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The Long Long Trailer

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Oh how I love Lucy. And Desi. It is entirely possible that my love for the mid-century life that’s abundant on Faded Highways was born from watching years of I Love Lucy reruns every day after school. (I especially loved that California road trip!) I couldn’t then, and can’t now, get enough of these two and the stories they’ve told on screen. It’s a bonus when a road trip is involved. So it’s no surprise that The Long Long Trailer holds a special place in my life. It’s a lot of fun, I watch it a lot and I adore it.

From MGM Studios in 1954, (four seasons into the six seasons of the I Love Lucy TV show.)The Long, Long Trailer is a romantic comedy, directed by Vincente Minnelli, about an adventurous road trip-honeymoon that newlyweds Nicky (Desi) and Tacy (Lucy) Collini take. The movie was filmed in various locations in California, including Yosemite National Park.

The Long, Long Trailer begins with Nicky making fun of Tacy for wanting to live in a trailer. He wants to do “right” by his bride and buy her a house to live their life comfortably in. She wants nothing to do with that. Nicky’s degrading teasing about her dream for a “house on wheels” brings her to tears.

Actual 1953 New Moon Planning Guide for mobile living

But, after a lot of brochures…

…a trip to an RV show…

…and some Lucy-style convincing, Tacy finally wins the house vs. trailer argument.

Let me just pause here and say that New Moon trailers, just like the one Nicky and Tacy bought in this movie, were available to the public at the time.

Vintage New Moon Homes, Inc. ad.

Actual New Moon trailer ad

No wonder she wanted one…

Anyway, Tacy got her trailer.  And Nicky was forced to buy a new car that was powerful enough to pull it. When he realizes how expensive it all was and that the entire “rig” would be 40 feet long, Nicky immediately turns into a basket case of worries.

After their wedding, Nicky and Tacy hit the road on their honeymoon anyway.

Despite getting used to pulling this thing….

….the newlyweds were loving the beginning of their adventure. (Of course there’s singing!)

Mrs. Hittaway (Marjorie Main) “helping” during the first night at the trailer court.

Their first night at a trailer court was a little much….

…but they calmed things down.

There’s the usual shenanigans you’d expect from the Ricardos, ahem, the Collinis, but overall, things were going fairly well as Nicky and Tacy learned about life on the road in this long, long trailer.

Then comes the mountain. The 8,000 foot one that scares Nicky to death. He wants to prepare the rig to drive over it and demands that Tacy throw out all the rocks she’s collected during their trip for souvenirs so they don’t have any problems. You guessed it, she decides to keep them anyway. With a little help from a mechanic where Nicky is tending to the car, she reorganizes all of the rocks into hiding places that disperse their weight evenly over the sides of the trailer. She thinks this is the perfect solution to getting rid of them and that they’ll be safe. It’s clear that she hasn’t learned a thing from all those years on I Love Lucy

….although, she might be reconsidering keeping those rocks at this point.

Let me just pause here and say…

…NO WAY. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. NOPE. FORGET IT.

To their surprise, and relief, they make it to the top of the mountain. They pull over there to take a breath before going down the other side. When they get out of the car, one side edge of the trailer slams into the gravel. Yep, the rocks have all come out of their hiding places and collected to one side of the trailer making it tilt into the ground. You can imagine the doozy of a fight that happens when Nicky discovers the rocks. He’s furious and throws them all over the cliff. Tacy is devasted.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but SPOILER ALERT:

As you’d expect, after struggling through the trouble, it all works out in the end for Nicky and Tacy. Except, we don’t know what happened to the New Moon trailer…

New Moon promotional trailer.

As long as I live, I’ll never get enough of Lucy and Desi. This movie is a wonderful example of why.

2 Comments »

  1. My husband finds this a stressful movie, especially the scene on the mountain and all those rocks.

    I didn’t realize the trailer in this film was an actual model you could buy. I bet it was popular – and not just because it was in the movie. It looks beautiful and spacious…and I might want one myself.

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