The Egg and I


The Egg and I

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Movie Info

Based on the humorous autobiographical book by Betty McDonald, The Egg & I casts Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray as Manhattan-dwelling newlyweds. When MacMurray enthusiastically purchases an upstate farm in the hopes of cleaning up in the egg business, Colbert cautiously goes along. The film's humor is derived from the efforts of these two hopelessly citified slickers to adapt themselves to the rigors of rural life. In a plot complication added to the film, pretty neighbor Louise Allbritton upsets the equilibrium of MacMurray and Colbert's union, but both husband and wife are happily reunited at the finale (in real life, Betty McDonald and her husband were splitsville before the book even hit the stands). Retained from the novel, though heavily laundered, were the earthy characters of farmers Ma and Pa Kettle and their huge brood of children. Marjorie Main as Ma and Percy Kilbride as Pa struck so responsive a chord with filmgoers that Universal headlined them in their own "Kettle" series of B pictures, which endured until 1956. The Egg & I would be adapted into a live TV comedy serial in 1952, with Pat Kirkland and John Craven in the leading roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Claudette Colbert
as Betty MacDonald
Fred MacMurray
as Bob MacDonald
Marjorie Main
as Phoebe 'Ma' Kettle
Percy Kilbride
as Frank 'Pa' Kettle
Louise Allbritton
as Harriet Putnam
Richard Long
as Tom Kettle
Billy House
as Billy Reed
Ida Moore
as Old Lady
Donald MacBride
as Mr. Henty
Esther Dale
as Mrs. Hicks
Elizabeth Risdon
as Betty's Mother
Elisabeth Risdon
as Betty's Mother
John Berkes
as Geoduck
Victor Potel
as Crowbar
Fuzzy Knight
as Cab Driver
Isabel O'Madigan
as Mrs. Hick's Mother
Ralph Littlefield
as Photographer
Carl Bennett
as Attendant
Howard Mitchell
as Announcer
George Lloyd
as Farm Hand
Louis Mason
as Bergheimer
Judith Bryant
as Kettle Child
Gloria Moore
as Kettle Child
Gene Persson
as Kettle Child
Diane Florentine
as Kettle Child
George McDonald
as Kettle Child
Colleen Alpaugh
as Kettle Child
Teddy Infur
as Kettle Child
Robert Winans
as Kettle Child
Diane Graeff
as Kettle Child
Kathleen Mackey
as Kettle Child
Robert Beyers
as Kettle Child
Nolan Leary
as Announcer
Bob Perry
as People at Social
William Norton Bailey
as People at Social
Polly Van Bailey
as People at Social
Vangie Beilby
as People at Social
Earl Bennett
as People at Social
Nella Spraugh
as People at Social
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Critic Reviews for The Egg and I

All Critics (2) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (1)

  • [Claudette Colbert] is often extremely funny, and in the sequence at the local dance-hall, where she has to dance with all the neighbouring farmers regardless of their size and shape, she is exquisitely so. But I resent such a wastage of talent.

    Jun 14, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, this comedy about an urban couple who tries to live a happy rural life was so popuar at the box-office that it led to a sequel and to a whole series, Ma and Pa Kettle.

    Jan 4, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Egg and I

  • Sep 05, 2010
    A pretty nice, sentimental, romantic little movie, with some funny scenes, but sometimes it's a bit too silly or sentimental. Overall pretty good, though.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2010
    The Egg and I is one of the biggest grossing pictures in the history of Universal pictures and also one of the longest running movie series for that company. Based on the book by Betty Macdonald, it also features the film debut of "Ma and Pa Kettle" (the role of Ma Kettle earned Marjorie Main an oscar nomination). Ma and Pa Kettle are definitely the most entertaining thing about the film, with their acres of kids and a nest of chickens in every nook and cranny of the house. MacMurray plays his usual obliviously affable self, while Colbert is the hapless newlywed, swept off into the mountains to live on a chicken farm by her egg-obsessed husband. There's some unexpectedly heart-warming scenes, but the film itself isn't quite as funny as other similar films from that era.
    Devon B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 02, 2008
    Hilarious. Ma and Pa Kettle are one of the great comic parings of the golden age of cinema.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2007
    I watched this for the first time 63 years after it was first made in 1947. It was interesting seeing the old vehicles and Betty holding her baby in the car without a car seat! I can't imagine living in a house without running water or a phone. Then again, I can't imagine my husband buying a house without consulting my opinion first.
    Ida K Super Reviewer

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