February 04, 2010

I Love Lucy: The Movie and Other Great Rarities

On October 23, 2007, CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment released the 34-disc heart-shaped package of I Love Lucy - The Complete Series. It contained all 194 episodes from the show's 9-season (by the studio's count) run, all of which had been released on DVD in separate season sets. Fans who had faithfully collected those sets as they were released had gotten upset at the Complete Series package, however, because it contained bonus material that could only be obtained by re-buying the nine seasons in the big collection.

Now, two and a half years after that set's release, CBS/Paramount will go back and make those extras available in a separate release. The title is "I Love Lucy - The Movie and Other Great Rarities", and it will be in stores on April 27th. As you can tell by the title, the focus is on the "shelved and lost" theatrical film, which was edited together from three episodes of the show with new bridging material shot to hold it all together. It will be encoded on the disc in full screen video, running 81 minutes long. Pricing and package art isn't available yet. It should be all the same as the previously-exclusive supplements on the "Complete Series" set (for example, "Lucy Goes To Scotland" should be the colorized version of that episode).

In 1953, three classic first season I Love Lucy episodes ("The Benefit," "Breaking the Lease," and "The Ballet") were edited together with newly-filmed connecting scenes to create this never-before-released feature-length film. The film had only a single "test" screening in 1953 at a small theatre in Bakersfield, attended by the Arnazes. But Lucy and Desi had just signed a deal with MGM to do "The Long, Long Trailer", and M-G-M, fearing competition, insisted that they shelve the film. And that's literally what happened. I Love Lucy: The Movie was put back on a shelf, in a mislabeled can, and was lost for nearly half a century, until it was discovered in the Paramount vault by Dann Cahn in 2001.

Additional Features:
  • Lucy Goes To Scotland
  • TV Academy PSA (Revised)
  • Emmy Awards
  • The Ed Wynn Show
  • Series Premiere Opening
  • Rear Window
  • Animated Commercial
  • Here's Johnny!
  • The Ballet - TV Version
  • Handcuffs/Movie
  • Wilbur's Hands

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting. I never knew this bit of I Love Lucy trivia!