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This documentary is brought to us by Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. This was a pet project of hers that was so
obviously dear to her heart. After her mother's death, Lucie had found
reels of film that she had never seen before. When she had viewed them
she realized that they were old home movies of her parents from early
in their marriage to about near the end of it. The problem was that
there was no sound to any of the footage. Lucie knew that fans would
have loved to have seen it so she put this documentary together.
Lucie manages to get as many family members, co-workers, friends and celebrities that knew her parents to speak in this documentary. Interviews, spliced with the home movie footage along with hundreds of photographs--Lucie manages to tell a turbulent story. A story that is not filtered through tabloids and exaggeration--but a natural and raw view of these two people who were so much in love. The admiration and adoration between the two lovers is explained through stories and anecdotes. It proves that "I Love Lucy" was "more than just a title." It starts to where each parent was born to how they got famous to their deaths.
Also, we learn of the deterioration of the marriage and how ugly it actually got between the two. Desi's constant unfaithfulness poisoned the relationship. That, along with his drinking that only escaladed as he was in charge of Desilu, their major TV company, grew in popularity. We understand how painful the marriage has become and how terrible it must have been for everyone involved---especially their children. Lucie and Desi Jr. are on camera speaking about how hard it was to go through times when their parents fought in front of them.
Lucy and Desi eventually moved on with their lives--Lucy trying to come back to television with more sitcoms--while Desi eventually retired. Although they had separate roads, they were so intertwined that they would never really ever part.
The last 10 minutes of this documentary is wonderful. It's a home movie shot by Lucie herself of her parents in a pool with their grandson. Although divorced for many years already, watching these two people in the pool--you realized--this wasn't Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz who played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, but rather: real people.
This is the most real we'll ever see Lucy and Desi. It is a true to form and real telling of the two lovers. This is the best documentary of Lucy and Desi--you have to watch. A masterpiece brought to you by their daughter, with love.
Here is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Lucie Arnaz has taken hours of good-looking color home movie footage and boiled it down to a manageable level, framing it with anecdotes and interviews of friends and family of Lucy and Desi. More than the half-hearted attempts at a biopic, the true essence of TV's most famous married couple is put on display here. Lucie displays their strengths and weaknesses equally well, and the result is that one comes away with a true picture of the Arnaz marriage. Looking at the footage, one can see the genuine love between the two and with the personal reminiscence, see how they fit into the Hollywood community in the classic era. The home movie footage spans from about 1940, when the Arnazes tied the knot, until the mid-eighties, when we see a touching picture of the mature Arnazes with their grandson in the pool. The mostly color footage has been remarkably well preserved and we also get to see a few film clip highlights of Lucy and Desi's film carrers, both together and separate. The music Lucie has chosen to underscore a lot of this footage really adds to the overall effect, which gives one a true understanding of what made these people tick. This show richly deserved the Emmy award and it was truly a labor of love for Lucie to make this. Lucie and her brother Desi Jr. appear on screen, and we get a true portrait of one of TV's first families. A must for all Lucy (and Desi) fans.
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