Sunday, March 17, 2013


Who doesn’t love Lucille Ball!

This wonderful 50’s gown was designed for and worn by Lucille Ball in the 1954 comedy hit “The Long, Long Trailer”. Costumes were designed by Helen Rose.

The gown of striped blue and cream satin with lace floral accents has a very full skirt and self collar. Helen Rose who created this costume designed for many MGM greats including Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Doris Day. This is very Helen Rose in terms of its design and at the same time very what you would expect Lucille Ball to dress in for the 1950s. It’s a great piece.

The following photo shows the bodice with beautiful self collar, button design and lace.

This photo shows the detail of the floral lace which circles the full skirt.

Here also is Lucille Ball in a test photo with the costume.

Lucille Ball costumes are rare and do not come to market often. When they do come up they are much sought after. 

This was also the first film that both Ball and husband Desi Aranz would make together. MGM studios were wary at first of making a film with the married couple based on the fact that the public could watch them both for free on television with the ‘I Love Lucy’ series, which was continuing to be made and aired at the same time. 

They had nothing to worry about and the public turned out in droves to see the picture. In fact the film went on to make more money than the current highest earning comedy at the time, which was ‘Father of the Bride’.

The Long, Long Trailer is a movie based on a novel and tells the story of a couple who purchase a travel trailer home and spend a year travelling across the United States. 

The film is best remembered for the wonderful sight gags and situation comedy moments that Lucy was best remembered for on her shows. The dangerous mountain road and manoeuvring the giant of a trailer is one of those scenes.

Here is another series of photos of the gown being worn by Lucy in the scene who is doing her best to convince Desi that buying a trailer home will be the best thing for them.

Here also is the orignal trailer to the film:

The costume can be seen at 0:33.

The studio spared no expense in marketing this film and ensuring its success with the public. Even Leo the Lion loved Lucy! 

With Long, Long Trailer, Lucy and Desi did what few actors of the time could do, transition from television back to film and to have done it successfully.

A wonderful piece of MGM and Lucille Ball history.

1 comment:

  1. what i hated about the movie was their characters names....
    nicky & brucie? i can't recall. otherwise, i loved it.