Arnold Week: Happy Anniversary and Goodbye (1974)

Norma and Malcolm Michaels (Lucille Ball and Art Carney) are a middle-aged married couple who seperate after years of arguing and their daughter’s new marriage. However, once they are single again, they miss the comfort they had with one another.

Directed by Jack Donahue (Babes In Toyland, sixty-nine episodes of Chico and the Man, Ball’s Her’s Lucy show as well as her Lucy Gets Lucky and Lucy Moves to NBC specials) and written by Arthur Julian (whose TV writing credits include shows like Hogan’s HeroesMaudeGimme A Break! and Amen) and Arnie Rosen (a writer on The Carol Burnett Show), this was one of Lucille Ball’s TV movie specials. It was the first time in decades that Ball didn’t play her sitcom Lucy character and even had streas of gray in her hair.

This is very much Lucy’s show, as her personal hairstylist Irma Kusely styled her wigs and she brought back Here’s Lucy (1968) propmaster Kenneth L. Westcott, costumer Renita Reachii, production manager William Magginetti and script supervisor Dorothy Aldworth.

Norma ends up going to Vegas with her friend Fay (Nanette Fabray) and their dates Ed (Don Porter) and Doug (Rhodes Reason) while Malcolm gets hooked up with younger women thanks to his friend Greg (Peter Marshall).

The real reason I watched this was to see Arnold Schwarzenegger between Hercules In New York and Pumping Iron. He’s much more comfortable speaking and has some decent comic timing. I’m certain playing off Lucy had to be intimidating, but Arnold is great. He’s also monstrous, as he’s bigger here than he would ever be in any of his movies.

In my quest to watch every Arnold movie, I will go anywhere. Even a made for TV live special.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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