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Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (1991)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | Romance  -  10 February 1991 (USA)
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Title: Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (TV Movie 1991)

Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (TV Movie 1991) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Pearson Rose ...
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Edith Diaz ...
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Before the Fans, the Fame, the Fortune... See more »


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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
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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: Unaired Pilot (1951) See more »


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

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User Reviews

No laughs here
21 September 2001 | by (Valencia, Spain) – See all my reviews

The story of a driven, ambitious, will-succeed-at-any-costs and climb-over-the-bodies-of-all-my-friends hack entertainer; and her mambo-singing, conga-drummer playboy lounge entertainer boyfriend. Yes, Lucy is the kind of 1930s woman who would have succeeded even if she had to sell her soul to the devil. Apparently her marriage to Desi Arnaz may have been the down payment on the price she had to pay for her success. Ricky is the kind of Latin salsa act that used to be in any smoky Latin lounge in any part of the world. Perhaps Desi set the standard? Perhaps because Desi Arnaz was the only Cuban in Hollywood (he seems like a third string talent compared to that era's Cesar Romero and Ricardo Montalban)? Did he have an edge when Lucy got the hots for a Hispanic? Desi Arnaz certainly thought he was hot tamales. I always thought he looked like a typical waiter at a Spanish restaurant, but then maybe those were the kind of guys women wanted back in the 1930s. "U wan steenk in pit-ate-toes? U wan see me play thee maracas?" Lucy sees some guy who can barely ask for directions to the bathroom; and she listens to his mambo music which she had never heard and did not like; and then she falls in love. Sure, she knew the guy was a blatant playboy and heavy drinker; but so what. He knew how to make espresso cafe in the morning. I always thought Lucy & Desi were like a puzzle that did not fit, and they also thought so too; as they had a terrible divorce and then miserable lives afterwards. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet if they had been allowed to get married in spite of their different backgrounds. Nobody can defend these dead stars, so we just have the books and the movies and TV specials for reference."Lucy & Desi: Before The Laughter" is depressing because these two people seemed to be destined for a life of happiness. They had so much success that they should have been very happy people, but their egos destroyed their love. Without each other they were both very miserable unhappy people. Even though I was not a major fan of either star, I found the movie to be sad because I never realized just how bright their early careers had been, and how much they had going for them when they became so popular with the "I Love Lucy" show. Having seen them on Television in their later years, it was sad to remember that those sad old folks had once been such young, vibrant, and happy people.

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