The Long, Long Trailer (1954)

95-96 mins | Comedy | 19 February 1954

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Producer:

Pandro S. Berman

Cinematographer:

Robert Surtees

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a modern source, Desi Arnaz sought the film rights to the novel The Long, Long Trailer in May 1952, but was outbid by M-G-M. A 22 Jan 1953 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column reported that M-G-M was talking with William Holden about a role in the film. Portions of the film were shot on location in Yosemite National Park, CA. The end credits include a statement thanking the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for permission to photograph scenes there.
       At the time The Long, Long Trailer was made, the husband-and-wife team of Lucille Ball and Arnaz were the producers and stars of the country's most popular television comedy, I Love Lucy (CBS, 1951-57). In his memoir, director Vincente Minnelli quoted producer Pandro S. Berman as saying that the studio initially was unenthusiastic about signing the famous couple: "[M-G-M] subscribed to the theory that the audience wouldn't pay to see actors they could get at home for free. But I insisted these were different parts, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could make the picture hilarious." According to Feb 1954 news items, the couple received a $250,000 fee for appearing in the film.
       A modern biography of Ball stated that Arnaz and his production executive, Martin Leeds, bet Loews executive Benjamin Thau $50,000 that The Long, Long Trailer would outgross M-G-M's 1950 hit Father of the Bride (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). According to the biography, Arnaz won the bet, and he and Ball ended up with a total salary of $300,000. Although some news items reported that this ... More Less

According to a modern source, Desi Arnaz sought the film rights to the novel The Long, Long Trailer in May 1952, but was outbid by M-G-M. A 22 Jan 1953 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column reported that M-G-M was talking with William Holden about a role in the film. Portions of the film were shot on location in Yosemite National Park, CA. The end credits include a statement thanking the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for permission to photograph scenes there.
       At the time The Long, Long Trailer was made, the husband-and-wife team of Lucille Ball and Arnaz were the producers and stars of the country's most popular television comedy, I Love Lucy (CBS, 1951-57). In his memoir, director Vincente Minnelli quoted producer Pandro S. Berman as saying that the studio initially was unenthusiastic about signing the famous couple: "[M-G-M] subscribed to the theory that the audience wouldn't pay to see actors they could get at home for free. But I insisted these were different parts, and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could make the picture hilarious." According to Feb 1954 news items, the couple received a $250,000 fee for appearing in the film.
       A modern biography of Ball stated that Arnaz and his production executive, Martin Leeds, bet Loews executive Benjamin Thau $50,000 that The Long, Long Trailer would outgross M-G-M's 1950 hit Father of the Bride (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). According to the biography, Arnaz won the bet, and he and Ball ended up with a total salary of $300,000. Although some news items reported that this film would mark Ball and Arnaz's first screen appearance together, they both had appeared in the 1940 RKO film Too Many Girls (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). Ball and Arnaz made one additional film together in 1956, M-G-M's Forever, Darling (See Entry). The couple married in 1940 and divorced in 1960.
       According to the SatRev review, M-G-M entered into cross-promotional arrangements with several of the manufacturers whose products were featured in the film, including the New Moon Trailer Company, the Mercury car company and Youngstown, which made kitchens for mobile homes. A 16 Jul 1953 "Rambling Reporter" column in HR claimed that Ball and Arnaz requested that the film prominently display a package of Philip Morris cigarettes--their television sponsor--and chidingly referred to their production company, Desilu, as "Desiloot Productions." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jan 1954.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jan 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jan 54
p. 10.
Harrison's Reports
9 Jan 54
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 53
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 53
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 53
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 53
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 53
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 54
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 1954
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 54
p. 1.
Motion Picture Daily
5 Jan 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald
9 Jan 1954.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Jan 54
p. 2133.
New York Times
19 Feb 54
p. 24.
Saturday Review
20 Feb 1954.
---
Variety
4 Feb 1953.
---
Variety
6 Jan 54
p. 52.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Long, Long Trailer by Clinton Twiss (New York, 1951).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Breezin' Along with the Breeze," music and lyrics by Haven Gillespie, Seymour Simons and Richard A. Whiting.
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 February 1954
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 February 1954
New York opening: 18 February 1954
Production Date:
5 June--early July 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 January 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3852
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Ansco Color
Lenses/Prints
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
95-96
Length(in feet):
8,612
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16632
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On a rainy night, Nicholas Carlos Collini arrives at the Laramie Trailer Park in Colorado and pounds on the door of his trailer before noticing the "for sale" sign. In the park manager's office, Nick meets Mr. Tewitt, who is thinking of buying a trailer. Nick urges Tewitt to avoid such a purchase for the sake of his marriage, adding that he has been searching for his own wife for the past three days. Nick describes how the trailer came to blight his life: Two months earlier, in Los Angeles, Nick laughs uproariously when his fiancée Tacy proposes buying a trailer, but she tearfully insists that a trailer would be the only way for them to have their own home while Nick travels on business. Tacy shows Nick a brochure for the fully furnished "Bungalette" model and says a honeymoon in a trailer would be very romantic. They attend a trailer show and look at the Bungalette, which turns out to be disappointingly small. Tacy is then dazzled by an enormous, very expensive trailer and persuades Nick to buy it. The salesman recommends that they have the trailer professionally moved to Colorado, where a job awaits Nick, but Tacy insists that pulling it themselves would be much more fun. Nick buys a new car and has it modified for hauling a trailer, and the mechanic gives the inexperienced Nick a quick lesson in driving with a trailer. Nick and Tacy get married and leave on their honeymoon, although Nick finds driving with the forty-foot, three-ton trailer nerve-wracking. Eventually they arrive at the Breeze Bay Trailer Park, but as Nick attempts to carry Tacy over the threshold of their trailer, ... +


