- and be part of the show -- or send your questions in advance via e-mail. The toll-free call-in number is:
1 - 8 8 8 - 7 4 6 - 5 8 7 5
The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org -- or click this icon:
Again, STAR NOTES is presented "live" every Saturday afternoon -- 1-3PM Pacific Time; 4-6PM Eastern Time. Repeats will air daily: Sundays 11AM - 1PM (Eastern Time); and Monday-thru-Friday 4-6PM (Eastern Time).
"STAR NOTES" -- and all of the Shokus Internet Radio offerings -- can be accessed from your computer at:
Daylight Savings Time
No this is not a "Lucy" item -- but you may experience a Lucy-like day next Sunday if you forget to change your clocks! Daylight Savings Time begins a few weeks early this year -- technically at 2AM Sunday, March 11. Mark your calendars!
FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS
New Mattel "Lucy" Doll Unveiled
"Lucy the Professor" will be the 2007 entry in the Mattel "Lucy" doll series.
Based on the character Lucy played in "The Audition" episode of I Love Lucy -- and in the Arnazes' earlier vaudeville act -- the doll will be released in late summer/early fall. The suggested retail price is $39.95.
The gift shop of The Lucy-Desi Center in Jamestown, NY, is taking pre-orders for this little lady... To reserve yours, visit the Lucy-Desi web site:
www.lucy-desi.com (2007 Mattel Doll)
Have a great week everybody!
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"I Love Lucy" is copyrighted by and a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc.
Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used with permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
Licensing by Unforgettable Licensing, Northbrook, Illinois.