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“I Love Lucy: The Movie” out on DVD today!

When Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were riding high in 1953 as the stars of I Love Lucy, they decided to capitalize on their show’s popularity by signing to do the movie The Long, Long Trailer.

What is not widely known is that the release of the movie in 1954 about a couple on a rocky honeymoon meant pulling the plug on I Love Lucy: The Movie, a feature film version of their sitcom that had already been completed.

MGM, the studio releasing Trailer, balked because they felt that having the “Lucy” movie in theaters would interfere with the film’s marketing.

“We had heard about how three episodes were adapted into a movie, and it was something we were always curious about and had been looking for,” said Ron Simon, curator of the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills told me in 2006 when the film was screened there. “We’re really fortunate that it was located. It’s really one of the missing pieces of Lucy’s career, and we’re awfully glad to have it.” Love Lucy: The Movie had a successful test screening in Bakersfield before it was shelved, then lost for many years, before being located in a CBS vault by Dann Cahn, one of the handful of people who had been looking for it.

The movie was actually three episodes of the sitcom, The Ballet, The Benefit and Breaking the Lease, which were linked together with 12 minutes of specially shot footage featuring Ball, Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley — who made up the classic quartet of Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel.

The movie was a behind-the-scenes look at I Love Lucy, which began with two audience members waiting in line for the show and then shows Arnaz warming up the studio audience and introducing the cast.

“Lucille Ball was so close to the museum and did quite a few seminars for us before she died,” Simon said in our interview. “We always wanted to have as complete a “Lucy” collection as possible.”

The movie had previously only been available as part of the complete DVD set of the series. It is now available individually for the first time.

It’s available via



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