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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Meet the Nelsons and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet . David and Ricky Nelson's onscreen credit reads: "David and Ricky Nelson (a couple of characters created by Ozzie and Harriet)." Real-life husband and wife Ozzie and Harriet Nelson starred in a radio show created by Ozzie on 8 Oct 1944. The show, entitled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , portrayed the family in a series of domestic escapades. Although David and Ricky were originally portrayed by actors, in 1949 Ozzie invited his sons to play themselves. In that year, the Nelsons signed a contract with ABC allowing the network the option to move the show to television. The television program, also entitled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , had its debut in Oct 1952, the same year as the release of their only feature film, and ran until 3 Sep 1966. The picture marked the feature-film debut of both David and Ricky Nelson.
       According to a Jun 1951 article in HR , Barbara Lawrence was originally cast in a leading role. Although a Jul 1951 HR news item adds Susan Odin and Whitey Haupt to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Meet the Nelsons and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet . David and Ricky Nelson's onscreen credit reads: "David and Ricky Nelson (a couple of characters created by Ozzie and Harriet)." Real-life husband and wife Ozzie and Harriet Nelson starred in a radio show created by Ozzie on 8 Oct 1944. The show, entitled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , portrayed the family in a series of domestic escapades. Although David and Ricky were originally portrayed by actors, in 1949 Ozzie invited his sons to play themselves. In that year, the Nelsons signed a contract with ABC allowing the network the option to move the show to television. The television program, also entitled The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , had its debut in Oct 1952, the same year as the release of their only feature film, and ran until 3 Sep 1966. The picture marked the feature-film debut of both David and Ricky Nelson.
       According to a Jun 1951 article in HR , Barbara Lawrence was originally cast in a leading role. Although a Jul 1951 HR news item adds Susan Odin and Whitey Haupt to the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jun 1952.
---
Daily Variety
16 Jan 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1951
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 1951
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1951
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1951
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1951
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1951
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 1952
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Jan 52
pp. 1193-94.
Variety
11 Jul 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story and scr
Story and scr
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the radio series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet created by Ozzie Nelson (ABC, 1944--1954).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Meet the Nelsons
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
Release Date:
February 1952
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Pittsburgh, PA: 16 January 1952
Production Date:
26 June--28 July 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
26 November 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1332
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15556
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One morning in the town of Hillsdale, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson share breakfast with their young sons, David and Ricky. When neighbor Clara Randolph arrives with hordes of overexcited neighborhood children, waiting to attend the town's Centennial Pageant, Ozzie escapes to the relative calm of his advertising office. His boss, H. J. Bellows, who is waiting for him, announces that they have landed the account for Samuel Jones, a millionaire businessman launching a new line of ladies' girdles. With only a few days to come up with a sensational, splashy idea, Ozzie settles in to work. Later that day, he bumps into Barbara Schutzendorf, an old buddy's younger sister who has grown into a beautiful woman, and is in town to perform in the Centennial rodeo. While Ozzie invites her to stay at his house, they are watched by handsome Charlie Jones, who then tries to find out Ozzie's name. Meanwhile, at the fairgrounds, Harriet and Clara visit astrologer Clifford Hastings, who predicts that Ozzie will experience upheaval in the next few days and be attracted to younger women, and exhorts Harriet to remain understanding. Later, Ozzie's old pal Al Brown calls, and Harriet, not knowing about Barbara, invites him to stay in their guest room. On Ozzie's way home from work, he stops to talk to Clara's husband Joe, who assumes that Harriet will be furiously jealous of Barbara. Ozzie then returns home to find Harriet making up the guest bedroom for Al, and cannot bring himself to explain about Barbara. After Harriet leaves for the grocer's, Barbara arrives, and although she is standing suspiciously close to Ozzie when Harriet returns, Harriet recalls Clifford's words and says nothing. ... +


