Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Yours, Mine, and Ours" 1968

Yours, Mine and Ours
“Yours, Mine and Ours”

I know I’m a day late in celebrating Lucille Ball’s birthday, but heck, you can love Lucy everyday. Lucille Ball is an example of someone that didn’t fit the Hollywood mold. So she broke the mold and created her own rules. She wanted to work with her husband, Hollywood said no, he is Cuban. They financed their own pilot. When it wasn’t sold they took the show on the road to show the studio it would work and it did. They negotiated to keep the rights to the show after it aired, something that the studios of the time didn’t care about. But sixty years later, somewhere in the world we are watching “I Love Lucy”.

Lucy bought the rights to Helen North Beardsley’s novel and produced the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours”. It is the story of a widow with eight children who falls in love with a widower with ten children. They then go on to have two children together for a total of twenty kids. Take that Duggars!

Lucy does some great physical comedy in this movie. She has a palpable chemistry with Henry Fonda as Frank Beardsley. You really buy the fact that they are so in love that eighteen kids can’t keep them apart.

You have suspend a little belief while watching. After all, Lucy is fifty-eight years old playing a young mother who ends up pregnant.

There are great scenes. Frank and Helen’s first date, where they finally manage to discuss their families while on a streetcar. Helen meeting Frank’s family for the first time and becoming a victim of an “alcoholic Pearl Harbor.” Helen getting the call from the doctor on Christmas morning that she is pregnant.

One of the final scenes is when Helen’s oldest daughter has been caught with her boyfriend just as Helen goes into labor with number nineteen.

Colleen North: Larry says he'll never speak to me again unless I grow up. He says that I'm being ridiculous and I don't love him, but I do love him. Am I being ridiculous?
Frank Beardsley: You're not being ridiculous.
Colleen North: Well, do all the other girls, like Larry says? And am I just being old-fashioned?
Frank Beardsley: The same idiots were passing the same rumors when I was your age, but if all the girls did, how come I always ended up with the ones who didn't?
Colleen North: But it's all different now!
Frank Beardsley: I don't know, they wrote Fanny Hill in 1742 and they haven't found anything new since.
Veronica Beardsley: Who's Fanny Hill?
Frank Beardsley: Go to bed, that's who Fanny Hill is.
Colleen North: I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says...
Frank Beardsley: I've got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.
Helen North: What are you two talking about?
Frank Beardsley: Take a good look at your mother.
Helen North: Not now!
Frank Beardsley: Yes, now.
[to Colleen]
Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]
Frank Beardsley: I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip... you?
Helen North: [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.
Frank Beardsley: If we don't get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it's going to be explained right here!

There are great young actors including Tim Matheson before he was Otter. Van Johnson as the girl crazy best friend. Tom Bosley, pre-Happy Days, as a doctor that is thankful that he and his wife never had children.

It is all fun. But the star is Lucy. She shines. Her facial expressions say more than words. Lucy brings them all together and you accept that Henry Fonda is a slightly graying, but very much in love tiger. She is hilarious, but also lovely and sweet. I love Lucy.

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