Forever Darling (1956) starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, James Mason
Forever, Darling a very sweet movie, and very funny as well. I enjoyed it, and hope that you do as well.Frankly, Forever Darling is one of my favorite Lucille Ball movies. The basic premise is that biologist Lorenzo Xavier Vega (played by Desi Arnaz) has grown apart from his wife Susan (played by Lucille Ball). He has thrown himself into his work. She has thrown herself into the social scene.
Nobody says the words “thinking of divorce” but then, nobody really needs to, either. By this point it should be obvious that this is not an offshoot of I Love Lucy. Although there are, indeed some similarities later on. But first, this marriage needs God’s help to avoid divorce. And He provides it, in the form of an angel that only Lucille Ball can see, played by James Mason.
The movie has a little fun with this: The angel is pleasantly surprised to find out that he looks like James Mason. His real job, of course, is to try and repair the marriage. Which he does not by ‘ghostly’ interference, but primarily by giving good advice to Lucy. The best example of this is when Desi Arnaz’ character needs to go camping to test a new insecticide. And James Mason urges Lucy to go with him. She does, with slapstick comedy results. But also with the realization that she truly loves her husband. And that he is more important to her than her social standing.
Editorial Reviews of Forever Darling starring Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, James Mason courtesy of Amazon.com
The hardworking Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball star in the urbane and witty Forever Darling, a 1956 romantic comedy, made at the height of the couple’s popularity as co-stars of I Love Lucy, about the difficulty of forging marital harmony. Arnaz plays unpretentious, visionary chemist Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Vega, whose passion for working on a powerful chemical insecticide for the benefit of humankind means little to his wife, Susan (Ball). A creature of high society, Susan is conflicted about her destiny. Should she be concerned with acquiring a bigger house and socializing with the right people, or should she follow Larry as he takes his insecticide on a two-year field study in tropical jungles? Attempting to guide her toward the right decision is a dapper, guardian angel, who happens to take the form of James Mason because Mason is Susan’s fantasy man.
The script by Helen Deutsch (I’ll Cry Tomorrow) indulges I Love Lucy fans with plenty of slapstick set pieces plugged into an extended camping scene. But there’s also some flashy banter — Arnaz is very convincing putting well-heeled snobs in their place — and a very clever sequence in which Susan imagines herself as the heroine in a movie she happens to be watching. (A movie starring, yes, James Mason.) There’s a fun, special feature in which Arnaz and Ball take time out from production on their television show to plug Forever Darling and reveal the secret of a truly happy marriage — and then get into a beef. —Tom Keogh
Product Description of Forever Darling starring Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, James Mason
A lot of things can test a marriage, but Lorenzo and Susan Vega have unwittingly put their five-year union to the ultimate test: they go camping. And Susan’s guardian angel, seen only by Susan, joins them. TV’s I Love Lucy was in its fifth season when this romp gave fans more reasons to love its stars. Desi Arnaz plays Lorenzo, who heads for wide-open spaces to test his chemical company’s new product. Wife Susan (Lucille Ball) goes, too. And soon we’re all headed for comedy chaos built on tent-raising, forest critters, inflatable rafts and other typical elements of roughing it. There’s one atypical element: the angel (James Mason) who wants to rescue their troubled union. Marriages may be made in heaven. But the details are worked out here below