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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Ma and Pa . Betty McDonald's onscreen credit reads: "Based on the characters from The Egg and I by Betty McDonald." According to HR news items, Helena Carter was originally cast in the role of "Kim Parker," which was played in the film by Meg Randall. HR news items include Dorothy Vernon in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       Although Ma and Pa Kettle was the first film made starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as "Ma and Pa Kettle," the actors and their respective characters first appeared in supporting roles in the 1947 film The Egg and I (See Entry). Main appeared in all eight of the films in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series. Kilbride appeared as Pa in six of the pictures, his last being the 1955 Universal release Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki . Several of the "Ma and Pa Kettle" films, the last of which was the 1957 release The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm , were produced by Leonard Goldstein and directed by Charles Lamont. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series ... More Less

The working title of this film was Ma and Pa . Betty McDonald's onscreen credit reads: "Based on the characters from The Egg and I by Betty McDonald." According to HR news items, Helena Carter was originally cast in the role of "Kim Parker," which was played in the film by Meg Randall. HR news items include Dorothy Vernon in the cast, but her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       Although Ma and Pa Kettle was the first film made starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as "Ma and Pa Kettle," the actors and their respective characters first appeared in supporting roles in the 1947 film The Egg and I (See Entry). Main appeared in all eight of the films in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series. Kilbride appeared as Pa in six of the pictures, his last being the 1955 Universal release Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki . Several of the "Ma and Pa Kettle" films, the last of which was the 1957 release The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm , were produced by Leonard Goldstein and directed by Charles Lamont. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Apr 1949.
---
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1948.
---
Daily Variety
23 Mar 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Mar 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 48
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 48
p. 3, 13
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 48
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Apr 49
p. 4557.
New York Times
19 Feb 1948.
---
New York Times
12 Aug 49
p. 13.
Variety
23 Mar 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus arr and dir by
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Dir of makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Grip
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters from the novel The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (Philadelphia, 1945).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ma and Pa
Release Date:
1 April 1949
Production Date:
15 November--6 December 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2270
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13616
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The city council of Cape Flattery, Washington holds a meeting to consider condemning the home of Ma and Pa Kettle, who live in ram-shackled poverty with their fifteen children. Before they can act, however, Mayor Dwiggins learns that Pa has won a brand-new, model house in the King Henry Tobacco Company slogan contest. When the city council attempts to give the Kettles the good news, however, they are attacked by the Kettle children. While Ma is thrilled, Pa is disappointed, as he had hoped to merely win a new tobacco pouch. Returning home from college, Tom Kettle, Ma and Pa's oldest son, meets magazine reporter Kim Parker, who is traveling to Cape Flattery to do a series of articles on the Kettles. The Kettles are quickly overwhelmed by all the electronic gadgets in their new "home of the future," including automatic doors, Murphy beds, console entertainment centers and infra-red stoves. Undaunted, the Kettles soon hold a house-warming party for the town, during which Pa is elected to the honorary chairmanship of the county fair. Upset at losing her chairperson title, Mrs. Birdie Hicks leaves the party and runs into Billy Reed, a traveling salesman. Billy gives her one of his calendars, and Birdie immediately recognizes the similarity between Billy's slogan and the one that won the Kettles their new home. With the help of her mother, Birdie telegraphs the tobacco company and accuses Pa of plagiarism. Meanwhile, Tom's courtship of Kim is interrupted when he is called to Seattle to present his new egg incubator to the Farmers' Bank. Later, after Pa gets sunburned while shaving under sun lamps, Ma lets him ... +


The city council of Cape Flattery, Washington holds a meeting to consider condemning the home of Ma and Pa Kettle, who live in ram-shackled poverty with their fifteen children. Before they can act, however, Mayor Dwiggins learns that Pa has won a brand-new, model house in the King Henry Tobacco Company slogan contest. When the city council attempts to give the Kettles the good news, however, they are attacked by the Kettle children. While Ma is thrilled, Pa is disappointed, as he had hoped to merely win a new tobacco pouch. Returning home from college, Tom Kettle, Ma and Pa's oldest son, meets magazine reporter Kim Parker, who is traveling to Cape Flattery to do a series of articles on the Kettles. The Kettles are quickly overwhelmed by all the electronic gadgets in their new "home of the future," including automatic doors, Murphy beds, console entertainment centers and infra-red stoves. Undaunted, the Kettles soon hold a house-warming party for the town, during which Pa is elected to the honorary chairmanship of the county fair. Upset at losing her chairperson title, Mrs. Birdie Hicks leaves the party and runs into Billy Reed, a traveling salesman. Billy gives her one of his calendars, and Birdie immediately recognizes the similarity between Billy's slogan and the one that won the Kettles their new home. With the help of her mother, Birdie telegraphs the tobacco company and accuses Pa of plagiarism. Meanwhile, Tom's courtship of Kim is interrupted when he is called to Seattle to present his new egg incubator to the Farmers' Bank. Later, after Pa gets sunburned while shaving under sun lamps, Ma lets him think he has scarlet fever in order to keep him from selling the new house. Responding to Birdie's telegrams, the tobacco company gives the Kettles a forty-eight hour eviction notice. Ma decides to fight the notice, but Pa goes home when he learns that he is merely suffering from sunburn. When the sheriff arrives to evict them, Ma and the children decide to stand and fight. An explosion then happens at the old Kettle place, and everyone thinks that Pa has been killed by dynamite. Later, at his memorial service, Pa arrives with a wagon-load of Indians, whom he has gathered to fight the authorities. It is of little matter, however, as Billy admits that he had borrowed the slogan from Pa. The Kettles then get to keep their new home, and Tom and Kim are married. During the wedding, Pa learns that he has won another slogan contest, with a trip to New York City as grand prize. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.