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Miss Grant Takes Richmond [Lucille Ball]

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Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) starring Lucille Ball, William Holden, James Gleason
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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

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

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!

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