We’re usually pretty herky-jerky here at the ol’ GMC. By that I mean that each new post is usually about a completely different subject than the preceding one. But I am going to make an exception here because I’m continuing with the subject of motor homes or trailers, sometimes called caravans by the British.
I was a kid when I first saw Lucy and Desi in The Long, Long Trailer, and I can still remember how amazed I was at the size of the thing. You have to remember that this was the early 1950s and if there were any trailers that size around our small Midwestern town, then I certainly hadn’t seen them. The trailers I encountered tended to be smaller and sort of rounded — and I felt like I was an authority because my friend’s Dad managed a store next to a trailer dealer and we used to play in them (until we got chased away).
In fact, the couple in the movie first intended to buy a smaller, conventional trailer but ended up with the big one at triple the price — and then had to buy a new car to pull it! Of course, bigger and more elaborate trailers were the coming thing and the one in the movie would eventually be eclipsed by newer models, but at the time that thing just made my jaw drop.
When the movie was made, Lucy and Desi were big national stars because of the success of I Love Lucy, but to their credit they didn’t just transfer zany Lucy to the big screen. The Long, Long Trailer was a conventional romantic comedy; a big, colorful and well-made movie that for the most part did not employ the kind of slapstick humor that Lucy normally excelled in, although it did have a couple of goofy scenes.
It even had a catchy theme song, sort of. A tune that had been around for decades, “Breezin’ Along With The Breeze,” seemed to be a good fit for the movie. But director Vincente Minelli, who knew his way around music — after all, he was a former musical director who’d been married to Judy Garland and fathered Liza Minelli — seemed to get a little sideways with the song. It does show up quite often (you can hear some of it in the video below) but apparently Minelli did a lot of chopping and mixing with vocals and orchestration. In any case, the original soundtrack music is a little difficult to find, but there are plenty of other good versions of the song around, including the one below.