The Long Long Trailer
Life on the road is a rollercoaster ride when honeymooners Tacy and Nicky (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) invest, against their better judgment, in an oversized, gadget-riddled motor home. Their cross-country adventure—through wacky small towns, bustling beach-front trailer parks, and, climactically, over the Rockies—vividly details the era’s mores as well as its curious creature comforts. Lucille Ball is brilliant in her slapstick and Arnaz is pitch-perfect as the exasperated husband. While some critics grumbled that Tacy and Nicky were just Lucy and Ricky on wheels, millions of I Love Lucy fans didn’t seem to mind, making The Long, Long Trailer one of the biggest hits of 1954.
“One of the sharpest if least-known satires of the decade, a caustic deconstruction of the Ball-Arnaz relationship that turns into a nightmare vision of 1950's materialism and middle-class domesticity . . . Minnelli, working from a script by the difficult-couples specialists Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich (The Thin Man, Father of the Bride), films the comedy as if it were a film noir, opening in a pounding rainstorm and moving into moody flashbacks, narrated by Arnaz in a trench coat ensemble on loan from Dick Powell. The freedom promised by the trailer soon turns out to be a cruel illusion as Minnelli films the gigantic lemon-colored contraption as the materialization of all the decade's consumerist pressures: a sort of Tupperware Moby-Dick.”—Dave Kehr, The New York Times.