Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz: why the scandalous sex life of America’s boyfriends does not appear in Being the Ricardos, the Amazon Prime Video movie with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem

Reality surpasses fiction and, at times, it is just the opposite. It is the case of
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the marriage of actors who was a model for America in the 50s thanks to their television show
I love Lucy. We talk about them because Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play them in Being the Ricardos, a film in which they narrate a week in which the couple faces a triple crisis:
Lucille is accused of being a communist by the FBI, Desi appears on the cover for having an affair and both have to find a way to continue with their show when Ball becomes pregnant (Until 1951, pregnancies did not appear on television because they were considered indecent).

The triple drama does not reach much intensity in the film, in which
Kidman turns to prosthetic makeup again (He already did it in Las horas y Bombshell)
and both she and Bardem are rejuvenated thanks to digital retouching. In addition, the circumstance that led this couple of comedians to all the covers is totally out of the picture: a married life more than turbulent, with
a sex life that scandalized at the time.

The relationship between
Desi Arnaz Y
Lucille Ball It was not, at any time, as ideally comical as it was intended in I love Lucy nor, either, as it is portrayed in
Being the Ricardos. It was probably not as stark as it was painted on the tabloid covers of the time, although the stories are, directly, tremendous. The first time the Cuban actor and the aspiring star met was in the early 1940s and at RKO Pictures studios, a scene that appears very decaffeinated in Being the Ricardos.

She was 28 years old, eight years older than him, and dressed as a burlesque dancer for the filming of Dance, Girl, Dance, a movie with Maureen O’Hara.
Upon seeing her, Desi said she looked like a “10 cent hooker.” Their romance began immediately, but neither of them stopped seeing other people. Rumor has it that, just weeks before his wedding to Lucille Ball,
Arnaz paid Ginger Rogers for an abortion in Canada. Ball kept seeing Henry Fonda, his lover since 1939, and some other flirt. In fact, the wedding was the product of a typical Cuban impulse: without guests, dresses or celebration, it was celebrated where a judge agreed to marry them immediately: not in New York but in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Lucille Ball was never even close to the naive housewife portrayed in I love Lucy.
At age 14, she began a relationship with a 23-year-old gangster and gigolo named Johnny DaVita.. They say that her surprising gangster ways come from her long life with him (Ball was very foul-mouthed). She started auditioning but only landed modeling roles. Yes, she was able to change her boyfriend, from a small mobster to a bigger one:
Pat DiCicco, who would later marry the millionaire
Gloria Vanderbilt. “He taught me bed tricks he learned in a Shanghai brothel,” Ball confessed to actress Joan Blondell.

After two attempts on his life by his mafia friends, Ball moved from Manhattan to Hollywood and, following the advice of Ginger Rogers’ mother, assumed the conditions of the call
casting coach: accepting sex with producers to get contracts, something that many stars of the time had to do. He had dreamed romances with
Henry Fonda, James Stewart y Orson Welles. It was one of her lovers, the actor
Milton Berle, the one who convinced her of the potential of television.

In their 20 years of marriage,
Desi Arnaz He never hid his fondness and assiduity to brothels, alcohol and gambling. In fact, he considered their parallel relationships “insignificant peccadilloes,” says Darwin Porter, author of “The Sad & Tragic Ending of Lucille Ball.” In fact when
Lucille Ball She received the proposal to star in I love Lucy, she insisted that her partner be her husband: she feared that if they did not work together, he would be constantly unfaithful to her.

In the end he couldn’t help it, because he never gave up parties with prostitutes (never just one).
Lucille had endured a decade of infidelity and fought back with her own affairs: she liked sex too much not to play the revenge game. In 1951 he had his first daughter and, in 1952, already recording I love Lucy, he had his second: it was the first time a pregnant woman had been seen on television. However, that last decade of marriage, with the success already in the pocket, was
another hell of sex, jealousy and infidelity. In 1960, three years after the popular show ended, Lucille and Desy divorced, although they remained good friends until her death.

The troubled married life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz It wouldn’t be so significant if it weren’t for the cultural influence of I love Lucy, a kind of Marriage Scenes that aired at 9pm every Monday and practically paralyzed the country. The comic tone of its representation tended to be exaggerated, but it cannot diminish its importance when it comes to setting c
What the ideal marriage should be like in the 1950s: they, industrious mothers, impeccably dressed, combed and made up, waited for their husbands at home.

They came and went at their convenience, always with the perfect excuse that justified their suspicious delays. The discomfort of women by this situation, women who also a few years before had carried the productive burden of a country at war, was described by Betty Friedan as
“The mystique of femininity”, in a book thus titled and published in 1963. That mystique concealed a deep malaise:
Although women could vote, go to college, and work, they still had to carry the burden of femininity: caring for and guarding the home.. I mean, be Lucy.

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Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz: why the scandalous sex life of America’s boyfriends does not appear in Being the Ricardos, the Amazon Prime Video movie with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem