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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Telefilm > Lucille Ball Specials: Lucy Gets Lucky/Three for Two (1975/MPI DVD/Telefilms)

Lucille Ball Specials: Lucy Gets Lucky/Three for Two (1975/MPI DVD/Telefilms)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: A     Telefilms: C+



This DVD is recommended for purchase due to the special material rather than the main features and features two different TV movies


The radio broadcasts from Lucy's series, "Let's Talk To Lucy" and interview with actor, Gino Conforti are worth the purchase cost.  Conforti worked with Lucy on a very funny installment of "Here's Lucy" titled, "Lucy Plays Cops and Robbers" and was featured on the two specials on this DVD, "Lucy Gets Lucky" and "Three for Two". She also directed him in a television pilot, "Bungle Abbey".  His observations regarding working with Lucy are extremely interesting even to the casual viewer.


The radio shows have a pleasant nostalgic feel as does her guest spot on Art Linkletter’s television program.


Regarding the specials, "Lucy Gets Lucky" features Lucy Collins' trip to Las Vegas and her schemes to see Dean Martin's act without having a reservation.  The special is mainly shot on location at the MGM Grand Hotel with one camera, like a movie.  It is strange hearing Lucy tell a joke or watch an act of physical comedy without audience reaction or a laugh track.  It slows down the special's energy level and creates disturbing silence.


While this production has some entertainment value it doesn't allow Lucy anything fresh to do which hasn't already been seen before on "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy".  In addition it's a bit creepy seeing a woman of Lucy's age wearing skimpy outfits around the casino.  The cast including, Jackie Coogan, Hal England, Bruce Gordon, Gary Morton (Lucy's husband) and Vanda Barra are in top form.


"Three for Two" co-stars Jackie Gleason and consists of three short plays.  "Herb and Sally" is about the relationship of a married couple vacationing in Italy and Sally's troubles in coaxing her husband, Herb, into romance.  "Fred and Rita" involves two people having an affair and the odd situations they find themselves in trying to meet.  Finally, "Mike and Pauline" is about a couple's relationship with their adult children on New Year's Eve.


Although Gleason works well with Lucy the special is lacking a live audience or laugh track.  As with "Lucy Gets Lucky" this saps the energy out of the production and provides dead space.  Executive Producer, Gary Morton recalled in the publication, "The Lucy Book"; "Three for Two was a fiasco.  It just didn't work.  We did it without an audience, and that was a bad choice."  This special gives viewers the chance for Lucy to play against type.  She discusses sex with her daughter in "Mike and Pauline" and pulls it off gracefully. 


The 1.33 X 1 video and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio transfers are excellent for their age and the specials have not been edited to remove the original sponsorship.  It does not mean they are Blu-ray quality, but these look pretty good and show us how strong TV productions could be for that time and their budget.  For Lucy fans, this is a definitive buy for others a rental.



-   Fred Grandinetti and William Maling


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