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Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | April 1950 (USA)
"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »



(screen play), (based on the novel by) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:


"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in large families. Frank Gilbreth, Sr., was a pioneer in the field of motion study, and often used his family as guinea pigs (with amusing and sometimes embarrassing results). He resisted popular culture,railing against his daughters' desires for bobbed hair and cosmetics. Written by Becki Bozart <beckeye@aone.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's the New Father of His Country!


Comedy | Drama | Family


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Dutzend billiger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The big house the family moves to in Montclair is the same house set originally built for Judy Garland's family in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). Fox didn't have an appropriate standing outdoor set so they rented time on the "St. Louis Street" on MGM lot #2. See more »


Near the end of the film when Frank Sr. is getting in his car to head for Europe, he tosses his hat on the seat with his coat on top of it. After saying goodbye to his family, he gets into the car and the hat is on top of the coat. See more »


Repairman: All those kids yours mister, or is this a picnic?
Frank Gilbreth: They're all mine and believe me, it's no picnic!
See more »


Referenced in Charmed: Cheaper by the Coven (2004) See more »


In My Merry Oldsmobile
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Gus Edwards
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Clifton, Myrna and Their Merry Brood
23 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Cheaper By the Dozen was a milestone film in the career of Clifton Webb. Though he had gotten great acclaim for his acerbic roles of the forties, Darryl F. Zanuck knew that Webb's screen persona made him extremely difficult to cast. Cheaper By the Dozen was an attempt to transition Webb into a kinder, gentler Clifton.

Of course to play wife and mother opposite him Zanuck got the services of Myrna Loy, THE personification of the screen wife. If the public were to accept Webb, she would be a part of their doing so.

Fortunately for 20th Century Fox the public did accept Webb in this role and he was able to branch out a bit in his choice of parts.

You mention this title now and of course most will think of Steve Martin and his two recent films that grossed gazillions at the box office. Martin's brood are a modern family, whereas Webb is the head of a family straddling the teens and twenties decades.

Cheaper By the Dozen also affords fans an opportunity to see a bit of Clifton Webb, dancer. Back when he was a musical comedy star on Broadway, Webb was considered every bit the equal of Fred Astaire as a dancer. He dances here with Loy and eldest daughter Jeanne Crain some of the period dances of the Twenties and cuts quite the rug.

Webb's character is Frank Gilbreath, well known industrial efficiency expert and a real person. Jeanne Crain provides the offscreen narration and we see the action in her eyes. She's also got an eye for lifeguard Craig Hill in the film and he's quite the eyeful.

This Cheaper By the Dozen is a nice nostalgic romp which a lot of studios were doing around this time. MGM did Life With Father and Warner Brothers filmed two of Booth Tarkington's Penrod stories with Gordon MacRae and Doris Day. This version can also hold its own with the Steve Martin version anytime.

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