THE LONG, LONG TRAILER was a real audience-convulser back in 1954, when it came in at the #13 spot of the years hits, showcasing the country’s favorite TV couple, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, in dazzling color, as newlyweds trying to enjoy their honeymoon trip around the National Parks.
Trouble is, behind their spiffy ’53 Mercury Montery convertible they have to lug a 3-ton, 32-foot Redman ‘New Moon’ trailer: directed by Vincente Minnelli, they battle this monster for 96 amusing time-capsule minutes.
There is some slapstick (mostly good) but they tone down their volume and daffiness from I Love Lucy and rely more on playing the humor straight, with some choice toss-off lines and expressions that fit more like real people than caricatures. I think it’s Ball’s best film comedy performance, and probably Desi’s as well: tonic for a gloomy day.
Worries about investing $1,534,000 in a flick starring people audiences saw every week for free fell away in a sweet haul of $4,985,000. In neat bits are Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Madge Blake, Bert Freed, Moroni Olsen, Howard McNear and Jack Kruschen. Great postcard views of Yosemite and spots around Mt.Whitney, and good for “remember when we did that?” musings from family & friends who watch it. Nostalgic fun.