I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season (1954-55)

by | May 21, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season (1954-55)

Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley
Studio: CBS TV/ Paramount
Video: 4:3 full screen B&W
Audio: PCM mono
Extras: Flubs, Restored music, “Behind the Scenes” Audio Featurette,
Original Series Openings, Original Animated Sequences, Production
Notes, Spanish Subtitles, Spanish Audio available on most episodes,
English Closed-Captions, Song Selections, Guest Cast Information, Five
Complete Episodes of Lucy’s Radio Show: My Favorite Husband
Length: 13 hrs. 7 min.

I Love Lucy: The Complete Fourth Season is available as a 5 disc set
and includes 30 episodes. The special features on each of the five
discs provide a wealth of background details. Originally aired between
1954-55, the stories are clever and inventive, the humor timeless. With
their landlords and best friends, Ethel and Fred Mertz, the Riccardos
create an unforgetable ensemble cast.

I Love Lucy was first seen in October, 1951 and has never been out of
syndication since its original run. The fact that Lucille Ball
(1911-1989) and Desi Arnaz (1917-1986) pioneered in shooting their show
as 33 mm film just like a feature film is obvious in the excellent
B&W image quality of the transfer to DVD. The mono sound is also
good quality.

Of particular interest to me as a fan of old radio are the five half
hour episodes complete with commercials of “My Favorite Husband”,
Ball’s radio show which preceded the television series. Viewing Lucy is
like watching “live” television, as rarely were there second takes,
hence the collection of flubs which are usually too subtle to be called

To summarize the basic story of the series, Lucy is a housewife with a
baby living in a New York City apartment with her successful Cuban band
leader husband, Ricky Riccardo. Lucy is constantly getting herself and
sometimes her husband and friends, the Mertzes, into bizarre
situations. Lucy’s somewhat of a diva in her daily life with her wild
and outrageous antics. Lucy strives to pursue her dream of getting into
show business though she is without talent. Ricky is the long suffering
husband (though by today’s standards somewhat chavinistic) with his
unpredictable, wacky though lovable wife.

Below are descriptions of some of the 30 episodes exerpted from the box
notes to give you a sampling of these classic early television stories,
guaranteed to produce many moments of laugh out loud laughter. Ageless
comedy at its best!

The Matchmaker: Hoping to encourage a shy couple to wed, matchmaker
Lucy invites the duo to a quiet, intimate dinner at the Ricardos’
apartment in an attempt to provide an example of marital bliss.

Ricky’s Movie Offer: Lucy sees her dream of stardom coming true when a
Hollywood talent scout is scheduled to come to the Ricardos’ apartment
to audition Ricky for a movie role.

Ricky’s Screen Test: For Ricky’s Don Juan screen test, Lucy is asked to
feed Ricky his lines with her back to the camera. But she’s determined
to make this test the first step on her path to stardom.

Lucy’s Mother-in-Law: Nervous about meeting her Cuban mother-in-law for
the first time, Lucy enlists the help of “mind reader” to convince
Ricky and his mother that she can speak perfect Spanish.

California, Here We Come!: The Ricardos and the Mertzes are all ready
to drive to California, until Lucy’s mother arrives, thinking that
she’s part of their travel plans. Frustrated, Ricky loudly complains to
Lucy that “everybody we’ve ever known” is coming along. Now the
Mertzes, offended, don’t want to go.

L.A. At Last: Arriving in Hollywood, Lucy, Ethel and Fred go star
-hunting at the Brown Derby, where Lucy gets more than she bargained
for when movie star William Holden takes a seat in the next booth.
After enduring Lucy’s star-struck gaze, he decides to turn the tables
and stare right back at her!

Don Juan and the Starlets: Lucy and Ricky’s wedded bliss hits some
turbulence when Ricky leaves Lucy at the hotel and heads out for an
evening of publicity with five gorgeous starlets.

The Hedda Hopper Story: Lucy and Ricky make a big splash when they
attempt a publicity stunt designed to land Ricky’s name in Hedda
Hopper’s celebrity gossip column.

Hollywood Anniversary: Ricky has forgotten the date of their
anniversary, but he has a scheme to convince Lucy that he knew it all
along–and that he’s planned a big party at a famous nightclub.

Don Juan is Shelved: An outraged Lucy is determined to impress MGM
studio boss Dore Schary with Ricky’s talent and popularity after the
band leader’s Don Juan movie is shelved.

The Dancing Star: Lucy’s friend Carolyn Appleby, visiting from New
York, wants to meet some of the stars Lucy has been bragging about. So
Lucy goes into high gear to convince Carolyn that she’s chummy with Van
Johnson, who is appearing at the Ricardos’ hotel.

Harpo Marx: Still attempting to impress Carolyn Appleby, Lucy fools her
nearsighted friend by impersonating a number of celebrities, including
Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Jimmy Durante, and Harpo Marx. But things
take an unexpected turn when the real Harpo shows up!

Ricky Needs An Agent: Pretending to be Ricky’s agent, Lucy tries to
bluff an MGM bigwig into casting Ricky in a film by claiming that Ricky
has a competing offer to star in a new Broadway show. But her strategy
backfires when the studio releases Ricky from his contract!

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