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W.S. Van Dyke
On their wedding night Bob informs his new bride Betty that he has bought a chicken farm. An abandoned chicken farm, to be exact, which is obvious when the two move in. Betty endures Bob's enthusiasm for the rural life, rustic inconveniences, and battling nature, but her patience is severely tested when glamorous neighbor Harriet Putnam seems to set her sights on Bob. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Having not seen this picture in years, I wondered if it would still be enjoyable. It is. Claudette Colbert is superb as Betty MacDonald, the author of the best selling book of what this is based upon, uprooting herself from the big city to accompany her husband (Fred MacMurray) on a farming dream. Their trials and tribulations are amusing and cute; MacMurray is well-cast. The film introduced the zany characters of Ma and Pa Kettle (Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride), parents of 15 children, who were a huge hit and spawned their own series of 9 films (2 without Percy). However, my favorite character is Harriet Putnam, deliciously portrayed by Louise Allbritton, a slim, slinky, aristocratic, velvety voiced blonde beauty, with a yen for the burly MacMurray. She owns a very modern farm down the road, replete with farmhands, technology, conveniences, but "no Man." Her scenes with the jealous Colbert are priceless, and Allbritton shows a great flair for comic timing. This classic can be seen as an inspiration for two popular 1960s television comedy series, "Green Acres" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." Enjoy!
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