Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Full-Out Slapstick"

Cast: Lucille Ball, Eddie Albert, Jerome Cowan, Carl Benton Reid, Arthur Space, Gale Robbins, Jeff Donnell, John Litel, Fred Graham, Lee Patrick, Sid Tomack.
Columbia. 1950. 87 mins.
For sale HERE.
"It only took you a year to finish that correspondence course."
"Yeah, but that was a six-month course."
Lucy never turned in a bad performance. In this film she gets to do full-out slapstick with her usual elan. And let's not overlook Eddie Albert, who manages to keep up with her.

Lucy gets fired from her job as a switchboard operator just when she and Eddie are about to get married and buy a house, so she tries her hand at selling cosmetics, which precipitates a whole concatenation of misunderstandings that culminate in Lucy and Eddie coming across not one but two dead bodies. The police take a dim view of such things, and it isn't long before Lucy and Eddie are on the run—not only from the cops but also a criminal gang.
On the Internet Movie Database, MCL 1150 writes:
Once [in] a while you're lucky enough to see a film for the very first time that you never heard of before that you simply end up loving. Such is The Fuller Brush Girl. Co-starring Lucille Ball and Eddie Albert, this is one very funny film. It was written by the late/great Frank Tashlin and plays out like a live action cartoon. And no wonder. Tashlin is one of the all-time greats in the field of animated cartoons. While not as prolific as Tex Avery, his cartoons are among some of the best ever made. It was once said that Frank Tashlin directed cartoons like films and made films like cartoons. The Fuller Brush Girl is a perfect example. While directed by Lloyd Bacon, the real soul of the movie is Tashlin, who basically comes up with inventive gag after great inventive gag. And all of them are worked out in live action to perfection. Tex Avery once said that it was funnier if something was done in live action. And he was right! Had this been an actual cartoon, it wouldn't have been as satisfying. Ball is her usual hilarious self and Albert is at his best here as her fiancé. So if you think you've seen every 1940s-50s comedy worth seeing and have yet to see The Fuller Brush Girlthen you really have something to look forward to . . . .
The scenes with Lucy in disguise as a burlesque performer and, later, when she unwillingly swallows too much wine are hysterically funny.

Category: Comic crime films

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