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The Egg and I Details


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

  • Release date:March 21, 1947


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marjorie Main Best Supporting Actress 1947 Nominee


Claudette Colbert
as Betty MacDonald
Fred MacMurray
as Bob MacDonald
Marjorie Main
as Ma Kettle
Percy Kilbride
as 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
Samuel S. Hinds
as Sheriff
Esther Dale
as Birdie Hicks
Elizabeth Risdon
as Betty's Mother
Victor Potel
as Crowbar
Dorothy Vaughan
as Maid
Jack Baxley
as Judge
Bob Perry
Fuzzy Knight
as Cab Driver
Taylor Holmes
Beatrice Roberts
as Nurse
Gene Persson
Robert Cherry
as Goon
Joe Ploski
as Goon
Jesse Graves
as Porter
Ralph Littlefield
as Photographer
Louis Mason
as Bergheimer
Herbert Heywood
as Mailman
Earl Bennett
George Lloyd
as Farm Hand
Sam McDaniel
as Waiter
Robert Winans
Nolan Leary
as Announcer
Howard Mitchell
as Announcer


Chester Erskine
Chester Erskine
Chester Erskine
Betty MacDonald
Book Author
Milton Krasner
Frank Skinner
Composer (Music Score)
Russell Schoengarth
Bernard Herzbrun
Production Designer