| Season 5, Episode 23 |
#150 in Series
|Air date:||April 16, 1956|
|Written by:|| Bob Carroll Jr.|
|Directed by:||James V. Kern|
|Production code:||5-23 / 150|
|IMDB||Lucy's Italian Movie|
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|"Lucy Gets Homesick in Italy"||"Lucy's Bicycle Trip"|
Lucy's Italian Movie was the 150th overall episode of I Love Lucy, also the 23rd episode of season 5 of the series. The episode, was directed by James V. Kern, originally aired on CBS-TV on April 16, 1956.
En route to Rome, Italy, an Italian producer offers Lucy a role in a film called "Bitter Grapes." So she decides to take a job in a vineyard to absorb a little "local color." This episode contains the famous scene in which Lucy stomps grapes and picks a fight with her fellow stomper. Ironically, by being away, she misses being selected for the role.
While on an uncomfortably cramped train ride to Rome, Lucy is offered the part of a typical American tourist in an upcoming Italian movie by director Vittorio Felipe. She is told that the English title of the movie will be Bitter Grapes. Lucy thought the title was a literal one, and she assumed that the picture was going to be about the winemaking industry and how the locals squeezed out the grape juice by foot. Ricky warns her to not go on a pursuit for picking up some local color, but Lucy naturally doesn't listen. She finds out from the bellboy that old-fashioned winemaking still occurred in a small town named Toro, so off she goes on her journey. In Toro, Lucy is chosen to work in the vats, stomping grapes, because her feet were as big as "giant pizzas." Lucy takes the place of regular vat worker Rosa. The other worker given the task of working in the vats was a small but feisty Italian woman named Teresa. Lucy starts off on her grape-stomping adventure having lots of fun messing around in the vat. But soon, she is tired, and attempts to leave the vat. Teresa pulls on Lucy's arm, trying to get her to keep working, but Lucy shakes off Teresa and accidentally pushes her into the vat. Teresa and Lucy end up in an all-out war in the grape vat.
When Lucy returns to the hotel, she is covered in purple-blue grape stains from head to foot. When Vittorio Felipe sees her, he explains that the movie is not even about the grape/wine industry, and that the title is just symbolic. He says that Lucy can't be in the movie, because she's currently unable to scrub off the grape stains, and he can't take a chance that she'll look normal come filming time. So, Felipe offers Lucy's small role to Ethel, since she is just as much of a typical American tourist as Lucy. Ethel accepts, and Lucy mutters "censored" remarks of jealousy about Ethel under her breath.
- The name of the shoeshine boy is Giuseppe. Some of the friends he brought to the birthday party were Antonio, Maria, and Tulio. His cousin Teresa also came, and she was the one who really WAS celebrating her birthday that day!
- Lucy and Ricky's room on the fourth floor is really the "bridal suite." The Mertzes' room is on the fifth floor, and Ethel quips that their room must be the "bridal suite for mountain goats."
- Giuseppe admits that it's not really his birthday when Lucy gives him a pair of new shoes that he won't accept. But it really IS little Maria's birthday, so the party wasn't for naught!
- Lucille Ball ... as Lucy Ricardo
- Desi Arnaz ... as Ricky Ricardo
- Vivian Vance ... as Ethel Mertz
- William Frawley ... as Fred Mertz