Ultimate I Love Lucy Wiki

Previous episode: Lucy Goes to Scotland            Next episode: Lucy Meets Charles Boyer

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/Contrefait.jpg http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/AmericanWine.jpg http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/EscargotHorror.jpg http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/TripleCharpentier.jpg


While on her own in Paris, Lucy gets tricked into exchanging her American money for counterfeit francs, being sucked in by the con artist's guarantee to give her more francs for her money than the American Express office. She spends the day buying a painting from an undiscovered sidewalk artist and eating a meal of escargot and wine at a typical Parisian sidewalk cafe. When Lucy goes to pay her lunch meal at the cafe, she is arrested for using counterfeit money.

At the prison, Lucy is freaking out. She doesn't want to go to jail, and nobody knows English for her to explain what really happened. Ricky comes to save her, and Ricky turns out to be the missing link in a very clever way to have Lucy set free. One police officer only speaks French, the other police officer speaks French and German, a drunken inmate speaks German and Spanish, and Ricky speaks Spanish and English! Using this five-way chain of people and languages, Lucy gets to plead her case. She is set free when she agrees to pay the cafe bill with real money. But just as the Ricardos are leaving the prison, they find that the Mertzes have also been arrested for using counterfeit money, having borrowed the fake money from Lucy, and the initial chaos once again resumes.

Back at the hotel, everybody's record is now clean. They all want to show each other what they bought earlier that day. What ends up happening is that, unknowingly, Lucy, Ricky, and the Mertzes all bought the exact same painting from the sidewalk artist! Little did they know that the artist had unlimited quanities of pre-made paintings, and he only was pretending to work on them by dabbing a paintbrush over a canvas he purposely made wet.


  • The five-way translation scene is simply brilliant:

From French... http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/FrenchGerman.jpg

To German... http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/GermanSpanish.jpg

To Spanish... http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/SpanishEnglish.jpg

To English... http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s29/ABMfisher/SpanglishEnglish.jpg

And back again, the scene is a wonderful example of how language can act as both a barrier and a uniting force between people.

  • Lucy fans will recognize the sidewalk artist as being the same actor who played Jean Val-Jean Ramon in "The Adagio" (as well as the art store owner in "Lucy Becomes a Sculptress", and the eye doctor in "Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined"). The waiter at the cafe is the same actor who played the maitre'd Maurice in "Ricky Asks for a Raise."
  • Pierre Charpentier, the sidewalk artist, accepted a price of 1000 francs for his painting from Lucy, and he acts like this is a lot of money. But we learn in this episode that 7000 frances equals $20. Also, Ethel buys the leopard-print purse in Paris for 1000 francs, and she tells panicking Fred that 1000 francs is only about $2 American.
  • The man in the beret who toasts his glass of wine to Lucy at the cafe is writer Bob Carroll, Jr. His writer partner, Madelyn Pugh, was sitting beside him at the table, but all that is shown of her on camera is her arm. (Her face can be seen in several shots after the waiter discovers the money is counterfeit.)
  • Lucy and Ethel were very naive to believe that the counterfeiter could give them more money per exchange than the American Express office. It's logical that Fred wouldn't have questioned the money's legality, simply because he was getting more money for free. But Lucy usually is suspicious of people, so why didn't she ask more questions?
  • The Desilu prop man made quite a hilarious error for the scene where Lucy's at the cafe. The bottle of wine on the table is Paul Masson, a brand made in California, not France!
  • Had the drunk not been inebriated when arrested, Lucy may have ended up in prison. Chances are the drunk wouldn't have started babbling in German had he been sober.
  • The cop who speaks both French and German says he's from Strasbourg. The actor who played the cop was originally from Vienna in real life.
  • "La specialite de la maison" for the French cafe is "des escargots de Bourgogne."
  • The original script had an additional part at the ending, after everyone exchanges the identical paintings. The police knock on the Ricardos' hotel door and say that Ricky paid with counterfeit money at the police station. Ricky got change from Charpentier when he bought his copy of the painting, and Charpentier used the counterfeit money Lucy bought the painting with to give Ricky his change.
  • Apparently, putting ketchup on escargot and using the snail-opening tool to pinch one's nose shut are both just as horrible of crimes in France as using counterfeit money.
  • Lucy calls Ricky a "Spanish Chevalier" in this episode, and she's not wrong. Ricky not only adopted wearing a signature straw hat like Chevalier, he also wears the hat at an angle like Chevalier.


  • Fred: What a town! Hasn't changed a bit. Everything is exactly the same as it was in 1918.

Ethel: Present company excepted.

  • Fred: A day off in Paris? Hot-ziggity!

Ethel: You are coming on a sightseeing tour with Lucy and me.

Fred: Cold-ziggity...

  • Lucy: When you first came to the United States, you didn't get into a lot of trouble because you didn't know the language, did you?

Ricky: I'm married, aren't I?

Lucy: Huh?

Ricky: She told me that "I do" meant "pleased to meet you," and then she introduced me to the preacher.

  • Lucy: 7000 francs? Wow! I like this better than English money!

Ricky: It's the same [amount] in dollars.

Lucy: Well, I know, but sounds like more.

  • Fred: What's the matter with [your hair]? It looks alright to me.

Ethel: It's up in curlers!

Fred: Isn't that the way you always wear it?

  • Counterfeiter: Evidemnent, madade parle et comprend beaucoup de francais.

Lucy: Well, there you are!

  • Tour guide: (throws up hands) Les Americains- HUH!

Lucy: (pretending to be French to fit in) Les Americains- HUH!

  • Lucy: (ordering escargot) Beaucoup hot!
  • Lucy: Waiter, this food has snails in it!
  • Lucy: (to piece of escargot) I think an American cousin of yours ate my geranium plant.
  • Lucy: Oh, 400 francs- why didn't you say so [in English]?
  • Lucy: (unknowingly being arrested for counterfeit money) Since when is it a crime to put ketchup on snails?!
  • Lucy: My husband, mon mari, is sort of a Spanish Chevalier.
  • Lucy: Ricky, I'm in the Bastille!
  • Lucy: (to Ricky) Oh, I never was so glad to hear anybody speak English in my life, even you!
  • Lucy: Thanks to me, you got to do something that very few Americans get to do. You got to see the inside of a French jail!
  • Ethel: (realizing she's been duped by Charpentier) The man said he would rather cut off his arm!