Movie Mirrors Index

The Egg and I

(1947 b 108')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Based on Betty MacDonald's novel, a newly married couple fix up an abandoned egg farm and get help from their neighbors.

Bob MacDonald (Fred MacMurray) tells his bride Betty MacDonald (Claudette Colbert) that he bought a chicken farm, and he drives her in an old heap to their ramshackle house. Bob is enthusiastic, but the roof leaks. Bob makes repairs, and Betty tries to help. Neighbor Pa Kettle (Percy Kilbride) stops by and borrows lumber, nails, and tools. Betty tries to get the pig in the sty and falls in the mud. Attractive Harriet Putnam (Louise Allbritton) helps and is glad to meet Bob. Tom Kettle (Richard Long) works on the farm and invents a chicken feeder. Betty visits Ma Kettle (Marjorie Main) and finds numerous children. Betty suggests that Tom go to college. Bob warns Betty that her garden will be washed out.

Harriet shows Bob her modern egg farm, and Betty wants to go home. She tells Bob that she is worried that Harriet will take him away. They get a flat tire, and rain floods her garden. Bob intends to hunt a cougar, but the dog hides. Betty hatches chicks. Bob chops down a tree that falls on the henhouse. Bob and Betty celebrate their anniversary in their wedding clothes, and Mr. Henty (Donald MacBride) comes in to buy eggs but leaves.

Harriet asks Bob to fix her generator. Betty gives Ma Kettle a dress and sees she is making a quilt. At a party Bob and Betty dance, and Pa Kettle gives them whiskey. Betty feels obligated to dance with various men until her feet ache. She sees Bob with Harriet and hits him with her shoe. The sheriff (Samuel S. Hinds) announces that Pa's still blew up, and they have to fight the fire. The water tank that Pa built with Bob bursts. Rain saves their house, but everything else burns down. Betty tells Bob that she wants to rebuild. People come to help and say what they will contribute.

At the fair Betty tells Ma Kettle that she has scheduled a child. Harriet tells Bob that she needs a man. Ma's quilt wins, and Betty gives the check to Tom for college. Betty faints. Betty cooks, but Bob is late. Crazy Emily visits Betty until the sheriff retrieves her. He says she lived there, but her husband ran off with another woman. Betty gets a message from Bob not to wait up. She packs, writes "I'm through!" on the wall, and leaves.

Betty stays with her mother and sends Bob's letters back unopened. Betty has a baby and goes back to Bob. The taxi takes her to Harriet's house, and she yells angrily at Bob. He says he bought Harriet's farm and that he explained it in the letters. He says they have to believe in each other. Betty shows Bob their child, and they are happy that they are right on schedule.

This comedy explores the problems of rural living and the adjustments an urban woman has to make to survive. They discover that modern equipment makes farming much more efficient.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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