The Egg and I (film)

  • Claudette Colbert: Betty MacDonald
  • Fred MacMurray: Bob MacDonald
  • Marjorie Main: Phoebe ' Ma ' Kettle
  • Percy Kilbride: Frank ' Pa ' Kettle
  • Louise Allbritton: Harriet Putnam
  • Richard Long: Tom Kettle
  • Billy House: Billy Reed
  • Ida Moore: Emily, old lady
  • Donald McBride: Mr. Henty
  • Samuel S. Hinds: Sheriff
  • Esther Dale: Birdie Hicks
  • Elisabeth Risdon: Betty's mother
  • John Berkes: Geoduck
  • Vic Potel: Crowbar
  • Fuzzy Knight: Taxi driver
  • Isabel O'Madigan: birdie, Mother Hicks
  • Dorothy Vaughan: Maids

The Egg and I (AKA The Egg and I) is an American film adaptation directed by Chester Erskine. Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray play a young couple who moves to the countryside from the city to start a chicken farm, which leads to all kinds of turbulence. The film goes back to Betty MacDonald's autobiographical novel of the same name from 1945, which was sold within a year more than a million times.


During one morning he shaves himself, Bob MacDonald takes the idea that he would like to leave the city to establish in the country a chicken farm. As he puts it his young wife Betty in knowledge, their enthusiasm has its limits. Since Bob's heart but it depends, she pushes her doubts aside and so they start some time later with a decrepit car, crammed to the roof, in an uncertain future. Your new home turns out to be quite run down, not only that the roof is leaking and the oven does what he wants, has the young woman to contend with other adversities. Bob does not care about that much, he does have plans for the future and provides even have a timetable for its intended livestock on. Helpful prove to their immediate neighbors, the couple Kettle, the borrow material for his Bob to be built chicken coop. Just as Betty is standing at her stove, she sees two faces at the windows, which scare her quite a shock. The men present themselves as Indians Geoduck and Crowbar, they had come to sell fish. When Betty later a desperate battle with the pig Cleopatra lead and with mud, immersed Harriet Putnam, a twice-divorced, very glamorous woman. You belong to the neighboring "Bella Vista " farm, the most modern and best run in the area. Betty's next visitor is Billy Reed, a traveling salesman who wants to convince them of the merits of its products. Then, still Tom Kettle presents, Betty just wants to help her and it tells about his dream that he wants to go to college. When Betty wants to work with his parents for Tom, she is on her way there, carried by the vehicle of Birdie Hicks, which also birdies mother is. The eccentric old Mrs. Betty Hicks prophesied that she and her husband would fail on the farm. When Betty then arrives at the Kettles, she is greeted by a boisterous crowd of children and numerous animals. When she brings Tom's dream to language, she learns of Ma Kettle, which is something unorthdox, but a huge heart has that the entire family of Bob's merit is dependent.

As the young couple an invitation by Harriet Putnam on her impressive property, the "Bellavista" - farm, it follows Harriet flirts so openly with Betty's husband that the young woman felt jealousy. Harriet does not shy away, Bob show off her wedding dress and bring him to slip into a tuxedo, then to dance with him. Interrupted Harriet's idea of ​​Mr. Henty, an egg wholesalers, but moves on without doing anything. In the aftermath Bob holds quite often to " Bella Vista" on what he grounds that it related to a major supply contract with the egg wholesalers Henty.

Soon after, a municipality ball takes place to the Ma Kettle, which has become a motherly friend of Betty, her tailors a new dress and a report prepared by her beautiful quilt gives. Betty is often asked to dance, but have to look sullenly with that Harriet times only holds to Bob again. It comes to the first real quarrel between the young couple. The ball came to an abrupt end by the fact that the sheriff appears and tells you that Pa Kettles barn ( where he secretly liquor burns ) have caught fire, which had now spread to a forest fire, so that the entire valley was under threat. As the wind turns, the fire is heading towards Bob and Betty's farm. Your desperate battle against the fire they lose. It destroys all outbuildings and their scale cultures. Betty sake wants to give Bob and pull back to the city, so they have a little easier again. However, Betty noticed his great inner grief, and how hard he finds it to say goodbye to his dream. Lets Bob know that they do not give up and would already make it together. The next morning the MacDonalds make a wonderful experience. The neighbors have gathered all want to help in the reconstruction of destroyed buildings and each has brought something to help the young couple. Also the eggs wholesalers Henty has come and Bob offers a two-year contract on the purchase of eggs at.

