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Newlywed city slickers decide to give country life a try as chicken farmers.
While shaving one morning, World War II veteran Bob ecstatically informs his new bride Betty that he has quit his mundane job in the city for the idyllic life of raising chickens in the country. Driving a decrepit truck crammed with livestock, the newlyweds soon venture into the mountains and arrive at their new home, a dilapidated old shack. As Bob bubbles on about their wonderful new life, Betty contends with a leaky roof and recalcitrant stove. On their first night, Bob plots a timetable for breeding livestock over the next year, including the birth of the couple's first baby. Rising before sunrise the following day, Bob and Betty are visited by their neighbor, Pa Kettle, who promptly borrows the load of wood and bucket of nails that Bob has just purchased to build a chicken coop. That afternoon, Betty is terrified when she looks up from her stove and sees two Indians, Geoduck and Crowbar, who have come to sell fish, peering through her kitchen window. Reluctant to deprive the chickens of their eggs, Betty decides instead to lead Cleopatra the pig into her pen. Just as Cleopatra pitches Betty into the mud, Harriet Putnam, the glamorous divorcee who owns the neighboring Bella Vista Farm, arrives and effortlessly coaxes the pig. Betty's next visitor is Billy Reed, a persistent traveling salesman who unsuccessfully pesters her to buy his wares. When Tom Kettle, Pa's son, who has come to help out at the farm, confides his dreams of attending college, Betty decides to visit Tom's family to plead his case. As Betty saunters down the road to the Kettle farm, she is offered a ride by Mrs. Hicks and her eccentric mother, who tactlessly predict the failure of the newlyweds' farm. At the Kettles', Betty is greeted by a boisterous brood of children and livestock. When Betty relates Tom's dream of going to college, the big-hearted, but slovenly Ma Kettle replies that the entire family is dependent upon his earnings. At Harriet's invitation, Bob and Betty visit her luxurious Bella Vista Farm, where Betty becomes jealous when Harriet begins to flirt with her husband. To rekindle Bob's ardor, Betty dons her wedding dress and in response, Bob dresses in his tuxedo. As the couple dances, Mr. Henty, a taciturn egg buyer, appears in their living room. Unimpressed by their finery, Henty leaves without agreeing to buy any eggs. When Betty, who has become friends with Ma, makes her a new dress for the big dance, Ma gives her a quilt she has just finished sewing. On the night of the party, Betty is asked to dance by a string of idiosyncratic partners while Harriet monopolizes Bob, thus infuriating Betty. The party comes to an abrupt end when the sheriff announces that the Kettles' barn has caught fire and the flames are spreading throughout the valley. Bob and Betty struggle to save their farm, but when the wind shifts, the blaze destroys their outbuildings and crops. The next morning, their neighbors rally to help them rebuild the farm, and Henty offers them a two-year egg contract. To earn money for Tom's tuition, Betty decides to enter Ma's quilt in the county fair. Upon learning that all the judges are cousins of the Hicks and consequently award prizes only to members of their family, Betty bribes Billy Reed, who is charge of the fair, to give the quilting prize to Ma. As Betty and Ma enjoy the rides at the fair, Harriet lures Bob to her farm by offering to sell him the property. After Ma's quilt is awarded first prize, Betty faints and Ma declares that she must be pregnant. That night, Betty prepares a celebratory dinner, and as she eagerly awaits Bob's arrival, Emily, an old lady, comes to the door, introduces Betty to her invisible husband and regales her with stories about vicious giant chickens. Soon after, the sheriff comes to claim Emily and explains that she used to live at the farm before going insane after her husband ran off with another woman. Late that night, a messenger delivers a note from Bob, notifying Betty that he has been delayed. In a jealous rage, Betty packs her suitcases and returns to the city to live with her mother. Over the months, Betty refuses to open the outpouring of letters that Bob has mailed her. After giving birth to a baby girl, however, she decides to reconcile with him and boards a train headed for the country. At the station, Betty hails a cab and instructs the driver to take her to Bob's house. When the driver stops at Bella Vista Farm, Betty is furious until she discovers that Bob is the property's new owner. After Bob informs Betty that he was delayed the night of the fair because he was busy cajoling Harriet into selling him the farm, they embrace and Betty produces their daughter, reminding him that they are right on schedule. Bob then dashes off to resolve another crisis at the chicken house.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||World premiere in Los Angeles: 21 Mar 1947|
|Release Date:||1947||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Universal Pictures Company, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)||Production Co:||Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.|
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User Ratings & Review
ma and pa are the best
Can't go wrong watching ma and pa Kettle. Good clean fun. They don't make comedies like these anymore.The egg and I is a cute movie in itself as...
the Egg and I
One of my all time favorites. Love this movie, I just wish TCM would show more often. I never get tired of this one.
The Egg and I
Mr. Blandings 2011-08-13
An amusing and distracting little light comedy, but the mediocre script does little to challenge the immensely talented duo of Colbert and MacMurray.