Watching the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz film “The Long, Long Trailer” some 50+ years after it was made, is a rather surreal experience. By 1953, The “Baby Boom” was indeed booming, tract housing was all over the place like crab grass, trailer parks multiplied like jackrabbits, and Americans were inundated with the wonders of “space age” technology. Big, flashy-looking cars, refrigerators, TV sets, “streamlined” furniture, and snazzy clothes were the things that everyone wanted to have. It was as if America wanted to wipe away its gritty, unglamourous past and face the space age all polished and waxed and Simonized. To see Eisenhower’s America as depicted by MGM in better-than-real-life Technicolor and filmed largely on MGM’s backlot (interspersed with location photography of Yosemite Park,etc) I feel like I’m watching home movies that were shot in a suburb of a distant planet! “The Long, Long Trailer” was made to capitalize on the overwhelming popularity of TV’s “I Love Lucy”, which finally made a star of 40ish Lucille Ball, who had never really achieved “big stardom” in the 20 years she had been in showbiz. So, if you REALLY loved Lucy, you could go and spend money to sit in a theater and watch Lucy and Desi on a big screen in an “Air-Cooled” theater in COLOR, and with no commericials! This film has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I first watched it with my sister on our parents’ blonde wood console black-and-white TV back in the mid 1960s. See Lucy fall in the mud (I have to admit I get a rather sadistic pleasure out of watching this bit over and over again). See Lucy try to prepare a gourmet dinner while in a moving trailer, with disastrous results (God, the things they did to this lady!) See Desi perform a medley of songs while driving a huge convertible, pulling an even MORE huge trailer, all in stunning Technicolor. How could you NOT like this film? I must have seen this film at least 50 times when I was growing up! Detractors call this film one long “I Love Lucy” episode which, of course it is, but it certainly isn’t dull, and Lucy and Desi were very talented, hardworking people. Who cares about their less-than-happy personal life? The supporting cast is great, filled with many characters actors who had long, long careers, such as Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Moroni Olson, Madge Blake, and Bert Freed. The picture quality on the DVD is beautiful, with crisp imagery and breathtaking color. One can really understand why Lucille Ball was dubbed “Technicolor Tessie”. She looks great. The location photography is picture-postcard lovely, and all of the pathologcally “Fifties” trappings, such as the Helen Rose clothes and humongous cars, remind us of a VERY different time. This film is a real time piece, it brings back very fond memories of a time that really seems “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” Where’s my TV dinner?
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We watch this wonderful movie once a year, just for the pleasure of anticipating each perfect scene. Directed by Vincent Minelli, and perfectly acted by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, this comedy takes us through the engagement and honeymoon of a young couple starting out life in an “up to date” way, in a trailer. Each cameo appearance by marvelous second and third banana studio people whose faces any movie buff will recognize is very enjoyable, too. There are two several scenes that are our favorites. 1) Tacy (Lucille B.) fixes dinner in a moving trailer (HAH) 2) Nicky (Desi A.) freaks out trying to get his golf clubs to fit in the trailer; 3) Tacy and Nicky try to get over the high passes in Colorado with a rock-filled trailer); 4) a mechanic explains why trailer brakes are soo important. This film is just too magical to believe. You have to see it.
I looked forward to seeing this classic because we had recently purchased an RV and I remembered how hilarious the T.V. movie had seemed when I saw it as a child. Several of the key elements for humor where there…the rock collection, running over the flower beds, etc. But I recalled other parts of the movie that were not on this DVD.
There was alot more character and story development in the original version shown on T.V. I remember Spagehtti going all over the place…not in this DVD; and when Lucy (Tacey) was in the trailer with a sprained ankle, there was more in the sequence than shown (Marjorie Maine had a lot more speaking parts). Overall, it was fun seeing the highlights again, but I wish the entire movie had been shown. I’m wondering why they deleted some of it.