Betty it, to make the quilt, the Ma Kettle, has given her reward in a competition brief to the district - year market creates. These gains they are to Ma Kettle on. This is Tom's dream of attending college a reality. When Betty faints shortly afterwards, Ma said bluntly that she was pregnant guaranteed. That evening, the young woman wants to surprise her husband with a special dinner with the good news. However, Bob does not come, but only sends a letter by the chauffeur of the "Bella Vista " farm, in which he explains that it could be late. Then Betty packs her bags and travels back to the city with her mother. Numerous letters that you send to Bob in the subsequent period, they can go back unopened. After Betty has given life to a daughter, she wants to show Bob the child at least and drives him into the country. At the station, she takes the child in her arms a taxi and ask the driver to go to Bob's house. When the young woman noticed that he has gone to "Bella Vista " farm, she is outraged. But then she learns the truth behind that night, in which they left Bob. He had once stubbornly struggled Harriet abzukaufen the farm, what was it ultimately succeeded. Relieved, she makes Bob his little daughter in front, and a hug sealed their new happiness threesome.


The shooting took place in Universal City, California, in the State of Santa Clarita as well as Universal Studios. Had premiere of the film in the U.S. on March 21, 1947 in Los Angeles, on April 24, 1947, he arrived in New York movie theaters and in May he ran into further cinemas in the United States. In Germany, he was seen for the first time on 15 July 1948 in Austria, he started on July 9, 1948.

Betty MacDonald's book was in the U.S. for 18 months in the bestseller lists. Also the film proved to be at the box office to be very popular and played about 5.75 million U.S. dollars. The studio took advantage of the popularity of the two supporting characters of Ma and Pa Kettle, to make it into a series of 8 films that put the adventures of the two in focus.

The role of " Harriet Putnam " but did not exist in Betty MacDonald's semi- autobiographical novel, it was specially created for the film as a counterpart. It was the first time that the former playwright Chester Erskine and Fred F. Finklehoff produced a film in its screenplay. For Victor " Vic" Potel it was his last film appearance, he died on March 8, 1947. Proceeds from the premiere of the film in Los Angeles went to the Damon Runyon Fund for Cancer Research. On May 5, 1947 Lux Radio Theater beamed from one version of the story with Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert. 1951 created a CBS TV series with Pat Kirkland and John Craven, based on MacDonald's novel.

For Colbert and MacMurray, who had a popular screen couple since 1934, it was the sixth of seven joint appearances. Claudette Colbert managed with this successful adaptation for the last time made ​​it into the list of the ten most bankable stars. It should be the last resounding financial success for the actress.


The lexicon of the International film says that it constitutes a " lively rustic life comedy based on a best-selling novel ".

Variety Staff said in substance, that the film is doing very little from the so amusing situations in the book. Even the supposedly great scene of the forest fire is not credible. MacMurray run with much routine for his role and Claudette Colbert did not succeed to convey credible that she would rather live in the country than in the city. Only Percy Kilbride and Marjorie Main, who play the Kettles, would by their sense and understanding of the roles that each time offer high entertainment value when they would appear on the screen.

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said, in substance, that the authors Erskine and Finklehoffe had probably been so intimidated by the substance of the book that they had given away a lot of potential. As a result, conventional images are created that will provoke laughter and Miss Colbert went costs.


At the Academy Awards in 1948 Marjorie Main was for her role in The Egg and I nominated as Best Supporting Actress. The Oscar went to Celeste Holm for her role in the film Gentleman's Agreement ( Gentleman's Agreement ).