FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Music, Madness & Mayhem
THE LUCY AND DESI COLLECTION
The Long, Long Trailer
Too Many Girls
Popular Motion Pictures, The Only Ones America's Beloved
Comedy Couple Made Together, Finally Get Their DVD Debut on May 2
Burbank, Calif. February 6, 2006 - Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz -- America's quintessential comic couple best known for their long-running hit TV series "I Love Lucy" -- made only three feature films together. Those films make their long-awaited DVD debut, as Warner Home Video introduces The Lucy and Desi Collection
on May 2. Included are The Long, Long Trailer; Forever, Darling
and Too Many Girls,
available as a boxed set for $29.92 SRP. The Long, Long Trailer and Forever, Darling will be available individually for $14.97 SRP each; Too Many Girls is exclusive to the collection. DVD extra content includes vintage MGM and WB shorts, cartoons and a 1956 excerpt from the MGM Parade
Lucy and Desi met on the set during the filming of RKO's Too Many Girls, after being introduced by co-star Ann Miller. It was love at first sight with the couple eloping on November 30, 1940. At that time, Desi was known as the "Conga King" of Big Band music while Lucy was an established second tier film star at RKO. After a stint in the army, Desi continued to travel the country making music while Lucy moved to MGM where studio hairdresser Sydney Guilaroff decided to dye her hair a spectacular red and nicknamed her "Technicolor Tessie". The new look worked and Lucy was a smash as the leading lady in such hit films as DuBarry Was a Lady, Best Foot Forward, and Easy to Wed. Although Desi made occasional film appearances throughout the 1940's, Lucy and he spent far too much time apart.
In 1950, when CBS approached Lucy to bring her hit radio show "My Favorite Husband" to television, she only agreed to do the show if Desi could be her co-star. The network rejected the idea, thinking America wouldn't accept Lucy as the wife of a Cuban. Lucy and Desi took matters into their own hands, and filmed a pilot for a new series to be entitled "I Love Lucy". CBS was won over and the series debuted October 15, 1951. The program succeeded beyond anyone's expectations, making superstars of Lucy and Desi and defining the situation comedy for generations to come. It ran for six highly successful seasons, followed by three seasons of hour-long specials.
The enormous popularity of the TV series renewed interest in Lucy and Desi for feature films, resulting in MGM luring the couple to the studio with an ideal property, The Long, Long Trailer. Filmed while they were on hiatus from their television series, the picture had the comic duo in fine form, and the film was a huge box-office success. Two years later, the studio made a deal with them for another comedy, Forever, Darling. But their TV success precluded too many film ventures and by the end of the 1957 "I Love Lucy" season, Desi had become too involved with his position as the president of Desilu Studios to keep up the pace of a weekly sitcom. In 1960, America's favorite couple divorced.
The end of their marriage hardly meant the end of Lucy and Desi. CBS put "I Love Lucy" reruns into their daytime schedule in 1959, until the show went into syndication in 1967, and it's been running consistently on local stations and cable networks ever since. The world's love affair with Lucy and Desi continues to this day, as does the popularity of the three motion pictures they made together, now finally coming to DVD.
Too Many Girls (1940)
Directed by George Abbott (The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees!), the fast-paced and infectiously funny Too Many Girls is that rare movie adaptation of a Broadway musical that retains many of its original cast, featuring the movie debuts of three talents from the original stage version who would go on to stardom: Desi Arnaz, Eddie Bracken (Hail the Conquering Hero, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek) and Van Johnson (Week-End at the Waldorf, In the Good Old Summertime). Too Many Girls also justifiably retained its buoyant Rodgers and Hart score, including the perennial hits I Didn't Know What Time It Was and You're Nearer. In addition to the combustible romantic attraction between Lucy and Desi, Too Many Girls also features the energetic tap dancing of Ann Miller (On the Town, Kiss Me Kate) and the vocal stylings of Frances Langford (Yankee Doodle Dandy).
Its lighter-than-air plot has spoiled heiress Connie Casey (Lucille Ball) traipsing off to college while her over-protective father secretly sends four Ivy League football stars to act as her bodyguards. In no time, the football players manage to turn tiny Pottawatomie U into a gridiron powerhouse!
The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz live happily ever after as newlyweds honeymooning in
Co-starring comedy pros Marjorie Main (Meet Me in St. Louis, Ma and Pa Kettle series) and Keenan Wynn (Easy to Love, Annie Get Your Gun), this smash was filmed at the height of the "I Love Lucy" craze and is packed with the inventive sight gags and physical humor that made the series a TV landmark.
Forever, Darling (1955)
TV's "I Love Lucy" was in its fifth season when this romp gave fans more reasons to love its stars. Desi Arnaz plays Lorenzo, who heads for wide-open spaces, along with wife Susan (Lucille Ball), to test his chemical company's new product. Of course, comedy chaos ensues built on tent-raising, forest critters, inflatable rafts and other typical elements of roughing it. There is one atypical element: the angel (James Mason) who wants to rescue their troubled union. While marriages may be made in heaven, the details are definitely worked out here below. Forever, Darling is the last film America's favorite couple would make together.
The Lucy and Desi Movie Collection is available on DVD from Warner Bros.