The Egg and I (film)

The Egg and I is a 1947 American romantic comedy film directed by Chester Erskine, who co-wrote the screenplay with Fred F. Finklehoffe, based on the book of the same name by Betty MacDonald and starring Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, with Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle.

The Egg and I
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChester Erskine
Screenplay byChester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Based onThe Egg and I
1945 novel
by Betty MacDonald
Produced byChester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Leonard Goldstein (associate producer)
StarringClaudette Colbert
Fred MacMurray
Marjorie Main
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Music byFrank Skinner
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • March 21, 1947 (1947-03-21) (Los Angeles, premiere)
  • April 24, 1947 (1947-04-24) (New York City)
  • May 1947 (1947-05) (U.S.)
  • July 3, 1954 (1954-07-03) (re-release)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5.5 million (US/Canada rentals)[2]

The box office success of The Egg and I influenced the production of Universal-International's Ma and Pa Kettle series, which consists of nine feature films most of which star Main and Kilbride together.

At the 20th Academy Awards, Main was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.


The film tells the story of a young married couple who become chicken farmers. Betty follows her husband Bob to the countryside where his 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. In the end, she finds out that Bob was trying to buy the new house for Betty as a surprise.


Production crewEdit

  • 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)


The Egg and I was a box office success, earning $5.5 million in domestic theatrical rentals[2] against its budget of $1.9 million.[1]

Radio adaptationsEdit

  • The Egg and I was presented on This Is Hollywood on January 4, 1947, with Colbert and MacMurray reprising their movie roles. The adaptation was unusual in that it preceded the film's release.[3]
  • The Egg and I was presented on Hallmark Playhouse January 5, 1950, with Colbert again starring in her movie role.[4]
  • The Egg and I was performed as a one-hour radio play on the May 5, 1947 broadcast of Lux Radio Theatre, with both Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray reprising their movie roles.[5]


  1. ^ a b GLADWIN HILL (Dec 10, 1950). "BUSIEST FILM PRODUCER IN HOLLYWOOD: Four on the Way Success Key What Corn Belt? Yard Boy". New York Times. p. X10.
  2. ^ a b "All-Time Top Grosses". Variety. January 4, 1961. p. 49. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Radio "Scoop"". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 28, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via  
  4. ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 39 (2): 32–39. Spring 2013.
  5. ^ "Radio Programs - Monday". Lewiston Evening Journal (Maine). 1947-05-27. p. 12. Retrieved 2022-03-08.

External linksEdit