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Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film)

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4.6/5 Amazon

Director  Walter Lang
Initial DVD release  March 16, 2004
Language  English
7.1/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama, Family
Country  United States
Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) movie poster

Writer  Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr.
Release date  April 17, 1950 (1950-04-17)
Based on  book Cheaper by the Dozen
Film series  Cheaper by the Dozen Film Series
Cast  Clifton Webb (Frank Gilbreth), Myrna Loy (Lillian Gilbreth), Jeanne Crain (Ann Gilbreth), Betty Lynn (Deborah Lancaster), Edgar Buchanan (Dr. Burton), Barbara Bates (Ernestine Gilbreth)
Similar movies  Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Love the Coopers, Cheaper by the Dozen, Saturday's Warrior, The Mother
Tagline  He's the New Father of His Country!


Cheaper by the Dozen is a 1950 Technicolor film based upon the autobiographical book Cheaper by the Dozen (1948) by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. The film and book describe growing up in a family with twelve children, in Montclair, New Jersey.


Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) movie scenes

Cheaper by the dozen black and white trailer


Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters5392p5392p

The parents are the time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. (Clifton Webb) and psychologist Lillian Moller Gilbreth (Myrna Loy). The title comes from one of Gilbreth's favorite jokes, which played out in the movie, that when he and his family were out driving and stopped at a red light, a pedestrian would ask: "Hey, Mister! How come you got so many kids?" Gilbreth would pretend to ponder the question carefully, and then, just as the light turned green, would say: "Well, they come cheaper by the dozen, you know", and drive off.

Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Did you see that one Cheaper by the Dozen 1950

The story opens with typical days in the lives of a family in the 1920s, with 12 children and an efficiency engineer as the parent. This includes scenes where Frank employs his unorthodox teaching methods on his children, and classic clashes between conservative parents and their children's desire for more freedom (flashier clothing, make up, etc.). Frank takes every opportunity to study motion and increase efficiency, and even films his children's tonsillectomies to see if there are ways to streamline the operation.

Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Cheaper by the Dozen 1950 film Wikipedia

After Frank's death, the family agrees that Lillian will continue with her husband's work; this enables the family to remain in their house (rather than move to their grandmother's in California), although, with a widowed working mother and one income, the children will have to assume much greater responsibilities.


Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Cheaper by the Dozen 1950 MUBI

  • Clifton Webb as Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. (father)
  • Jeanne Crain as Ann Gilbreth
  • Myrna Loy as Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth (mother)
  • Betty Lynn as Deborah Lancaster
  • Edgar Buchanan as Dr. Burton
  • Barbara Bates as Ernestine Gilbreth
  • Mildred Natwick as Mrs. Mebane
  • Sara Allgood as Mrs. Monahan
  • Jimmy Hunt as William Gilbreth
  • Carol Nugent as Lillie Gilbreth
  • Norman Ollestad as Frank Gilbreth, Jr. (son)
  • Evelyn Varden as School Principal
  • Craig Hill as Tom
  • Sequel

    Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) The House from the Classic Movie Cheaper by the Dozen

    Because of the success of Cheaper by the Dozen, Gilbreth and Carey wrote a follow-up to their book, entitled Belles on Their Toes (1950), which was made into a 1952 movie by 20th Century Fox. Also, the film was remade 53 years later starring Comedians Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt.

    Comparison to real life

    Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Amazoncom Cheaper By the Dozen Clifton Webb Myrna Loy Jeanne

    The birth order in which Cheaper by the Dozen portrays some of the children is not the same order in which the real Gilbreth children were born. For example, Robert (who was born in 1920) is shown as being born in 1922, as the last child after Jane (who was born in 1922). This is reversed in the movie's sequel.

    Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Cheaper by the Dozen 1950 starring Clifton Webb Jeanne Crain

    In real life, Mary, who was the second child, died in 1912, aged 5. However, in the film Cheaper by the Dozen, Mary is placed as the third child after Ernestine, and has few or no lines.

    Both Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were important figures in real life. The voice-over at the end of the film informs the audience that Lillian went on to become the world's leading efficiency expert and the TIME magazine Woman of the Year in 1948. Additionally, in 1984, her image was put on a US postal stamp.


    Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Wikipedia
    Cheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) IMDbCheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Amazon.comCheaper by the Dozen (1950 film) Common Sense MediaCheaper by the Dozen (1950 film)