The Kettles in the Ozarks


1h 21m 1956

Brief Synopsis

Ma and the kids head back to the Ozarks for a visit with Uncle Sedge (essentially a Pa Kettle replacement). He's working his way through a twenty years long relationship with Miss Bedelia Baines.

Photos & Videos

The Kettles in the Ozarks - Publicity Stills
The Kettles in the Ozarks - Scene Stills
The Kettles in the Ozarks - Movie Posters

Film Details

Also Known As
Ma and Pa Kettle in the Tall Corn, The Kettles in the Tall Corn
Release Date
Apr 1956
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Mar 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters from the novel The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (Philadelphia, 1945).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

While Pa Kettle stays home to take care of the family farm, Ma and thirteen of her sixteen children travel by train to visit Pa's brother Sedge. After wreaking mayhem throughout the train, the brood arrives in Mournful Hollow, Arkansas, where Sedge is in danger of losing his farm due to his extreme laziness. At the farm, Ma and the kids settle in and soon discover that Sedge is taken care of by his long-time fiancée, Miss Bedelia Baines, and, just like Pa, by two local Indian friends, Big Trout and Small Fry. They also learn that, years earlier, Sedge briefly worked for a tax collector, earning his neighbors' everlasting contempt. Now, while Ma and Bedelia vigorously clean the ramshackle house, Sedge is visited by Jack Dexter, a bootlegger who introduces himself as an "investor." Upon hearing that Sedge lives alone, Jack decides that the secluded farm would make a perfect headquarters for his boss's business, and rents the farm for seven dollars a month. The next morning, Jack arrives with his boss, Professor, and two workers, Joe and Benny. Although they are shocked to see thirteen children in the yard, they nonetheless set up operations in the barn, where they disguise themselves as scientists and proceed to make mash. They are interrupted, however, by the Kettle children, who first spy on the bootleggers and then, seeing smoke emerge from the barn, soak the building and its inhabitants with water. That night, while helping Ma put the kids to bed, Bedelia reveals that she yearns to marry Sedge, have children and take care of the farm, but he will not carry through on his proposal. Ma recommends making Sedge jealous and to that end, arranges for the whole family to attend a community social that weekend. The next day, Bedelia attempts to flirt with Benny, but he snubs her. Later, a neighbor visits with liquor made from pumpkins and tries to sell it to Professor, but when Ma discovers the contraband, she kicks the neighbor off the farm. At the social, the neighbors snub Sedge until the men see that he has sneaked in some pumpkin liquor, and welcome him. The women, however, insist that he set a good example by marrying Bedelia. Meanwhile, the gang feeds their mash to the farm animals, which stumble around drunkenly. Ma and the kids return to the farm, where a letter from a lonely Pa inspires Ma to tell Sedge that Bedelia will no longer take care of him unless they are married. After Sedge agrees, Bedelia takes a blissful walk in the woods, where she overhears the bootleggers and realizes their true vocation. She, Ma and Sedge confront Professor, who points out that Sedge signed a contract with Jack that makes them equal partners in the farm. The next day, they learn that revenue officers are searching the area for the bootleggers, and Ma sets into action a plan to steal back the contract, which Professor keeps in a leather pouch in his pocket. With the help of Big Trout and Small Fry, they set skunks loose in the barn, and when the bootleggers are contaminated, urge them to strip and jump in the lake. Ma cannot find the papers, however, and so invites them to the kitchen to sample her taffy, to which she has added glue. The crooks's hands are soon stuck in the candy, allowing Ma to grab the contract, which actually absolves the Kettles of blame. As the kids corral the bootleggers into the back room, Reverend Martin visits and is urged by Ma to marry Sedge and Bedelia. Since Sedge has eaten Ma's taffy, his teeth are stuck together, but Ma acts as his proxy and accepts Bedelia's hand in marriage. The bootleggers manage to escape the back room, only to fall into an empty well, where they stay until the arrival of the police.

Photo Collections

The Kettles in the Ozarks - Publicity Stills
Here are some publicity stills from Universal's The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956), starring Marjorie Main and Arthur Hunnicutt. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Kettles in the Ozarks - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from Universal Pictures' The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956), starring Marjorie Main and Arthur Hunnicutt.
The Kettles in the Ozarks - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from Universal Pictures' The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956), starring Marjorie Main and Arthur Hunnicutt.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ma and Pa Kettle in the Tall Corn, The Kettles in the Tall Corn
Release Date
Apr 1956
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Mar 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters from the novel The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (Philadelphia, 1945).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Kettles in the Tall Corn and Ma and Pa Kettle in the Tall Corn. The Kettles in the Ozarks was the seventh film in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series, and marked the first time that Percy Kilbride, who retired from the series months before production started, did not appear as "Pa Kettle." The film also marked the feature film debut of child actress Bonnie Franklin, who later portrayed the mother, "Ann Romano Royer," in the long-running television series One Day at a Time, which aired on the CBS network from 1975 to 1984. For more information on the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series, consult the Series Index and see the entry for Ma and Pa Kettle in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.