This Labor Day weekend is a wonderful opportunity to see two stars who basically defined TV in its early days in one of their few movie appearances together.
It’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, in the closest they came to making an "I Love Lucy" movie. The film is "The Long, Long Trailer," and while they play a married couple in this comic film, they don’t play characters named Lucy and Desi.
Arnaz had tried to bid on the novel "The Long, Long Trailer" by Clinton Twiss, but was outbid by MGM. Still, Lucy and Desi agreed to star in the film.
According to "Desilu: The Story Of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz" by Coyne Steven Sanders and our pal Tom Gilbert, Arnaz liked the story, "which amusingly detailed a honeymooning couple’s various comedic adventures driving a gigantic 947-foot New Moon trailer across the country."
Ball and Arnaz made the film while "I Love Lucy" was in hiatus one season.
Debuting in theaters at the end of 1953, the Technicolor film, directed by Vincente Minnelli, "was a great popular and critical success," Sanders and Gilbert write, adding that " ‘Saturday Review’ called it ‘a very funny movie,’ and ‘Time’ deemed ‘Trailer’ ‘a wonderfully slap-happy farce.’ "
"The Long, Long Trailer" will be screening on TCM on Sunday, Sept. 5th, 2010 at 4:15 pm, ET, and earlier in all other time periods. The film isn’t shown all that often on TV, so set your DVRs if you’re not going to be home to watch it.