On a rainy night, Nicholas Carlos Collini arrives at the Laramie Trailer Park in Colorado and pounds on the door of his trailer before noticing the "for sale" sign. In the park manager's office, Nick meets Mr. Tewitt, who is thinking of buying a trailer. Nick urges Tewitt to avoid such a purchase for the sake of his marriage, adding that he has been searching for his own wife for the past three days. Nick describes how the trailer came to blight his life: Two months earlier, in Los Angeles, Nick laughs uproariously when his fiancée Tacy proposes buying a trailer, but she tearfully insists that a trailer would be the only way for them to have their own home while Nick travels on business. Tacy shows Nick a brochure for the fully furnished "Bungalette" model and says a honeymoon in a trailer would be very romantic. They attend a trailer show and look at the Bungalette, which turns out to be disappointingly small. Tacy is then dazzled by an enormous, very expensive trailer and persuades Nick to buy it. The salesman recommends that they have the trailer professionally moved to Colorado, where a job awaits Nick, but Tacy insists that pulling it themselves would be much more fun. Nick buys a new car and has it modified for hauling a trailer, and the mechanic gives the inexperienced Nick a quick lesson in driving with a trailer. Nick and Tacy get married and leave on their honeymoon, although Nick finds driving with the forty-foot, three-ton trailer nerve-wracking. Eventually they arrive at the Breeze Bay Trailer Park, but as Nick attempts to carry Tacy over the threshold of their trailer, they are beset by meddling neighbors who think that Tacy has injured her ankle. Late that night, the neighbors finally leave, and the overbearing Mrs. Hittaway tells Nick she has given his wife a sleeping pill. The following morning, Tacy convinces Nick to leave the noisy trailer park and set up camp in the woods, but the trailer gets stuck on the enbankment of a deserted logging road and has to be towed out. The newlyweds then head off to visit Tacy's aunt Anastacia, and Tacy's huge family is waiting to greet them and have a look at the trailer. After bragging about his driving skills, Nick destroys most of the front yard while trying to back the trailer into the driveway, and the couple depart the next day after returning the check Anastacia gave them for their wedding to cover the damages. Nick and Tacy return to the open highway, and soon come to enjoy domestic life in their trailer. One day, Tacy insists on doing the driving, which leads to the couple's first big fight. They later make up, and Tacy proposes that she simplify their life by starting to prepare their dinner before they stop for the night. However, Tacy's first attempt to cook an elaborate meal in the trailer while Nick is driving is a messy disaster. The following day, Nick tells Tacy he has received a cash offer for the trailer, but she refuses to consider selling it. As they approach their final destination in Colorado, Nick tells Tacy they must lighten their load before tackling the 8,000-foot ascent. Tacy is loathe to part with the collection of heavy rocks they have acquired as souvenirs during their travels, and without telling Nick, decides instead to distribute them evenly throughout the trailer. The Collinis nervously begin the hair-raising ride up the steep, narrow mountain road. After barely surviving their perilous trip, Nick discovers the rocks in the trailer and begins hurling them over the side of the mountain, despite Tacy's screams of protest. Back in the rainy trailer park, Nick tells Tewitt that after he and Tacy drove down the mountain without speaking, he unhooked the car and drove away. Tewitt encourages him to apologize, but Nick stubbornly blames Tacy for everything. When Tacy returns to the park, Nick goes to see her, but she greets him coolly. He starts to drive away, but Tacy runs after him, and the couple blurt out their apologies before returning to their trailer. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.