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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Egg and I (1947)



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"'Like chicken, like master,' I always say."

Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray play newlyweds in this predictable working of the "let's go live in the country" formula. He's an idealist in love with chickens; she's less than thrilled but would follow her husband anywhere. Of course, their home is ramshackle, and there are many fish-out-of-water pratfalls taken in fixing it up and getting their farming business going. But the formula works in spite of itself, thanks to how lovely and genuine these characters are.

It's easy to see how a lesser film would go wrong with the premise. Exaggerated marital conflict would arise much sooner than it does, and both of them would act with less maturity than adults should. But these characters genuinely love each other and want to work together. Ultimately, the film does stray into melodrama, and there is a preposterous falling out at the third hour. But by that point the film has earned enough lenience to carry it through.

The film was a hit in 1947. The leads are upstaged by Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle, who went over so well with audiences, they earned their own series of films.

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