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Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor

Last Night’s Movie: I Lured Lucy

Lucille Ball has been so synonymous with comedy that it’s strange indeed to run across her in a dramatic role.  We did just that with last night’s movie Lured, one of her few such roles, a 1947 noir nugget featuring, along with Lucy, George Sanders, Charles Coburn, Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke and Alan Mowbray.  Set in London, the movie is about a sixpence-a-dance girl who agrees to help Scotland Yard catch a serial sixpence-a-dance girl killer. The killer meets his victims through the personals section of the newspaper, so Lucy answers ads to lure him into the open. Every male in the cast in turn falls under suspicion (except Coburn who is a Yard inspector), and Lucy is, of course, in constant danger.  It was originally released under an alternate title because studio folks thought it sounded like lurid.  Lurid it’s not.  And it’s not Hitchcock, but it’s fun.

As I said, it was strange to see Lucille Ball in such a role.  Although she had appeared in a few dramatic films during the 40s I had never seen one.  The first time I recall seeing her was in the 1950 movie The Fuller Brush Girl in which she goes quickly from selling brushes to courting danger with a lot of slapstick along the way.  Lured with laughs.

A year later I Love Lucy began its six-year television run.  I’m afraid I was a major Lucy and Ricky fan, so much so that I descended into a ten-year-old funk when it went away for the summer.  Back then a television season lasted a full nine months – 39 episodes.  Summer gave way not to reruns but to summer replacements.  The summer replacement for Lucy was Racket Squad, an odd choice.   Enjoyable, but it didn’t appease me.

As the summer wore on, I would talk rather frequently about how many weeks, how many days, until the show returned. Finally, my parents, in exasperation, outlawed my uttering of the word Lucy in their company.  So I began posting notes on the refrigerator and elsewhere “29 days to I Love Lucy, 28 days . . .”  I guess I was lucky to make eleven.

These days I Love Lucy is not among my favorites from the era.  Of course I’m not a ten-year-old anymore.  And it’s been some time since I’ve even seen an episode or even a clip.  But returning to the present, it occurs to me that if Ricky Santorum keeps up his momentum in Tuesday’s primaries, we will all find ourselves living back in an I Love Lucy rerun.

5 comments on “Last Night’s Movie: I Lured Lucy

  1. elroyjones
    February 26, 2012

    I disagree, if Ick Santorum nails the nomination Obama will nail the election. I wonder if skyrocketing gas prices are part of the GOP strategy to keep Obama out?

    Unlike you and your fickle heart, I still love Lucy. My heart is true!


    • Michael Sadowski
      February 27, 2012

      Who didn’t love Lucy? Wonder if you are familiar with her connection to the Star trek phenenon? ( She was a savvy show biz
      Producer also…the original TV series was produced by Desilu Productions. Yes, she and family still retain rights. They have profited from every aspect of Star Trek success. Say what you want about her troubled marriage with Desi but they were prescient enough to insist on ownership of their series and numerous other TV series they created thru Desilu productions, something that was unheard of back in their day. Amazing woman.


      • Richard Daybell
        February 27, 2012

        I didn’t remember Star Trek but I do remember that Desilu logo attached to just about everything on TV. You’ve got to tip a hat to those who realized fame can be fleeting (not Lucy’s, of course)and took care of their futures (Gene Autry, Ozzie Nelson, etc.).


    • Richard Daybell
      February 27, 2012

      You’re underestimating the sleeping Cro-Magnon vote that he could really energize. As far as Lucy goes, I don’t think I’m fickle. It’s just that I was ten then and getting older. I just moved on to other comedians who were more attuned to the sophistication of an eleven-year-old. More on that in a few days when my real favorite of the time has a birthday.


      • elroyjones
        February 28, 2012

        Big sigh. I suppose I am underestimating the Cro-Magnon vote. It never fails to amaze me that the people who will benefit the least from the hucksters vote for them most often.

        I’ll be most interested to see who you kicked Lucy to the curb for. It’s hard to imagine who could satisfy the sophisticated tastes of the refined 11 year old.


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This entry was posted on February 26, 2012 by in Those Were the Days, I S'pose and tagged , , , , , , .

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