HTF REVIEW: "I Love Lucy" 50th Anniversary Special (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    I Love Lucy
    50th Anniversary Special

    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 2001
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 85 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Screen
    Subtitles: None

    "They were, the four of them, so part of
    Americana, weren't they. We knew them."

    -Larry King
    Of course, the talk show host was referring to
    none other than Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel.
    These are names that are forever etched in the
    minds of just about everyone all over the world --
    for I love Lucy is considered to be the
    most prestigious, far-reaching and beloved program
    ever created in the history of entertainment
    television. The show was the birth of sitcom
    as we know it.
    This past week Paramount sent me a little
    surprise along with my I Love Lucy screener
    DVDs. That surprise was the 50th Anniversary
    Special that was shown on CBS last year. I
    had no idea this was being planned for DVD release,
    and I'm very happy Paramount sent it out.
    The 50th Anniversary Special has many treats
    in store for Lucy fans. First and foremost, it's a
    wonderful compilation of clips, cleverly put
    together, that span 6 years of laughter. For the
    past 85 minutes, I have been having the time of my
    life with this retrospective. After all these years,
    no matter how many times I have seen these routines,
    they still manage to make me laugh.
    There's some terrific rare footage of the Desilu
    Playhouse stage where the show was filmed every
    week. For the first time ever, we watch Desi Arnaz
    come out and warm up the audience and introduce
    his co-stars before the show's taping. It's a
    poignant reminder that Desi learned every aspect
    of the show and gave it the quality that still holds
    its value today.
    (childhood photos of Lucy and Desi)
    We are introduced to Lucy and Desi's children,
    Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucy Arnaz, who make a visit
    to their Mom's childhood home in Jamestown, NY.
    In this small two-level home, we hear stories of
    how Lucy performed shows for her family. It's a
    very touching moment not only for her children,
    but for those watching along at home.
    I Love Lucy owes its success in no small
    part to a band of brilliant creators and innovators.
    We meet the show's original writers, Bob Carroll,
    Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Schiller. This was
    the creative backbone of the show -- a group of
    writers who had to crank out a new show every
    week, never starting with an idea in their head.
    Yet, somehow this team wrote 4 years of shows that
    have never been forgotten. At the time, none of
    them knew they were writing television history.
    The show looks at all the big-name movie stars
    who appeared on the show. Most of them never
    wanted to do television, but then again, I Love
    was a national phenomenon. Through many
    clips, we watch Bob Hope get bonked in the head
    with a baseball, or Lucy lighting her nose on fire
    in front of William Holden, or getting caught in a
    mirror routine with Harpo Marx. As big as these
    movies stars were (they always played themselves),
    they were in absolute awe of Lucille Ball's talent.
    Speaking of talent....some of Hollywood's finest
    are on hand to talk about how much they love
    Lucy. Among the stars on hand are Cher, Whoopie
    Goldberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dick Van Dyke,
    Barbara Walters, Lily Tomlin, Richard Crenna.....
    and the list goes on.
    Scattered throughout this retrospective is the
    definitive Top 10 countdown of the very best
    I Love Lucy episodes as voted by viewers
    through CBS.COM.
    How is the transfer?
    There's not much to say about the transfer other
    than it looks sensational. This was put together
    for television broadcast and the production value
    is top-notch. It's very unlikely Paramount would
    have done anything to make it look any less stellar.
    Though all of the original clips are presented in
    mono, the new material recorded for the show
    (including two musical tributes with Desi & Lucy Jr.)
    are presented in stereo.
    Final Thoughts
    It was a nice surprise to see that Paramount
    chose to release this heartwarming retrospective
    amongst its I Love Lucy DVD collection
    releases. It's a personal and emotional look
    at a social phenomenon created by the greatest
    television series ever made. It reminds us 50
    years later that we love Lucy more than ever!
    Release Date: Now
  2. Mike-M

    Mike-M Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 21, 2002
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    Thanks. I saw this when it aired. Are there any special features? I liked it but I don't know if it justifies more viewings unless there are some extras on the disc.
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
    No extras -- however, the content speaks for itself.
  4. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Apr 23, 2002
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    Glad to know I can get rid of another "taped from the airwaves" vhs. I Love Desi, Viv, Bill Frawley, and always Lucy.

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