The producers of The “I Love Lucy” 50th Anniversary Special had a tough assignment, and they triumphantly rose to the occasion. Ostensibly a vehicle for a fan-selected list of top 10 favorite “I Love Lucy” episodes (available in the Best of I Love Lucy Collection), this 2001 special covers all the requisite territory with a solid sense of history and affectionate nostalgia, combining loving reminiscence and commentary (by such luminaries as Lily Tomlin, Barbara Walters, and Dick Van Dyke) with vintage clips from the selected episodes. More substantial segments demonstrate the deeper significance of the Lucy phenomenon past and present, from Desi Arnaz’s influential impact on Latino culture in America to Lucy’s historic onscreen pregnancy. When surviving children Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. visit their mother’s childhood home, their emotions are as genuine as I Love Lucy’s cultural importance, adding gentle tears to an abundance of laughter. As valentines go, this anniversary couldn’t be more special. –Jeff Shannon
A very special celebration including classic moments, rare footage and musical numbers from the show as well as interviews with Luci Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr. Antonio Banderas, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Dick Van Dyke and many more! 2001/color/85 min/NR/fullscreen.