Ma and Pa Kettle (film)

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Ma and Pa Kettle
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Charles Lamont
Produced by Leonard Goldstein
Written by Al Lewis
Based on The Egg and I 
by Betty MacDonald
Starring Marjorie Main
Percy Kilbride
Music by Milton Schwarzwald
Cinematography Maury Gertsman
Edited by Russell Schoengarth
Universal Studios
Distributed by Universal-International
Release date(s)
  • April 1, 1949 (1949-04-01) (United States)
Running time 75 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200,000[1]
Box office $2,850,000 (rentals)[1]

Ma and Pa Kettle is a 1949 American comedy film directed by Charles Lamont. It is the sequel to the 1947 film version of Betty MacDonald's semi-fictional memoir The Egg and I and the first official installment of Universal-International's Ma and Pa Kettle franchise starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride.[1]


Ma and Pa Kettle have lived in a broken-down ramshackle farmhouse for twenty-five years in rural Cape Flattery, Washington. The Kettles' arch-nemesis, Birdie Hicks, organizes a town council meeting to condemn the Kettles' "garbage dump" farm.

Pa Kettle enters a contest to win a "house-of-the-future" by writing a slogan for the King Henry Tobacco Company. During the council meeting, Alvin, the town's mailman, calls about a telegram declaring Pa Kettle the winner of the contest. Mayor Dwiggins is delighted and cancels the meeting to deliver this notice to Pa. All of the council members arrive at Ma and Pa's farmhouse, but they are greeted by the Kettle children who attack them with slingshots and toy guns. Ma comes out and calls Pa, but all Pa wanted was a new tobacco pouch. The family move into their large house-of-the-future and enjoy it, throwing a party there. It has modern television, and rows of beds which simultaneously fold up into the wall at the push of a button. After Pa suffers a sunburned face from a heat lamp, he alone moves back to their old house to further avoid such troublesome gadgets. He is then accused of plagiarizing his prize-winning slogan from Billy Reed, and as a result his wife and children have to literally fight off authorities arriving to evict them from the modern house. Pa is finally exonerated from the accusation, and they can keep the house. Their older son gets financing to improve his improved chicken incubator, and in the end gets married.



  1. ^ a b c Reid, John Howard (2005). Movie Westerns: Hollywood Films the Wild, Wild West. pp. 91–92. ISBN 9781411666108. 

External links[edit]

Ma and Pa Kettle at the Internet Movie Database