46 user 14 critic

Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | April 1950 (USA)
2:19 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

"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 »


Walter Lang


Lamar Trotti (screen play), Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. (based on the novel by) | 1 more credit »



Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower with ten children falls for a widow with eight, and they must decide about forming a huge, unconventional family.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Van Johnson
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two widowed people fall in love and marry, unprepared for the hostile reactions of their children.

Director: Howard Morris
Stars: Doris Day, Brian Keith, Pat Carroll
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

With his wife doing a book tour, a father of twelve must handle a new job and his unstable brood.

Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A university professor leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The Bakers, while on vacation, find themselves competing with a rival family of eight children.

Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, James MacArthur
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp


Complete credited cast:
Clifton Webb ... Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Jeanne Crain ... Ann Gilbreth
Myrna Loy ... Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth
Betty Lynn ... Deborah Lancaster
Edgar Buchanan ... Dr. Burton
Barbara Bates ... Ernestine Gilbreth
Mildred Natwick ... Mrs. Mebane
Sara Allgood ... Mrs. Monahan


"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:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Dutzend billiger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The song "Sweet Lelani" that Tom Black is strumming with his ukulele on the beach was actually written by Harry Owens for his daughter in 1934, many years after the time that this movie is set. It also won an Academy Award for best song in 1937 when it appeared in the movie, Waikiki Wedding (1937). See more »


During the high school dance, the band plays "Lucky Lindy," a 1929 song describing Charles Lindbergh's solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. Frank Gilbreth died in 1924 - three year's before Lindbergh's flight and five years before the song became popular. See more »


Mailman: All those kids yours?
Frank Gilbreth: Oh, these aren't so many. You ought to see the ones we left behind.
Mailman: How you ever feed 'em?
Frank Gilbreth: Oh, they come cheaper by the dozen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is the true story of an American family. See more »


Referenced in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (2014) See more »


Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)
(1884) (uncredited)
Music by J.L. Molloy
Played by the children on various instruments
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Clifton, Myrna and Their Merry Brood
23 May 2006 | by bkoganbingSee 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.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed