The fifth season of I Love Lucy contains some of the best moments of the series, with one of the all-time classic episodes. Even people who aren’t fans of the series most likely have seen a clip of Lucille Ball stomping grapes – but watching the episode and learning why Lucy is stomping grapes explains why this is a classic piece of American television – and hilariously funny, to boot. The 5th season of I Love Lucy contains the following episodes, as well as the normal other goodies:
- Lucy Visits Grauman’s: With Ethel’s help, Lucy steals John Wayne’s footprints from Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
- Lucy and John Wayne: Lucy and Ethel try to return the footprints that they stole, but they break; so Ricky enlists the help from John Wayne (himself) to make a new set – More than one may be needed.
- Lucy and the Dummy: After Ricky backs out of a party where Lucy wants her big break, Lucy makes a dummy of Ricky to dance with at the party.
- Ricky Sells the Car: After Ricky sells the car, Fred & Ethel think they’ll have to ride a motorcycle back to NYC; but Ricky buys train tickets for all.
- The Great Train Robbery: Thinking there’s a jewel thief on board the train to NYC, Lucy can’t stop pulling the emergency brake cord (Train conductor played by Frank Nelson, 1911-1986, best known as the annoying “Yes, can I help you?” character from the Jack Benny show.)
- The Homecoming: Upon returning to NYC, Ricky is a big star, but Lucy initially doesn’t share in everyone’s worship of him
- The Ricardos Are Interviewed: Ricky & Lucy consider moving and Ricky is to be interviewed on a prestigious show.
- Lucy Goes to a Rodeo: After Ricky can’t help Fred with a rodeo-themed show for his lodge, Lucy & Ethel volunteer to help.
- Nursery School: After Lucy’s fear of Little Ricky getting sick at nursery school comes to pass, she is determined to stay with him at the hospital.
- Ricky’s European Booking: When Ricky can’t afford to take Lucy on his European tour, she & Ethel dream up a raffle to help the âLadies Overseas Aidâ, which they think is themselves.
- The Passports: Lucy can’t find her birth certificate so that she can get her passport.
- Staten Island Ferry: To help Fred overcome seasickness, Lucy takes him onto the Staten Island Ferry; but she gets seasick herself and may be late to the passport office (Passport clerk played by Charles Lane.)
- Bon Voyage: When the ship leaves port for Europe, Lucy is inadvertently left behind; so she’ll have to get to ship via a helicopter. One of the best fifth-season episodes!
- Second Honeymoon: Lucy wants the Atlantic cruise to be a second honeymoon, but Ricky is too busy with the band.
- Lucy Meets the Queen: After Lucy misses seeing the queen at Buckingham Palace, Ricky gets invited to meet the queen, but not Lucy. Of course, when has “no” ever stopped Lucy?
- The Fox Hunt: Bragging that she can ride, Lucy gets to show how well she can actually ride a horse in a fox hunt.
- Lucy Goes to Scotland: Lucy wants to travel to Scotland to meet her distant McGillicuddy relative. The dream sequence that unfolds is unforgettable.
- Paris at Last: Not having any French currency, Lucy, Ethel & Fred exchange money with a so-called French artist (Shepard Menken, 1921-1999), who turns out to be a counterfeiter. The translation sequence is priceless, as is Lucy’s introduction to escargot!
- Lucy Meets Charles Boyer: Lucy & Ethel are star-struck when they encounter Charles Boyer (himself) at a sidewalk cafe.
- Lucy Gets a Paris Gown: When Lucy goes on hunger strike to force Ricky to buy her an expensive French-designed dress, Ricky & Fred have dresses custom-made out of burlap. (A fantastic episode!)
- Lucy in the Swiss Alps: Lucy, Ricky, Fred & Ethel get trapped in an avalanche while mountain climbing until they hear ‘La Cucaracha’ being played.
- Lucy Gets Homesick in Italy: In this heart-warming episode, Lucy misses Little Ricky during his birthday, so a little Italian shoeshine boy (Bart Bradley) and his friends get to celebrate with her.
- Lucy’s Italian Movie: In one of the best episodes of all time, Lucy takes “getting some local color” a little literally when she travels to an old-fashioned Italian winery to press grapes to impress an Italian film director. (Italian wine stomper played by Theresa Tirelli, 1907-1989).
- Lucy’s Bicycle Trip: Lucy has trouble crossing back into France when she can’t find her passport.
- Lucy Goes to Monte Carlo: When Lucy picks up a chip in a Monte Carlo casino, she inadvertently wins thousands of French francs.
- Return Home From Europe: To sneak home a 30-pound cheese, Lucy dresses it up as baby to fly home to NYC; but the passenger (Mary Jane Croft, 1916-1999) next to her flips out when the cheese disappear
Editorial Review of I Love Lucy, the complete fifth season courtesy of Amazon.com
I Love Lucy: The Complete Fifth Season finds Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) making an international mess out of husband Ricky’s globe-trotting tour as an entertainer. Beginning with Lucy Visits Grauman’s and Lucy and John Wayne, the impulsive redhead risks Ricky’s sanity in Hollywood by stealing a cement slab, from the famous entrance to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, that contains the imprint of John Wayne’s footprints and signature. In the tradition of superstars playing themselves on I Love Lucy, an exasperated (and very funny) Wayne gets into the act over and over and over again, making new imprints on multiple slabs because Lucy keeps messing up the results. After more shenanigans in Los Angeles (Lucy attends a ritzy party with a dummy substituting for her unavailable husband) and a disastrous train ride home, it’s time to jeopardize Ricky’s success during an interview show that ends disastrously.
Lucy’s fifth season travel theme continues when Ricky and his band are booked on a European tour that does not include his wife or the Mertzes. Of course, that doesn’t stop the determined Lucy (or Ethel), who schemes her way into Ricky’s plans, only to have a number of snafus arise as she tries to leave the country. In the I Love Lucy tradition, entire episodes are written around such simple matters as trying to get a passport, or helping with Fred’s fear of getting seasick while traveling. All this show’s stars really need is a ridiculous, open-ended situation to exploit, and the comedy flows from there.
Bon Voyage is a particularly funny episode in which Lucy gets left behind by the European-bound ship carrying Ricky and the others, and she has to find a way to get back aboard. The hilarious Lucy and the Queenâ finds her angling in London for a way to meet the Royal Family after Ricky is invited to say hello at the Palladium. From there, Lucy creates chaos in Scotland (this episode includes a memorable dream sequence in which Ricky appears as Scotty MacTavish MacDougal MacCardo), Paris (where she and Ethel plot to meet guest star and good sport Charles Boyer at an outdoor café), Rome (the outstanding Lucy’s Italian Movie finds her dispatched to a vineyard, where she has to crush grapes–brilliantly–with her feet). Lots of special features, including a behind-the-scenes peek and bloopers. —Tom Keogh