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
Produced byChester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
Leonard Goldstein (associate producer)
Written byBetty MacDonald (novel)
Chester Erskine
Fred F. Finklehoffe
StarringClaudette Colbert
Fred MacMurray
Marjorie Main
Music byHughie Prince
Frank Skinner
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 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$5,750,000 (est. US/ Canada rentals)[2][3]

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. On May 5, 1947, Colbert and MacMurray reprised their roles in a radio version of the film that was broadcast on the Lux Radio Theatre.

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 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)


The film was a big hit earning $6 million at the box office.[1]

Radio adaptations

The Egg and I was presented on Hallmark Playhouse January 5, 1950, with Colbert starring in her movie role.[4] She also starred when The Egg and I was presented on This Is Hollywood on January 4, 1947. The adaptation was unusual in that it preceded the film's release.[5]


  1. BUSIEST FILM PRODUCER IN HOLLYWOOD: Four on the Way Success Key What Corn Belt? Yard Boy By GLADWIN HILL. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 Dec 1950: X10.
  2. "All Time Domestic Champs", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  3. "Top Grossers of 1947", Variety, 7 January 1948 p 63
  4. "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 39 (2): 32–39. Spring 2013.
  5. "Radio "Scoop"". Harrisburg Telegraph. December 28, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved September 4, 2015 via
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