Desi Arnaz Bet $50,000 This Lucille Ball Film Would Break a Box Office Record

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lucille Ball about to kiss Desi Arnaz

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are primarily remembered as tv stars however additionally they made some good films as a pair. Ball and Arnaz as soon as starred collectively in an MGM film — however not earlier than Arnaz made a daring guess. He guess their film might make more cash than each earlier MGM comedy. Here’s the story of a film MGM was hesitant to make.

Lucille Ball about to kiss Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives by way of Getty Images

What occurred when Desi Arnaz misplaced the rights to a e book

I Love Lucy was an amazing success on tv so it solely made sense that the Arnazes would attempt to make the transition to movie. According to TCM, Arnaz tried to buy the rights to a e book referred to as The Long, Long Trailer, which is a few couple who journey throughout America in a motor dwelling. MGM producer Pandro Berman beat him to the punch.

However, that wasn’t the top of Anraz’s connection to The Long Long, Trailer. Berman introduced again the staff behind the profitable comedy Father of the Bride — director Vincente Minelli and screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich –to craft a movie adaptation of The Long, Long Trailer. Ball and Arnaz had the chance to star within the movie regardless that Arnaz misplaced the rights to the e book.

The heads of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball on the poster for The Long, Long TrailerThe heads of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball on the poster for The Long, Long Trailer
A poster for The Long, Long Trailer | LMPC by way of Getty Images

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Ball was initially impartial in regards to the prospect of starring in a movie after discovering success with I Love Lucy. However, she joked she would possibly need to make a film just because she needed to know what she regarded like in Technicolor, as I Love Lucy was filmed in black-and-white. 

Why MGM thought a movie starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was a nasty concept

According to AFI, MGM was initially unenthusiastic about The Long, Long Trailer. Minelli recalled “[MGM] subscribed to the theory that the audience wouldn’t pay to see actors they could get at home for free. But I insisted these were different parts, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could make the picture hilarious.” Ultimately, Ball and Arnaz starred within the movie — however not with out making an costly guess first. 

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The trailer for The Long, Long Trailer

RELATED: ‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball on the Heartbreaking Last Days of Her Marriage to Desi Arnaz

Arnaz and Martin Leeds — his manufacturing government — guess Benjamin Thau — a Lowes government — $50,000 that The Long, Long Trailer would outperform MGM’s highest-grossing comedy, the aforementioned Father of the Bride, on the field workplace. That was actually a daring guess to make given how MGM was initially involved in regards to the movie’s prospects. 

How the guess panned out

Arnaz received the guess although followers might see him and Ball at dwelling on tv. Combining their winnings with their wage for the movie, Arnaz and Ball earned $300,00 from their work on The Long, Long Trailer. That was an amazing sum of money again within the 1950s.

Desi Arnaz kissing Lucille Ball on a poster for The Long, Long TrailerDesi Arnaz kissing Lucille Ball on a poster for The Long, Long Trailer
A poster for The Long, Long Trailer | LMPC by way of Getty Images

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Afterward, AllMovie experiences they starred in one other MGM movie as a pair: Forever, Darling. Forever, Darling was a field workplace bomb. Regardless of their subsequent initiatives, The Long, Long Trailer proved Ball and Arnaz might entertain audiences on the silver display screen in addition to the small display screen.

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