Cheaper by the Dozen


Cheaper by the Dozen

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 5


Audience Score

User Ratings: 59,813
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Movie Info

This comedy-drama, based on the Gilbreth-Carey novel, presents episodes from the life of the Gilbreth family in the early twenties. Much of the story focuses on the father of the 12-children. He is prissy and obsessed with time. His wife, a psychologist, is always trying to get him to relax. Meanwhile, the children deal with the changing times and their old fashioned dad. Despite their differences, the family remains close-knit even after tragedy strikes.


Clifton Webb
as Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Myrna Loy
as Lillian Gilbreth
Jeanne Crain
as Ann Gilbreth
Barbara Bates
as Ernestine
Mildred Natwick
as Mrs. Mebane
Edgar Buchanan
as Dr. Burton
Sara Allgood
as Mrs. Monahan
Anthony Sydes
as Fred Gilbreth
Roddy McCaskill
as Jack Gilbreth
Norman Ollestad
as Frank Gilbreth Jr.
Carol Nugent
as Lillie Gilbreth
Jimmy Hunt
as William Gilbreth
Teddy Driver
as Dan Gilbreth
Betty Barker
as Mary Gilbreth
Patti Brady
as Martha Gilbreath
Evelyn Varden
as School Principal
Frank Orth
as Higgins
Craig Hill
as Tom Black
Virginia Brissac
as Mrs. Benson
Walter S. Baldwin
as Jim Bracken
Bennie Bartlett
as Joe Scales
Syd Saylor
as Plumber
Ken Christy
as Mailman
Mary Field
as Music teacher
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Critic Reviews for Cheaper by the Dozen

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Cheaper by the Dozen

  • Dec 26, 2014
    The original "Cheaper by the Dozen" is based on the autobiography of the real Gilbreth clan, who lived in early 20th century New England. The film is queerly obsessed with the olden days, and how great they were. Headed by patriarch Frank (Webb) the family of twelve moves to another state, gets a big house, and shenanigans ensue. Tonsils are removed, makeup and heels are denigrated, there's a school dance, and a dog somehow takes residence in the home. Webb's character is supposed to be wacky yet strict, but he comes off as a loudmouth sexist. His often slut shames his daughter (Crain) who is just trying to be a normal teenage girl. He talks a lot about the virtues of marriage, the inefficiency of others, and his own warped, often outdated views, on a plethora of other subjects. I understand that this may have been the tone of family life in the twenties, but language such as this has no bearing on a family film in the early fifties. Frank is always trying to show how efficient he can make certain processes, but in the midst of it he often talks down to people and basically insults everyone's intelligence. It's a film that tries to be sweet natured, but Webb's dialogue comes off like a mean girl lecturing on morality. It comes off as fake and twisted, tarnishing any family value it tries to exact.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    not as good as the newer one
    erika b Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    An interesting family drama/comedy based on a real family, but it gets boring after a while, it could've been better.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2008
    Very sweet movie, good characterization... especially with so many characters! Lots of true to life moments in real parent-child, and sibling-sibling relationships. A couple chuckles at socially awkard moments. The ending was a bit vague though.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer

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