Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) starring Lucille Ball, William Holden, James Gleason
Miss Grant Takes Richmond begins at a secretarial school. The grave-looking Charles Lane is overseeing his class, including Ellen Grant, played by the lovely Lucille Ball. Most of the class is performing well, but not Lucille Ball’s character. She demonstrates this to the audience in a battle with an old-style typewriter — and losing. It’s a quiet slapstick routine, and sets her character for the audience. Effectively, she’s playing her Lucy Ricardo character from I Love Lucy (before she met Ricky). Hard working, diligent, intelligent, but accident prone — and cooking up a scheme to “help” other people.
At home that evening, she’s practicing her typing, in hopes of graduating from secretarial school the next day. She’s living with her aunt and uncle — the uncle is a Judge, and someone highly respected in the community. Likewise, her boyfriend is assistant District Attorney.
The next day, Dick Richmond (William Holden) of the Richmond Real Estate Company comes to the class. He’s looking to hire a new secretary. And after a short competition in the class, he hired the inept Lucy. After he’s nearly attacked by her typewriter in another slapstick clash between Lucy and her typewriter. Shortly after arriving at her new job, the audience realizes that Mr. Richmond is running a bookie joint in the back room. That is, the “conference room” where he works with his two “associates” — Timothy Gleason (James Gleason) and Mr. Kilcoyne (Frank McHugh). Lucy’s job is simple. She serves as the receptionist for this real estate office, that never has anything available. To give it an air of realism. That is, until …
Editorial review of Miss Grant Takes Richmond courtesy of Amazon.com
Dick Richmond is a sharp bookmaker whose unproductive real estate office is a cover for his gambling operation. Unaware of his real line of work, eager but incompetent Ellen Grant signs on as Dick’s secretary and presses him into a building project to ease the post-war housing shortage. Dick siphons the cash from unsuspecting homebuyers to pay his debts to a big-time syndicate, leaving his ditzy secretary charged with embezzlement. Now, Dick must choose between the easy, grifting lifestyle or saving his secretary’s hide!
Cast of characters
- Lucille Ball (The Long, Long Trailer, I Love Lucy) … Ellen Grant
- William Holden (Sabrina, Stalag 17) … Dick Richmond
- Janis Carter (Framed) … Peggy Donato
- James Gleason (Arsenic and Old Lace, The Yellow Cab Man) … Timothy P. Gleason
- Gloria Henry (Law of the Barbary Coast) … Helen White
- Frank McHugh (High Pressure, All Through the Night) … Mr. Kilcoyne
- George Cleveland (Angel on My Shoulder, Mother Wore Tights) … Judge Ben Grant
- Stephen Dunne (Shock, Hand of Death) … Ralph Winton
Trivia for Miss Grant Takes Richmod
- Rita Hayworth was originally going to star in Miss Grant Takes Richmond. But she requested script revisions, and went on suspension to avoid making it.
- William Holden co-starred with Lucy in the I Love Lucy episode L.A. at Last!