Why ‘I Love Lucy: The Movie’ Remained Unreleased for Decades

by Jeremy Spirogis
Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance in front of a wall in an episode of

I Love Lucy was an enormous hit so a film spin-off was a logical subsequent step — or was it? I Love Lucy: The Movie was accomplished in 1953. Here’s why MGM determined to not launch the film within the ‘50s and why nobody was capable of relocate the movie for a while.

Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance in front of a wall in an episode of 'I Love Lucy'
Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

What separates ‘I Love Lucy: The Movie’ from most motion pictures

1953’s I Love Lucy: The Movie was not a traditional film. According to DVD Talk, it was composed of three episodes of the primary season of I Love Lucy edited collectively. Those episodes had been “The Benefit,” “Breaking the Lease,” and “The Ballet.” Of course, merely placing collectively three episodes of a tv present with no adjustments would create one thing very disjointed, so the artwork of modifying made the film extra cohesive. The opening credit of the episodes had been edited out. In addition, the creators of the movie added a couple of minutes of linking materials to tie the episodes collectively. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, a check viewers responded nicely to the movie. So why didn’t it get launched again within the ‘50s?

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz near a brick wallLucille Ball and Desi Arnaz near a brick wall
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

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Why the movie stayed on the shelf for thus lengthy

The movie’s editor, Dan Cann, stated MGM didn’t suppose releasing the film was “smart exploitation.” DVD Talk says it’s additionally potential — although removed from sure — MGM didn’t wish to launch the movie since they had been planning on releasing one other movie starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz: The Long, Long Trailer. Ultimately, MGM shelved I Love Lucy: The Movie. Perhaps this was a good suggestion contemplating The Long, Long Trailer broke a field workplace document for MGM, turning into their highest-grossing comedy.

However, Cann informed the Los Angeles Times by no means forgot concerning the movie. He stated he seemed in each vault in Hollywood to search out it. Eventually, he discovered it in a Paramount Pictures vault.

Someone had incorrectly labeled I Love Lucy: The Movie a Desilu Playhouse film. Finally, members of the general public obtained to see the movie at a California conference referred to as Loving Lucy in 2001. Six years later, the movie was lastly launched on DVD — a full 54 years after its completion. The near-release of the film was to theaters was the closest the world obtained to seeing I Love Lucy on the large display screen till the 2010s.

Lucille Ball wearing a hat in an episode of I Love LucyLucille Ball wearing a hat in an episode of I Love Lucy
Lucille Ball | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

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When ‘I Love Lucy’ did make it to the large display screen

According to Entertainment Weekly, Fathom Events launched 5 episodes of I Love Lucy in theaters in 2019 to mark what would have been Ball’s 108th birthday. The basic episodes included “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” (the episode about Vitameatavegemin) and “Job Switching” (the place Lucy needed to wrap goodies). Fans didn’t get to see Lucy Ricardo’s shenanigans on the large display screen in 1953, nevertheless, they lastly obtained to see it within the 2010s.

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