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The Egg and I

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chester Erskine
Produced by Chester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Leonard Goldstein (associate producer)
Written by Betty MacDonald (novel)
Chester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Starring Claudette Colbert
Fred MacMurray
Marjorie Main
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Milton R. Krasner
Editing by Russell F. Schoengarth
Studio Universal International Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) March 21, 1947 (Los Angeles, premiere)
April 24(New York City)
May 1947 (USA)
July 3, 1954 (re-release)
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Followed by Ma and Pa Kettle

The Egg and I is a 1947 film directed by Chester Erskine, who co-wrote screenplay with Fred F. Finklehoffe, based on the novel by Betty MacDonald.

This comedy was such a hit with audiences, it spawned the Ma and Pa Kettle film series. On May 5, 1947 Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray starred in radio version of this film that was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre.

It was nominated the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Marjorie Main).



It tells the story of young married couple who become chicken farmers. Betty has been raised to follow her husband's dreams with him, and Bob's dream is to be a successful chicken farmer. The problem is their home is old and needs to be repaired and the baby chicks need constant care. When a rich single woman with a new house and new farm equipment flirts with Bob, Betty questions their decision to move to the farm in the first place.

Deviations from the book

While the book is anectodal, liberties were taken with the stories that MacDonald wrote about. During her years on the chicken ranch, MacDonald was married to Robert Heskett, whom she divorced in 1931. In the book, MacDonald's husband was simply referred to as "Bob". For the movie, studio executives decided that the character would be named "Bob MacDonald" to avoid the specter of Betty MacDonald's divorce, and tie better into the public's perception of the author.

As noted above, the Hesketts were on the chicken ranch from 1927 to 1931. The movie takes place in the (then) present day - 1947.


Followed by

Production crew

  • Production Design .... Bernard Herzbrun
  • Set Decoration .... Oliver Emert / Russell A. Gausman
  • Hair Stylist .... Carmen Dirigo
  • Makeup Artist .... Jack P. Pierce
  • Assistant Director .... Frank Shaw
  • Second Unit Director .... Jack Hively (uncredited)
  • Sound Technician .... Glenn E. Anderson
  • Sound .... Charles Felstead
  • Orchestrator .... David Tamkin
  • Composer: Stock Music .... Sam Perry (uncredited)

External links



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