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Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)

 |  Comedy  |  1 April 1949 (USA)
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marjorie Main ...
Percy Kilbride ...
Meg Randall ...
Patricia Alphin ...
Esther Dale ...
Barry Kelley ...
Harry Antrim ...
Mayor Dwiggins
Isabel O'Madigan ...
Ida Moore ...
Emory Parnell ...
Boyd Davis ...
Mr. Simpson
O.Z. Whitehead ...
Mr. Billings
Ray Bennett ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


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




See all certifications »


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 Kettle's new home, is by Ferdnand Leger, 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 »


Ma Kettle: Now hang on there, Billy.
Danny Kettle: I'm Danny!
See more »


Referenced in Night Court: A Family Affair: Part 1 (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

The Powell and Loy of the Sticks
31 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF MA AND PA KETTLE (originally titled simply MA AND PA KETTLE during original release, apparently "Further" was a reissue title or for television) launches the popular movie series starring the scene-stealing characters from the 1947 Claudette Colbert/Fred MacMurray blockbuster THE EGG AND I, Ma and Pa Kettle (Colbert and MacMurray's characters are never mentioned in any of the MPK films). Often mistakenly thought to be set in the rural South, the Kettle movies are actually if discreetly set in rural Washington state(note the local paper shown is from Seattle) so technically the Kettles are not hillbillies as is usually presumed (the later film THE KETTLES OF THE OZARKS to the contrary, in which their location was indeed shifted to the South.)

The local community is in an uproar over the state of the dilapidated Kettle home and vote to condemn it and force the Kettles to move (poetic license as the Kettles clearly live outside of city limits in a secluded area and a dump like theirs would hardly have been an uncommon site in a rural community in the 1940's.) Ready for a fight, Ma arms her brood with slingshots and peashooters and she herself totes a more menacing shotgun but the matter is instantly settled when Pa turns out to have won grand prize in a slogan contest for a tobacco company, a fully furnished modern home (remarkably one which just so happens to have been built in their own county and one close enough to hear dynamite explosions at the Kettle fortress). The community now raises the Kettles to local heroes, inciting the wrath of local shrew Birdie Hicks (played by the wonderful Esther Dale) who is out to prove Pa didn't concoct the slogan himself.

Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as sensational as the Kettles. Ms. Main, on the eve of 60, plays mom to a brood of school-aged kids but her performance is so perfect it seems a minor quibble. Kilbride manages to make a lazy, self-centered character appealing, no small feat either. Dashing young Richard Long as the oldest son is extremely appealing as the lone sensitive, intelligent Kettle and the cast is dotted with many delightful character actors in support, including several who were also in THE EGG AND I, notably Ms. Dale as mean old bat Birdie Hicks and the delightfully impish Ida Moore as Emily. I particularly enjoyed elderly character actress Isabel O'Madigan as Birdie's parrot of a mother. Ms. O'Madigan was a supporting player in films of the 1910's, retiring late in the decade only to return as a bit player in the late 1940's. The only talkies she was billed in were her two stints as Mrs. Hicks and this was her final film, passing away in early 1951 at age 79.

"The modern home" segment has some good sight gags that still hold up today and it's interesting how "modern" or even space-age this home seems to 21st century audiences, including a wide-screen television decades before they were actually produced on the general market. Also a fun bit of trivia is seeing the Kettles interviewed by a fictional TV network "ABC Television" several years before there actually was such a network.

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