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Starring: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J. K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy, Clark Gregg, Jake Lacy, Nelson Franklin, John Rubenstein, Linda Lavin, Christopher Denham
OUR RATING: ★★☆☆☆
Amazon Prime bio-drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Being the Ricardos (2021) follows Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy, as they are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear, and cultural taboos, that could jeopardize their careers and marriage.
Our Favorite Quote:'The less you talk, the more things you hear.' - William Frawley (Being the Ricardos) Click To Tweet
Older Jess Oppenheimer: It was a scary week. Because here’s what you got to understand. A hit television show today, a big hit television show, what does it get? Ten million viewers Let’s go crazy and say fifteen. Fifteen million viewers, because this is a big, giant hit. Here’s what you got to understand. I Love Lucy, sixty million.
Older Madelyn Pugh: I’ve lived through the Depression, the Dust Bowl. I don’t scare that easy. But, yeah, it was a scary goddamn week.
Older Jess Oppenheimer: This is what you got to understand. It wasn’t small potatoes when Winchell ended his broadcast by saying…
Older Bob Carroll: “Lucille Ball is a Communist.” Just like that. Lucille Ball is a member of the Communist Party.
Older Bob Carroll: What were they doing when they first heard the news?
Older Jess Oppenheimer: What were they doing?
Older Madelyn Pugh: I don’t know what Lucy and Desi were doing, but it was Lucy and Desi. So they were either tearing each other’s heads off, or tearing each other’s clothes off.
Desi Arnaz: You are the only thing I want.
Lucille Ball: Well, then you’re an idiot.
Vivian Vance: They’re both named Rusty. Rusty Williams is played by Rusty Hamer.
William Frawley: And Hamer’s a Communist?
Vivian Vance: He’s seven years-old.
William Frawley: And he’s interested in politics?
Vivian Vance: No, imbecile! I’m saying he’s seven years-old and they made him sign a loyalty pledge.
William Frawley: Uh-huh?
Vivian Vance: This is getting out of hand was my point.
William Frawley: Why isn’t Danny Thomas’s kid named Rusty Thomas?
Vivian Vance: Are you drunk?
William Frawley: It’s 10:00 AM, Vivian. So, you know, of course.
William Frawley: [referring to the script] Believe me, you do not want me to read this sober.
Bob Carroll: I’m starting to get a little tired of your casual insults.
William Frawley: Well, my insults don’t feel like putting on a f***ing tuxedo for you, kid.
Howard Wenke: Lucy, you need to tell me right here and now what the hell is going on.
Desi Arnaz: You don’t want to talk to my wife like that, amigo.
Howard Wenke: Or what, Des, you’re going to beat me up?
Desi Arnaz: Oh, she will.
Lucille Ball: I’m not a Communist, I’ve never been a Communist. But technically, yeah, I am.
Joe Strickland: Jesus Christ. Do you get what’s happening here? Do you know that this is not funny?
Lucille Ball: Yes, I do get what’s happening. And, yes, I know it’s not funny.
Lucille Ball: Fred C. Hunt, my grandfather, was a member of the party. This was in the early ’30s. I was in my early twenties. He never used the word Communist. But he cared about workers, the working man. He raised my little brother and me, and I wanted to please him. So I checked the box. Back then, it wasn’t considered much worse than being a Republican.
Howard Wenke: Maybe we’re out of this. We just don’t know yet.
Lucille Ball: When will we?
Howard Wenke: If you tape a show Friday night, means you still have a show.
Desi Arnaz: You and me, we’ve been through worse than this.
Lucille Ball: We have?
Desi Arnaz: No.
Lucille Ball: That’s what I thought.
Desi Arnaz: Are you being funny right now?
Lucille Ball: That is the second time someone’s asked me that this morning. I’m Lucille Ball. When I’m being funny, you’ll know it.
Desi Arnaz: Everything’s going to be fine. Nothing’s going to happen to you. I won’t allow it. I just won’t.
[Lucille kisses him, wipes the lipstick off his mouth with handkerchief]
Desi Arnaz: You’ve never done that before.
Lucille Ball: I know. I’ve seen other people do it in movies I’ve been in.
Vivian Vance: Rusty Hamer plays Rusty Williams on The Danny Thomas Show. He’s in second grade, and they made him sign a loyalty oath when he signed his contract, which I think is ugly. I don’t know why this is tripping you up. It wasn’t confusing.
