Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Desi Arnaz: Sweet Husband

"Desi was very interested in photography. He was also a sentimental man who liked to chronicle his life with Lucy. (...) She (Lucy) once told me that he has hundreds of albums with pictures of her. I thought she was exaggerating. She was not."

"You often see Desi with his camera in Desilu Inc., and at the I Love Lucy sets, Desi would snap pictures of her (Lucy) as she posed."

-- Desilu employee.

I wish more home videos and personal pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Desi Arnaz can be released, but it would be asking for too much, wouldn't it? It's just that it warms me up when I see them together.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Love Lucy: Rare Picture of Cast

Here's an extremely rare color picture of the I Love Lucy cast after a scene.
I'll like to clarify once again that the dislike that William Frawley and Vivian Vance had for each other was exaggerated. Please remember that it was the period where the whole world loved this television program. Everyone bought merchandise that would remind them of I Love Lucy. It's like the Titanic craze, remember? Everyone bought t-shits, key chains, notepads, erasers-- anything that would remind them of the (awesome) movie.

Of course people would exaggerate things.

It's known to many that Vivian Vance indeed said "champagne for all!" in a club upon hearing the passing of Bill Frawley. However, the publicity people conveniently left out the second part, "it's a pity that (...) the world lost a deeply humorous... and talented man."

Vivian just didn't want to be romantically linked with an unattractive older man on television. Bill was at the age where he had lost his charm and former suaveness, so he got offended. So, Viv would be sarcastic to him, Bill would play childish tricks on her. And Desi and Lucille and the I Love Lucy family would roll their eyes. That's all.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Best Foot Forward

Here's a photo request from one of my Instagram followers. Sorry for posting it up late.
This is actually a screenshot from one of her movie musicals, Best Foot Forward. She was playing the piano and singing. Actually, someone was doing the singing for her.

I often wonder why the movie producers, Desi, and even Lucille herself thought that she couldn't sing. She wasn't the Judy Garland standard, but she was certainly above average! Have you heard her on Dance, Girl, Dance? She was all right there!

Anyway, unlike Lucy Ricardo who lacked talent, Lucy Ball could play the piano. At home, she often played the piano for Desi while he sang and rehearsed for his band performances. Desi even bought her an organ after the birth of little Lucie.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Love Lucy: Playing Scrabble

Desi and Lucille retained that innocence when couples just started dating who were hopelessly smitten with each other. That would be the period where they would find anything amusing.

If you have watched the documentary Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie, you'll see clips of them acting childlike and silly when they were first married. They dressed in costumes, partied, teased and horse played, took adorable pictures and videos of each other, and thoroughly enjoyed the company of each other. I suppose that they were able to throw away their adult problems momentarily and return to the carefree childhood. Too bad they became the main source of unhappiness for each other 2 decades later and had to separate. People change; external circumstances never stay the same. However, Desi and Lucille loved each other in spite of all the mistakes... till the very end.

That magic between these two is the ingredient that makes I Love Lucy so successful.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Too Many Girls (1940)

Do you know? Lucille Ball was actually quite reluctant in doing the movie, Too Many Girls.
First of all, she felt that she was too old to play a role of a co-ed. She was in her late twenties that time. She didn't want to be criticized by anyone, especially her fans.

Second of all, she was also making a movie, Dance, Girl, Dance, where she was a sexy and rowdy burlesque queen. She was afraid that she could not "get into" the role and be convincing.

She couldn't have been more wrong: Lucille looked wonderful and young and fresh in the movie! She was also wonderful in her acting. I always have problems linking the movie "Lucy" with the television "Lucy", and even for each movie that she has made, she was different. This is a rare quality that most actors do not have. Lucille was certainly versatile.

I think that we take it for granted when we study history. What makes history so fascinating to me is that I keep reminding myself that the characters that we are studying have no idea what the next moment would be. We know it not because we're clairvoyant, but because we're looking back into the past. I just feel that timing is really important. Lucille was in RKO at that time, and RKO was milking her "never say no to movies" attitude. She was easygoing and amazingly agreeable back then because she would never say no to any opportunity for learning. Because of her circumstances at that time, she met another actor in the movie, fell in love with him, eloped with him, made I Love Lucy, became the first pregnant woman on television, America's favorite redhead and queen of comedy.