Mother Carey's Chickens (film)
|Mother Carey's Chickens|
|Directed by||Rowland V. Lee
James Anderson (assistant)
|Produced by||Pandro S. Berman|
|Written by||S.K. Lauren
|Cinematography||J. Roy Hunt|
|Edited by||George Hively|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
Mother Carey's Chickens is a 1938 drama film starring Anne Shirley and Ruby Keeler. The film was directed by Rowland V. Lee and based upon a 1917 play by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Rachel Crothers, which in turn was adapted from Wiggins' novel of the same title.
Originally Katharine Hepburn was assigned to the lead role. She refused, however, and left RKO in order to avoid having to appear in the film.
In 1963, Walt Disney released Summer Magic, a loose remake of this film, with Hayley Mills as Nancy Carey.
Mr. Carey (Ralph Morgan), a captain in the United States Navy, dies during the Spanish–American War. His wife Margaret, daughters Nancy and Kitty and sons Gilbert and Peter are left behind. They are now on their own with only Capt. Carey's pension for income. The family moves into a series of ever-smaller rented houses while Mrs. Carey works in a textile mill. When she is injured, they lease a broken down mansion for a year at a nominal fee, and invest the captain's small life insurance payment to fix it up into a boarding house. Both daughters fall in love, Kitty with a local teacher and Nancy with Tom Hamilton (Frank Albertson), the son of the absentee owner.
When the Hamiltons put the house up for sale, the family is given an eviction order by Tom Hamilton, a doctor who wants the money from the sale to study in Europe. However, fate intervenes and Tom is called to save Peter from a serious illness, then falls in love with Nancy. The new owners, the Fullers, move in to force the family to vacate. The Careys and their beaus then try to scare off the Fullers by telling them the house is haunted, and making assorted spooky noises at night, hoping they will leave.
- Anne Shirley – Nancy Carey
- Ruby Keeler – Katherine 'Kitty' Carey
- James Ellison – Ralph Thurston
- Fay Bainter – Mrs. Margaret Carey
- Walter Brennan – Mr. Ossian Popham
- Donnie Dunagan – Peter Carey
- Frank Albertson – Tom Hamilton Jr.
- Alma Kruger – Aunt Bertha
- Jackie Moran – Gilbert Carey
- Margaret Hamilton – Mrs. Pauline Fuller
- Virginia Weidler – Lally Joy Popham
- Ralph Morgan – Captain John Carey
- Phyllis Kennedy -Annabelle
- Harvey Clark - Mr. Clarence Fuller
- Lucille Ward - Mrs. Marhta Popham
The film earned a profit of $110,000.
- Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p56
- The New York Times review
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