Up 3,125 this week

Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (1991)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  10 February 1991 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 168 users  
Reviews: 6 user

Add a Plot



(story), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
a list of 216 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (TV Movie 1991)

Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (TV Movie 1991) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter.
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Little Pinks is in love with a nightclub singer named Gloria. But it is a unrequited love as she does not know that he exists. Pinks is a shy busboy and Gloria only goes out with men who ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Barton MacLane
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Nicky and Tacy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tacy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels--a trailer. After the two are hitched, they ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Marjorie Main
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

After a boy's parents decide to divorce, he creates a "support group" for all the kids from failed marriages in his school. When kids who's parents aren't divorced start to pick on them, ... See full summary »

Director: Lynn Hamrick
Stars: David Berry, Jesse Littlejohn, Jeff Gendelman
Short | Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The stooges are mistaken by a gangster for the "Three Horsemen of Boulder Dam", famous football players. Hired to play for his team, they blow the big game and get it in the end. Lucille ... See full summary »

Director: Ray McCarey
Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard
General Hospital (TV Series 1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Families, close friends, enemies and lovers go through drama and life changing events.

Stars: Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Rebecca Herbst
The Lucy Show (1962–1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The wacky misadventures of a forever scheming woman, her reluctant best friend and her cantankerous boss.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Gale Gordon, Vivian Vance
Mame (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The musical revolves around the antics of Mame Dennis, a fun-loving, wealthy eccentric with a flare for life and a razor sharp wit. Her life is suddenly changed when she becomes the ... See full summary »

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Lucille Ball, Robert Preston, Bea Arthur
The Mothers-In-Law (1967–1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Roger and Kaye live next door to Eve and Herb. Eve and Herb's daughter Suzie marries Roger and Kaye's son Jerry. This forces the families to be a bit closer than they would prefer, ... See full summary »

Stars: Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard, Herbert Rudley
Here's Lucy (1968–1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lucy Carter, a widow with two teen children, takes a job as a secretary for her stuffy brother-in-law.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Gale Gordon, Lucie Arnaz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The original unaired pilot episode of the classic sitcom finally seen after 40 years.

Directors: David Steinberg, Ralph Levy
Stars: Lucie Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz
Life with Lucy (TV Series 1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

This short-lived comedy series featured the legendary Lucille Ball as Lucy Barker, now a grandmother living with her daughter's family, and still getting into the comedic predicaments that ... See full summary »

Stars: Lucille Ball, Gale Gordon, Ann Dusenberry
I Love Lucy (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Desi Arnaz greets the "I Love Lucy" studio audience and invites them to watch Lucille Ball and the cast film a special extended episode.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wheeler ...
Edith Diaz ...
Matthew Faison ...
Liane Langland ...
Doc Bender
Arthur Lyons
Joyce Blair ...
Cousin Larry


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Before the Fans, the Fame, the Fortune... See more »


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lucy & Desi - Blick hinter die Kulissen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Producer Larry A. Thompson planned to expand the movie into a three-part trilogy that delved further into the lives of Lucy and Desi, but the ratings weren't what the network hoped for so plans for subsequent films were scrapped. See more »


References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »


I'm Afraid That I Love You
by Paul Loomis & Stan Radliff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Classic TV Screen Biopic of popular Hollywood couple
18 November 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Nostalgic, entertaining, well-done effort about Lucy and Desi, is a fine piece of film-making. Colorful behind-the-scenes look at the real lives of the Hollywood couple, played very convincingly by the principals. However, Frances Fisher is the real star of this marvelous film, with her uncanny resemblance to the real Lucille Ball, and her excellent performance which makes you believe she IS Lucy. Her makeup and hairstyles are impeccably detailed and true to life. Lucille Ball would have been proud of this dramatization of her life, just as she was the real star in many of their films. However, the casting of Benard as Desi leaves something to be desired. There wasn't enough attention given to his makeup and hairstyles, and his performance is less than inspired, and downright lethargic and insipid in some scenes, and his accent is not authentically Cuban. What makes the movie work is the well-written script and marvelous acting by Fisher. The supporting cast are all just so much window dressing - and as others have also noted, the performers cast as Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Fred & Ethel Mertz are not that believable either. Brilliant casting of one lead, Fisher does not justify poor casting of other equally important roles. I for one would have loved to see Desi Arnaz Jr. portray his own father in this film, as he did so well in The MAMBO KINGS (1992). Now that would have made this picture a real piece of art! Even as it is, the film works well, was well-produced, and the color cinematography is first-rate. One outstanding scene is their comedy act in front of Desi's orchestra, with Lucy (like Judy Garland had also done) in clown makeup, another is a remarkable black & white re-creation of a scene from a TV episode of "I Love Lucy". My rating is 7 stars out of 10, mostly for Frances Fisher's excellent performance in the role of a lifetime as that bottle-redhead ball of energy from Jamestown, New York.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Benard is at his funniest worst royalev8
Can't Find It pbb1953
casting wgunnelsiii
Why was Lucie Arnaz outraged by this film? adagioforstringsUSA
Youtube SnowBrian
Which is better? lilredlibra2004
Discuss Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: