Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (Anglais) Broché – 2 août 2011
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
“Excellent” (Entertainment Weekly)
“A page-turner of the first order ... Desilu is good, gritty, fair but strong and bottom line -- a gripper.” (The Hollwood Reporter)
“Provide[s] fresh insights into the performers’ personalities . . . Fans of the Lucy show will find Desilu fascinating.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Lively and informative ... A thoughtful, candid look at one of the world’s most loved, most watched comedy teams -- (The Houston Post)
Filled with juicy details, quotes, backstage insights, rare photos . . . The best bio about America’s red-topped funny lady ever” (Beverly Hills (213))
Présentation de l'éditeur
Updatedand revised, Desilu is the classicinsider account of Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz’s romance, collaboration, and success. Hollywoodjournalist Tom Gilbert and author Coyne Sanders, whose critically acclaimed bookson The Judy Garland Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show offerunparalleled insight into some of classic television’s greatestbehind-the-scenes stories, deliver a captivating look at Lucy and Desi’s on-and-off relationship, their creative melding ofminds, and their rollercoaster ride of fame and fortune. Desilu is an inspiring journey back to the Golden Age of Television, and awinning, unforgettable look at one of TV’s best-loved couples.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
From that POV I did enjoy the book. The author gave us considerable insight into the relationship between Desi and Lucy over the years and how that effected their public and private lives. Since Desi ran the business operations knowing a bit about the personal life helped figure out some of the various moves he made over the years. I'm not an expert on Lucy lore, but I would imagine the author covered her life in great detail here, and Desi as well.
What I enjoyed most about the book was how the author filled in the background on various decisions Desi made while running Desilu. Since what he did had a great deal to do with our early TV history it's a kin to being there at the begining. Much of what we now know as network TV has its roots in Desi Arnaz running Desilu.
Desilu started life as a production company formed in 1950 and rocketed Ball and Arnaz to great success in the business to being sold and merged into Paramont in 1967 and eventually ending up as Desilu Too LLC, which exists to capture proceeds from I Love Lucy residuals, products and projects today. For example, the Lucy Museum in Jamestown, NY is a joint venture between Desilu Too LLC thru Lucie and Desi IV and local businessmen. The Center hasn't been doing well as of late and was rumored to be losing money. Some key managers were fired or replaced and a Gift Shop closed. Some locals are concerned the operation may be closing down soon. However, the Center has enjoyed a small rebound since and has redirected its focus to promoting comedy and young performers, often hosting comedy shows at its Desilu Playhouse facility. Desilu Too also does business with a marketing firm that specializes in departed celebs, like Elvis, etc. It controls use of Ball and Arnaz image but not the 'Lucy' shows, all of which are owned by CBS Distribution at this time (2014).
On the weak side I think the book comes up short detailing why Arnaz sold his share of Desilu (in 1962 to Lucy for $3,000,000). Although it prepares some detail on Desilu operations after the Ball/Arnaz 1960 divorce it leaves out much of the reasoning behind the 1962 buyout. I was curious why Arnaz wanted to sell and what terms he and Lucy had agreed to. All we get is the standard 'Lucy bought Desi's share of Desilu for xxx'. It could have provided more detail of any interaction between the two owners at that time, or any discussions. Arnaz had wanted out of the company since 1956 or 1957 so it's an interesting point as to why he went out when he did. The book does basically the same when Ball sold Desilu in 1967. Suddenly, the subject comes up without any real backround or history as it follows Ball to Miami where she is forced to make a decision on the sale. Again, the book gives no details and background on the negotiations with Paramount's owner Gulf & Western. That would have added to why Ball sold out. It does detail the program side of Desilu at the time and its efforts to convince the major networks to buy programs they produced and owned. For years 'The Lucy Show' was the only one Desilu owned with most of its cash flow coming from studio rentals to other programs (like Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, etc). Desilu eventually sold three programs; Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and later Mannix. Further research showed that Desilu needed something on the air and turned to the shows at the last minute implying the move was designed to improve it's position for potential buyers. Lucy wasn't involved in development of any shows and, unlike Arnaz who actively worked in pilot development, maintained considerable distance from day to day operations. One review at the time said adding the shows increased the value of Desilu by up to $7,000,000. Ball made over $12,000,000 on the sale.
The book follows Arnaz and Ball after Desilu and details their new production companies. It spends considerable time on Ball's second husband, Gary Morton and his role in her life and business affairs. Finally, the book ends with their deaths, Arnaz in 1986 and Ball in 1989.
Overall a good book. And, I'm sure, not the last on the subject. It has been updated at least twice (2001 & 2011). Lucie Arnaz, their daughter, contributes a lot to the book with special insights about her parents home lives. The content she provides more than makes up for what could have been a direct lack of objectivity from her protecting her parents image.
Finally, I find myself rooting for Arnaz. I felt sad the way he turned out. Lucie gave a quote which sums his life up when she noted that, at some point, Arnaz came to realize it was all over, that I Love Lucy was it and that his career in show business was finished. His son noted that his dad should have 'had a house and a boat and stayed in Cuba' where he could have lived the life he was best suited for. It was clear that the pressures of running Desilu and his addictions led to his leaving Desilu, ruined his marriage and eventually led to his early death. Without him Ball would have never become the major icon she did under his direction. You could say that he gave his life for show business and building Lucy into a major tv star and Desilu into the industry leader in tv's early days. Arnaz just never gets enough credit but nearly all the blame in the history of Desilu.
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