Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lucille Ball's long trailer fetish

I used to like situation comedy (like “My Little Margie” even more than “I Love Lucy” on old black and white television), but I remember at about age 10 my mother took me to see the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz comedy “The Long, Long Trailer” (1954, MGM, directed by Vincente Minelli) downtown Washington at the old Columbia theater. (Remember, in those days, the theaters were the Capitol, the Palace, and the Columbia).  (There are just two "Long's", not three.)

Nicky (Desi Arnaz) and Tacy (Lucille Ball) start their honeymoon in the trailer than Tacy wants to live in so that life can be a perpetual honeymoon.  (My own parents had done Shenandoah National Park in 1940.) Nicky wants a traditional single family home (and these were the days of suburbanization and tract homes).  But the honeymoon in the trailer becomes harrowing indeed.  I remember laughing out of my seat when Lucy fell in the mud.

The honeymoon disasters will challenge their marriage (as will rumors of other women), but not necessarily more than in the “I Love Lucy” sitcom.  It seems now that the 1950s attitude about marriage was rather condescending.

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