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Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)

The Kettles and their fifteen children are about to be evicted from their rundown rustic home when Pa wins the grand prize by coming up with a new tobacco slogan. Birdie Hicks is jealous of... See full summary »



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The Kettles leave their ultra-modern home and return to the country looking for uranium. Ma and Tom's mother-in-law, Mrs. Parker, fight over whether their grandchild will be raised "hygienically".

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When Pa wins a jingle-writing contest, he and Ma head for New York City. They they get in trouble with gangsters when they lose some stolen money which they had already agreed to deliver to one of the thugs.

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Elwin Kettle might win a scholarship to an agricultural college. Essay contest judges Mannering and Crosby decide to choose between the two finalist by spending the weekend at the home of ... See full summary »

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The Kettles are in Paris along with their daughter-in-law's parents the Parkers. Pa tries to buy racy postcards. He also gets in big trouble when he is given a letter to deliver to Adolph ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
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Ma and Pa, along with daughter Rosie, go off to Hawaii in answer to cousin Rodney's call for help running his pineapple farm while he recovers from an illness. Pa soon causes a major explosion and gets himself kidnapped.

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Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara, Clifton Webb
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Ma and Pa do their bit to hook lumberman Brad Johnson up with spoiled socialite Sally Flemming. Ma teaches Sally how to behave like a hick so she'll be compatible with Brad.

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Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder.

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Ma and the kids head back to the Ozarks for a visit with Uncle Sedge (essentially a Pa Kettle replacement). He's working his way through a twenty years long relationship with Miss Bedelia ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
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Nick and Nora are at their wise-cracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race-track.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Alphin ...
Barry Kelley ...
Harry Antrim ...
Mayor Dwiggins
Isabel O'Madigan ...
Ida Moore ...
Boyd Davis ...
Mr. Simpson
Mr. Billings
Sam Rogers


The Kettles and their fifteen children are about to be evicted from their rundown rustic home when Pa wins the grand prize by coming up with a new tobacco slogan. Birdie Hicks is jealous of the family's new wealth, which includes a completely automated modern home, and accuses Pa of stealing the slogan. Reporter Kim Parker proves Birdie wrong and marries Tom Kettle. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

contest | hick | gadget | mayor | horse | See All (63) »


The Hilarious sequel to "The EGG and I"... See more »




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Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Further Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the modern paintings hanging in the Kettles' new home, is by Fernand Léger, whose work had focused on the machine age the alienation of the individual as he became a consumer. See more »


When Tom kisses Kim goodbye at the train depot, her hat falls backwards and is barely on. In the next scene, from a distance, they are still kissing and her hat is back on. See more »


Mrs. Birdie Hicks: [after getting the Kettles evicted] Good day.
Ma Kettle: [grabs Birdie] Listen here Birdie, it may be a good day for you, but it ain't for Pa. All the poor man wanted was a new tobacco pouch and instead he won a house he didn't want and he got a bad sunburn.
See more »


Referenced in Sanford and Son: Fred's Extra Job (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Finally---a movie mom who seems like mine!
3 July 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While I am sure most people watch the Ma & Pa Kettle films to laugh at the exploits of the Kettle clan, I have a very different reaction. When I watch Ma keeping house and fussin' about, it seems like for once I am seeing my own mother on film! The filthy and dilapidated house sure reminds me of home! These characters were first introduced in the Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert film "The Egg & I". These supporting characters were so popular that it resulted in an Oscar nomination for Marjorie Main and a series of films as well as a TV series!

The film starts with the town council discussing whether or not to condemn the Kettle place. After all, Pa Kettle NEVER does a bit of work and the home has been falling apart all around the Kettles for years. However, before they can take action, the council learns that Pa just won a contest--and a new home is the prize! They hope that maybe the entire annoying brood might just be moving! Their oldest son (Richard Long) looks and acts absolutely nothing like the rest of the family--he's sort of like Marilyn in "The Munsters"!

On the way back home from completing college, he meets a reporter on the train and he lies to her about his fancy rich family. Little does he know that she'll be interviewing his family because of the contest win--and she'll soon see what sort of genteel childhood he really had! Naturally, they soon fall in love.

As for the new house, it's as ultra-modern as you can get in 1949--and some of the stuff even looks pretty space-age today. Unfortunately, the place baffles the Kettles, as there are so many gadgets and do-dads that it's awfully confusing. The juxtaposition of the back-woods Kettles with this streamlined home is obviously supposed to be as extreme as possible and it leads to some funny results--though I would agree with the other reviewer who said the humor is pretty gentle and not laugh-inducing. And, when it comes to this modern home, it reminds me strongly of the Daffy Duck/Elmer Fudd cartoon "Design for Leaving".

All in all, this is an entertaining and slight film. While the film certainly does not fall in the 'must see' category, it is fun and a pleasant little movie that makes you look forward to the next in the series.

By the way, the odd old lady on the train who sits there talking with her dead husband is pretty ironic. I read a while back that Ms. Main herself was famous for talking on the set to her dead husband! In some cases, they'd have to re-shoot scenes because she'd just start having conversations with him out of the blue! Apparently she was a very, very eccentric lady!! Also of interest (and intense speculation) was her relationship with fellow actress Spring Byington.

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