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New Biopic on Lucy & Ricky's Extraordinary Lives

Marion Charatan

Posted on June 11, 2021 01:09

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Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem will play the leads in "Being the Ricardos."

Being the Ricardos is in production at Amazon Studios. It's based on I Love Lucy, the American treasure I never tire of. Who can forget the classic scene where Lucy and Ethel (Vivian Vance) work the assembly line at Kramer's Chocolate Factory all because Ricky (Desi Arnaz) wants to show Lucy how she'd be more frugal if she was the one going to work? To prove a point to Ricky and Fred (William Frawley), Lucy and her best friend, Ethel, hit the employment trail. The classic scene from 1952 has gone down as one of the funniest moments in TV history.

Television did not become really popular until after 1950, when World War II had ended and people had more disposable income to purchase sets. I Love Lucy debuted on October 15, 1951 in black and white and was an instant hit. Programs you see of the originals that are in color have been digitally transformed. Color TV did not arrive until the 60s and 70s.

Lucille Ball said the chocolate factory fiasco was one of her favorites. The scene looked improvised but it was not, according to the legendary comic. Other unforgettable moments in the show include Lucy meeting Harpo Marx and the grape stomping scene. However, Lucy insisted she always worked from a script. She told celebrity interviewer David Fantle that there was no improvisation: "We knew our characters inside and out. There was no ad-libbing. We came in, read the script and did our jobs." Other little known facts about the red-head include the zany actress was really quite serious in real life and even faced charges of being a Communist. Lucy was a maverick; she was the first woman to run a television studio. Desilu eventually produced the TV shows Star Trek and Mission: Impossible.

I Love Lucy aired on CBS until 1957. Ball wanted credit to be given to the show's talented writers Bob Carroll Jr., Madelyn Davis, Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Schiller, and Bob Weiskopf. 

Prolific writer/director Aaron Sorkin has written Being the Ricardos, which will focus on a behind-the-scenes week with Lucy and Desi, her Cuban bandleader husband. Sorkin wrote the TV series The West Wing and garnered an Oscar for writing the film The Social Network. He also wrote A Few Good Men, Money Ball, The American President, the biopic Charlie Wilson's War, and Steve Jobs, among other films. Sorkin's directorial debut was with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Being the Ricardos will look at a one week period in the couple's lives, who struggled with a complicated marriage in actuality. Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem will play the leads. 

Executive producer Lucy Arnaz and brother Desi, the couple's children, will oversee the project. Arnaz said, "Desi and I are so looking forward to seeing what this impressive group of actors make of Sorkin’s delicious script.” Casting Kidman, who is not a comedienne, is a unique choice, but one Arnaz supports.

Marion Charatan

Posted on June 11, 2021 01:09

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Source: Vogue

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