The Fuller Brush Girl (1950) starring Lucille Ball, Eddie Albert
Synopsis of The Fuller Brush Girl
Sally Elliot (played by Lucille Ball) has been engaged to her co-worker Humphrey Briggs (Eddie Albert) for three years; even though they have enough money saved up for a down payment on their dream house, but they don’t make enough for the monthly payments. Until Humphrey is promoted by his crooked supervisor, Mr. Simpson, who plans to make Humphrey the fall guy for a crooked scheme.
This backfires when Sally is fired later in the day, and applies for a Fuller Brush franchise (selling cosmetics, similar to Mary Kay Cosmetics today) — resulting in Mr. Simpson coming home with a suit coat smelling of cosmetic powder. The rich Mrs. Simpson accuses him of cheating on her, so he calls on Humphrey to get Sally to go and explain everything to Mrs. Simpson. Sally, needed a letter of reference from Mr. Simpson in order to get her Fuller Brush franchise, agrees, but arrives to find a bogus Mrs. Simpson and a dead body. Soon, Humphrey is mixed up in the murder mystery as well.
Review of The Fuller Brush Girl
The Fuller Brush Girl is not so much a sequel to Red Skelton‘s The Fuller Brush Man as it is a remake. Despite that, it’s a very funny movie, with two of my favorite screen clowns – everyone knows Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy, and Eddie Albert from Green Acres, and the characters they play here are similar to those characters, although not the same. For example, Lucille Ball’s character, Sally Elliot, is more a victim of bad circumstances than ineptness.
There are numerous very funny segments as Lucy tries to sell cosmetics from door to door, such as when she tries to sell things to Red Skelton, your Fuller Brush Man in a cute cameo appearance of Red in the sequel, where she’s mistaken for the babysitter for some truly obnoxious children (playing cowboys and Indians, not only tying up Lucy inside the house, but trying to burn her at the stake as well), offering to do a home permanent for some potential customers – where a mischievous child adds something to the mix that causes the women’s hair to fall out, or trying to do a “strip tease” dance to Put the Blame on Mame while chasing down the imposter Mrs. Simpson, getting drunk while trying to keep a barrel from leaking, etc.
The Fuller Brush Girl is a very funny movie, and highly recommended – I rate it 4 clowns out of 5.
- Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy, The Long Long Trailer) … Sally Elliot
- Eddie Albert (Green Acres, Roman Holiday) … Humphrey Briggs
- Carl Benton Reid (In a Lonely Place) … Mr. Christy
- Gale Robbins (Three Little Words) … Ruby Rawlings
- Jeff Donnell (Tora! Tora! Tora!) … Jane Bixby
- Jerome Cowan (Miracle on 34th Street) … Harvey Simpson
- John Litel (They Died with their Boots On) … Mr. Watkins
- Fred Graham (The Giant Gila Monster) … Rocky Mitchell
- Lee Patrick (Maltese Falcon, Visit to a Small Planet) … Claire Simpson
- Arthur Space (The Big Noise, 20 Million Miles to Earth) … Inspector Rodgers
Funny movie quotes from The Fuller Brush Girl
Sally Elliot (Lucille Ball): It only took you a year to finish that correspondence course.
Humphrey Briggs (Eddie Albert): Yeah, but that was a six-month course.
Parrot (Mel Blanc): We hit a rock! Women and parrots first!
Sally Elliot (Lucille Ball): [they kiss, oblivious to the boat exploding] Whenever I kiss you, I think I hear noises.
Humphrey Briggs (Eddie Albert): Me, too.
Trivia for The Fuller Brush Girl
- Mel Blanc is the voice of the parrot, who nearly gives away Lucille Ball and Eddie Albert to the criminals.
- Red Skelton has a cameo appearance as “Red Skelton, your Fuller Brush Man” – who ends up selling Lucille Ball’s character a hairbrush
- Emil Sitka, best known as the fourth Stooge of the Three Stooges, has a minor role in the hair permanent scene.