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Lucy (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  4 May 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 544 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

MOW about the life of Lucille Ball, focusing on the loving yet tumultuous relationship with Desi Arnaz.



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Title: Lucy (TV Movie 2003)

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

Directors: David Steinberg, Ralph Levy
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I Love Lucy (1953)
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Desi Arnaz greets the "I Love Lucy" studio audience and invites them to watch Lucille Ball and the cast film a special extended episode.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Hobbs ...
Merv Smith ...
Russell Newman ...
Zoe Carides ...
Christopher Brougham ...
Adult Freddy (as Chris Brougham)
Ray Woolf ...
Ed Sedgwick
Peter Mochrie ...
Don Sharpe
Bob Carroll Jr. (as Andrew Mitchell)
Lauchlin MacDonald ...
Jess Oppenheimer (as Lachlan Macdonald)
Theresa Healey ...
Madelyn Pugh


After her parents are financially ruined in a lawsuit over a shooting accident, Lucille 'Lucy' Ball pursues her dream of fame as actress. She succeeds in comical parts, often the girl who gets the cake in her face. Then she meets and soon marries the love of her life, Desiderio 'Desi' . Ricky, Latin band leader and aristocratic son of an exiled Cuban mayor. Desi proves a business genius, who gets a revolutionary method adopted to gain production control of the sitcom "I Love Lucy", a format devised for him and Lucy to star in. Despite offspring, their family life soon gets into stormy waters, mainly due to his infidelity, gambling and temper. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When the comedy stopped...real life began.

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Official Sites:



Release Date:

4 May 2003 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the "Pioneer Women" Episode recreation, Lucy and Ethel are in the living room discussing the amount of yeast Lucy added to the bread. In the actual "Pioneer Women" episode, Lucy and Ethel were in the kitchen when this scene occurred. See more »


[on Desi's infidelity]
Lucy: That's your excuse? Because your daddy did it long ago on some Spic island?
See more »


References Make Room for Daddy (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rachel York was fantastic in "Lucy"
24 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

I thought Rachel York was fantastic as "Lucy." I have seen her in "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Victor/Victoria," as well, and in each of these performances she has developed very different, and very real, characterizations. She is a chameleon who can play (and sing) anything!

I am very surprised at how many negative reviews appear here regarding Rachel's performance in "Lucy." Even some bonafide TV and entertainment critics seem to have missed the point of her portrayal. So many people have focused on the fact that Rachel doesn't really look like Lucy. My response to that is, "So what?" I wasn't looking for a superficial impersonation of Lucy. I wanted to know more about the real woman behind the clown. And Rachel certainly gave us that, in great depth. I also didn't want to see someone simply "doing" classic Lucy routines. Therefore I was very pleased with the decision by the producers and director to have Rachel portray Lucy in rehearsal for the most memorable of these skits - Vitameatavegamin and The Candy Factory. (It seems that some of the reviewers didn't realize that these two scenes were meant to be rehearsal sequences and not the actual skits). This approach, I thought, gave an innovative twist to sketches that so many of us know by heart. I also thought Rachel was terrifically fresh and funny in these scenes. And she absolutely nailed the routines that were recreated - the Professor and the Grape Stomping, in particular. There was one moment in the Grape scene where the corner of Rachel's mouth had the exact little upturn that I remember Lucy having. I couldn't believe she was able to capture that - and so naturally.

I wonder if many of the folks who criticized the performance were expecting to see the Lucille Ball of "I Love Lucy" throughout the entire movie. After all, those of us who came to know her only through TV would not have any idea what Lucy was really like in her early movie years. I think Rachel showed a natural progression in the character that was brilliant. She planted all the right seeds for us to see the clown just waiting to emerge, given the right set of circumstances. Lucy didn't fit the mold of the old studio system. In her frustrated attempts to become the stereotypical movie star of that era, she kept repressing what would prove to be her ultimate gifts.

I believe that Rachel deftly captured the comedy, drama, wit, sadness, anger, passion, love, ambition, loyalty, sexiness, self absorption, childishness, and stoicism all rolled into one complex American icon. And she did it with an authenticity and freshness that was totally endearing. "Lucy" was a star turn for Rachel York. I hope it brings a flood of great roles her way in the future. I also hope it brings her an Emmy.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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