William Frawley: There’s no such thing as The Danny Thomas Show. It’s called Make Room for Daddy. Don’t tell me comedy. And if Little Rusty is a Communist, then I’m going to beat the s**t out of a seven year-old kid. I have no problem with that.
Vivian Vance: I’m done.
Madelyn Pugh: [to Bob] That, right there, was funnier than anything you’ve written so far this year.
Jess Oppenheimer: No matter what’s going on, we all support you a thousand percent.
William Frawley: I’d like to find out what’s going on before I make that commitment.
Desi Arnaz: A long time ago, Lucy accidentally checked the wrong box on her voter registration. That’s the first act of a new episode right there.
Bob Carroll: Yeah, “Lucy Gets Blacklisted”.
Desi Arnaz: That’s not a joke, Bob.
Lucille Ball: I wanted to make sure, because you haven’t been here in a while. Is it because you’ve been going through puberty?
Donald Glass: I look young, yes, but I went through it a long time ago. And I haven’t been here because I’ve been directing at Danny Thomas.
William Frawley: With the Communist kid? F*** off.
'We've been through worse than this.' - Desi Arnaz (Being the Ricardos) Click To Tweet
Lucille Ball: You do need to know that Danny does jokes, few people do it better. I do physical comedy.
Donald Glass: I’ve seen every episode of the show.
Lucille Ball: So have sixty million other people. Are none of them professional television directors?
Desi Arnaz: She’s kidding.
Donald Glass: I can tell.
Lucille Ball: I’m hazing you a little, Donald. It’s just my way of saying, I have no confidence in you at all.
Older Madelyn Pugh: [referring to Lucille] Look, she was always tough on the writing, she pressed down hard on each beat, but that week, it was like her life depended on whether a joke was a B or B-plus.
Lucille Ball: [meeting each other for the first time] “Do you remember the first time we met? You were rudely attentive, but now you’re obnoxiously indifferent.”
Desi Arnaz: What?
Lucille Ball: It’s a line from our movie, dumb-dumb.
Desi Arnaz: Do we know each other?
Lucille Ball: No.
Desi Arnaz: My name is Desiderio Alberto Arnaz…
Lucille Ball: Ah. I don’t have that kind of time.
Desi Arnaz: And you’re Lucille Ball.
Lucille Ball: Use a line on me you’ve never road-tested on anyone. I dare you.
Desi Arnaz: Would you like to learn how to rumba?
Lucille Ball: Alright. Nice. And, yes, I would. But there’s absolutely no chance you haven’t used that before.
Lucille Ball: I live in a small house.
Desi Arnaz: And your ambition is to live in a bigger house.
Lucille Ball: My ambition is to live in a home.
Desi Arnaz: Like for old folks?
Lucille Ball: Not a home, not an institution. A home. With a family and dinnertime.
Lucille Ball: I’m a contract player at RKO. I play the roles I’m told to play. My career’s gone as far as it’s going to go. It’s hit cruising altitude. And I’m at peace with that. So I’d like to be at peace. I want a home.
Desi Arnaz: You have a lot more talent than the roles you play have allowed you to exhibit.
Lucille Ball: Now, how would you know I have talent?
Desi Arnaz: Because I have talent.
Lucille Ball: [after spending the night with Desi, calls her fiance] It’s me. Hey. You don’t love me, and I don’t love you. And you cheat on me every chance you can get, and I pretend I’m stupid. So I’m moving out. I’ll send someone to pick up my clothes, okay? Love you. But, you know, not really.
Lucille Ball: Before the table read. You told them I checked the wrong box.
Desi Arnaz: Well, it takes fewer words to say that than the truth.
Lucille Ball: Doesn’t make me look like a simpleton who’s ill-equipped to participate in democracy?
Desi Arnaz: It was simpler, and it’s nobody’s goddamn business.
Lucille Ball: Well, no. Pretty obviously it’s everybody’s goddamn business.
Vivian Vance: In your life, have you ever taken this stuff seriously?
Lucille Ball: I take my marriage seriously.
Vivian Vance: And Desi said?
Lucille Ball: “Lucy, I ain’t been with no girls since the moment I saw you.”
Vivian Vance: Then believe him.
Lucille Ball: I do believe him.