5.8/10
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2 user 1 critic

Happy Anniversary and Goodbye (1974)

A couple approaching their 25th anniversary look to their respective best friends, an independent thinker and a swinger, for tips to spice things up.

Director:

Jack Donohue
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lucille Ball ... Norma Michaels
Art Carney ... Malcom Michaels
Nanette Fabray ... Fay
Peter Marshall ... Greg Carter
Don Porter ... Ed "Mad Dog" Murphy
Rhodes Reason ... Doug
Doria Cook-Nelson Doria Cook-Nelson ... Linda
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Rico
Louisa Moritz ... Terry
Florence Lake ... Mrs. Foster
Elaine Pepparde Elaine Pepparde ... Cindy
Connie Garrison Connie Garrison ... Choo Choo
Patricia Blair ... Miss Warren
Linda Todd Michaels Linda Todd Michaels ... Mitzi
Sid Gould Sid Gould ... Waiter
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Storyline

As her 25th anniversary approaches, Norma Michaels realizes that her marriage to her dentist husband Malcolm has become boring. Seeking independence, Norma turns to her friend Fay while Malcolm receives advice from his swinging associate Greg.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Anniversary and Goodbye See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This special features Doria Cook-Nelson who played Gloria Upson and Don Porter who played her father in Lucy's "Mame" also released in 1974. See more »

Goofs

As the Waiter, Sid Gould wears the exact same gold jacket he wore so many times playing waiters on "Here's Lucy." See more »

Quotes

Malcom Michaels: Hey, who are you?
Rico: I am Rico!
Malcom Michaels: What are you doing here?
Rico: I have an appointment with Mrs. Michaels.
Malcom Michaels: Where is Mrs. Michaels?
Rico: In the bedroom, taking off her clothes.
Malcom Michaels: Oh, she is; is she?
[he runs to the bedroom to check on her]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits list music editing by Ed Norton Music Service. This was also Art Carney's character name on "The Honeymooners." They worked on two episodes of "Here's Lucy." See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Promise Me
Written by Reginald De Koven and Clement Scott
Performed by Art Carney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Art Carney lets it all hang out; Lucy wets the bed.
4 December 2007 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

I'll say straight off that I've never been a Lucille Ball fan. But I'll give her some credit, or rather half-credit, for attempting to do something different here. The TV movie 'Happy Anniversary and Goodbye' was Ball's one-off attempt to portray a credible human being, rather than her usual wacky redhead. Unfortunately, 'Happy Anniversary and Goodbye' wasn't quite serious enough to be a genuine drama, and it wasn't funny enough to be a comedy either.

Ball and Art Carney play Norma and Malcolm Michaels, a middle-aged married couple in midlife crisis: their anniversary is coming up, but he's decided he's tired of her and he wants a divorce. She feels similarly, and she agrees to a trial separation. Carney has really let himself go here. The former beanpole of his Ed Norton days is gone forever. In an early scene in the couple's bedroom, Carney's paunch is quite visible. This opening scene is unpleasant for other reasons too, with Ball's and Carney's characters insulting each other (very bitterly, not amusingly) and no real chemistry between them as performers.

Norma decides she's still young enough and attractive enough to make a new start ... so she heads for Las Vegas, where she meets quite a few handsome men. (Lucille Ball briefly ogles Arnold Schwarzenegger here!) Eventually she meets smooth-talking Peter Marshall, who sweet-talks her into his hotel suite. (Marshall is excellent here.) We can tell he's a playboy stud because he's got a waterbed. And he's ready to make Norma his next sexual conquest...

Ball actually does some good acting here, conveying her character's conflicting moods. We sense that she wants to jump into the sack with Marshall ... partly to spite her husband Malcolm, and partly to prove to herself that she still has some sexual appeal. Yet she also conveys that, on some level, she still loves her husband and doesn't want to cheat on him.

The reason why I give Lucille Ball only half-credit rather than full credit for trying something new here is because she clearly didn't trust herself to pull it off, and she decided to add some 'insurance' in the form of her usual so-called 'wacky' Lucy antics. Norma is wearing high heels when Marshall tries to get her into his waterbed. She can't get past him, so she jumps ONTO the waterbed and runs across it in her high heels. Of course, the waterbed springs several leaks. Marshall and Ball are running round in circles (or rectangles, rather) on top of the waterbed while it spews improbable gallons of water onto both of them, as if they're performing "Singin' in the Rain". It's only vaguely funny. I was hoping that Desi Arnaz would show up with his Cuban accent, shouting "It sprung a lick!". Instead, the ending we get is very obvious indeed.

I was also annoyed by the presence of untalented performer Sid Gould. In real life he was Ball's cousin-in-law, which is the only possible explanation for why she often gave this grossly unfunny man small but showy roles in her productions. I'll rate 'Happy Anniversary and Goodbye' just barely 4 out of 10. Nice try, Ball.


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