Steve Simels
March 22, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Miss Grant Takes Richmond

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Lucille Ball, William Holden
director
Lloyd Bacon
author
Nat Perrin, Frank Tashlin
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C

For most of her early movie career, Lucille Ball got the kind of supporting parts — cynical best friend, the detective’s wisecracking sidekick, that sort of thing — that would otherwise have gone to Eve Arden. In Miss Grant Takes Richmond, however, Ball does a sort of warm-up for I Love Lucy, playing the lead role of a well-meaning but scatterbrained secretary employed as an unwitting front by bookie William Holden. Ball’s occasionally as funny here as she ever was with Desi, and she gets a few brief opportunities for the kinds of pratfalls she milked on the tube — Miss Grant opens, for example, with a lengthy typing-school sequence in which Ball gets (you guessed it) ink all over her face. Looney Tunes gag writer Frank Tashlin had a hand in the screenplay, which could account for the vaguely cartoonish feel of some of it. On the whole, though, Miss Grant Takes Richmond is a predictable and fairly mild farce for die-hard Lucy lovers only.

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