One morning in the town of Hillsdale, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson share breakfast with their young sons, David and Ricky. When neighbor Clara Randolph arrives with hordes of overexcited neighborhood children, waiting to attend the town's Centennial Pageant, Ozzie escapes to the relative calm of his advertising office. His boss, H. J. Bellows, who is waiting for him, announces that they have landed the account for Samuel Jones, a millionaire businessman launching a new line of ladies' girdles. With only a few days to come up with a sensational, splashy idea, Ozzie settles in to work. Later that day, he bumps into Barbara Schutzendorf, an old buddy's younger sister who has grown into a beautiful woman, and is in town to perform in the Centennial rodeo. While Ozzie invites her to stay at his house, they are watched by handsome Charlie Jones, who then tries to find out Ozzie's name. Meanwhile, at the fairgrounds, Harriet and Clara visit astrologer Clifford Hastings, who predicts that Ozzie will experience upheaval in the next few days and be attracted to younger women, and exhorts Harriet to remain understanding. Later, Ozzie's old pal Al Brown calls, and Harriet, not knowing about Barbara, invites him to stay in their guest room. On Ozzie's way home from work, he stops to talk to Clara's husband Joe, who assumes that Harriet will be furiously jealous of Barbara. Ozzie then returns home to find Harriet making up the guest bedroom for Al, and cannot bring himself to explain about Barbara. After Harriet leaves for the grocer's, Barbara arrives, and although she is standing suspiciously close to Ozzie when Harriet returns, Harriet recalls Clifford's words and says nothing. Ozzie proudly relates this to Joe the next morning, but is concerned at Joe's inference that only a wife with something to hide would not be jealous. Later, Ozzie tries to impress Harriet by buying new clothes, but she ignores them, assuming they are for Barbara's benefit. That night, Charlie shows up at the door, lying that Al Brown told him to come in his place. He is really there to see Barbara, who has recently broken up with him, and although she puts on her best dress after hearing his voice, she then pretends not to know him. At dinner, Charlie regales David and Ricky with rugged football-hero stories and flirts with Harriet, causing a jealous Barbara to turn her affections to Ozzie. While the adults dance, the boys try to unpack Charlie's padlocked bags and are thrilled to find one with an FBI identification. The next day, hoping to prove his masculinity to Harriet, Ozzie signs up for a rodeo contest in which he will have to ride a wild horse named Dynamite. On the other side of the fairgrounds, the boys eavesdrop as Charlie informs Barbara that he finally has a good job with Uncle Sam and will soon be able to ask her to marry him. Later, Jones arrives in town and is angered to discover that Ozzie has no ad ideas ready for him. Just after Ozzie calls Harriet to tell her that he must work through the night, Barbara calls with the same news, and Harriet imagines that they are spending the night together. The rodeo takes place the next morning, and after Ozzie's name is announced for the contest, Harriet runs to stop him, but turns away after an old-time rodeo star conjectures that Ozzie must be trying to impress a woman. The horse quickly throws Ozzie, who, humiliated, also realizes that he has only one hour to think up a publicity stunt for Jones. Just then, Ricky and David stumble upon two con men robbing the fair office, and while David runs to inform Ozzie and grab Charlie's bags, which he assumes are full of weapons, Ricky hides in the back of the office to watch the crooks. A bout of hiccups gives him away, however, and the crooks grab him and drive off. Ozzie arrives at the office to discover Ricky is gone, and followed by David, Harriet and the rodeo performers, jumps onto a horse to cut off the crooks on the old mill road. They arrive at the county line before the con men, but upon opening Charlie's bags, they find only girdles inside. Just then, Charlie arrives and explains that he works for Foundation Builders Inc., his uncle Sam Jones' business. Inspired, Ozzie stops the crooks' car by stringing girdles across the road, and soon journalists flood the area to photograph the ingenious trap. At the same time that Bellows and Jones show up, thrilled with Ozzie's brilliant publicity stunt, the old-timer informs Harriet that Ozzie was trying to impress his own wife, and an overjoyed Harriet finagles a big raise for her husband. As the Nelson family embraces, the rodeo performers reveal that the horse Ozzie rode to the old mill road was Dynamite, and he is declared the winner of the contest. +

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.