GenreComedy, Romance Music directorFrank Skinner LanguageEnglish
WriterBetty MacDonald, Fred F. Finklehoffe Release dateMarch 21, 1947 (1947-03-21) (Los Angeles, premiere)
April 24, 1947 (1947-04-24) (New York City)
May 1947 (1947-05) (U.S.)
July 3, 1954 (1954-07-03) (re-release) CastMarjorie Main (Phoebe 'Ma' Kettle), Percy Kilbride (Frank 'Pa' Kettle), Richard Long (Tom Kettle), Meg Randall (Kim Parker), Claudette Colbert (Betty MacDonald), Fred MacMurray (Bob MacDonald) Similar moviesChicken Run, 2012, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Chicken Little, Red Dog, The Wild Chicks
The Egg and I is a 1947 American romantic comedy film directed by Chester Erskine, who co-wrote the screenplay with Fred F. Finklehoffe, based on the book of the same name by Betty MacDonald and starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, with Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle.
The box office success of The Egg and I influenced the production of Universal-International's Ma and Pa Kettle franchise, which consists of nine feature films most of which star Main and Kilbride together. On May 5, 1947, Colbert and MacMurray reprised their roles in a radio version of the film that was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre.
At the 20th Academy Awards, Main was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
It tells the story of a young married couple who become chicken farmers. Betty follows her husband Bob to the countryside where his dream is to be a successful chicken farmer. The problem is, their home is old and needs to be repaired and the baby chicks need constant care. When a rich single woman with a new house and new farm equipment flirts with Bob, Betty questions their decision to move to the farm in the first place. In the end, she finds out that Bob was trying to buy the new house for Betty as a surprise.
Claudette Colbert as Betty MacDonald
Fred MacMurray as Bob MacDonald
Marjorie Main as Ma Kettle
Louise Allbritton as Harriet Putnam
Percy Kilbride as Pa Kettle
Richard Long as Tom Kettle
Billy House as Billy Reed
Ida Moore as Emily (the old lady)
Donald MacBride as Mr. Henty
Samuel S. Hinds as Sheriff
Esther Dale as Birdie Hicks
Elisabeth Risdon as Betty's Mother
John Berkes as Geoduck
Victor Potel as Crowbar
Fuzzy Knight as Cab Driver
Isabel O'Madigan as Mrs. Hicks' Mother
Dorothy Vaughan as Maid
Banjo the Dog as Sport
Uncredited players include William Bailey, Hank Bell, William Desmond, Teddy Infuhr, George Lloyd, Sam McDaniel, Howard M. Mitchell, Eugene Persson, Beatrice Roberts, Hector Sarno and Dorothy Vernon
Production Design .... Bernard Herzbrun
Set Decoration .... Oliver Emert / Russell A. Gausman
Hair Stylist .... Carmen Dirigo
Makeup Artist .... Jack P. Pierce
Assistant Director .... Frank Shaw
Second Unit Director .... Jack Hively (uncredited)
Sound Technician .... Glenn E. Anderson
Sound .... Charles Felstead
Orchestrator .... David Tamkin
Composer: Stock Music .... Sam Perry (uncredited)
The film was a big hit earning $6 million at the box office.
The Egg and I was presented on Hallmark Playhouse January 5, 1950, with Colbert starring in her movie role. She also starred when The Egg and I was presented on This Is Hollywood on January 4, 1947. The adaptation was unusual in that it preceded the film's release.