Father Knows Best (1954–1960)
8.3/10
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2 user

Time to Retire 

Jim must tell Arthur, a co-worker in the insurance company, that he has to retire as he has reached retirement age. Jim invites him to dinner with the Andersons and Arthur is full of energy. This only makes it harder for Jim to tell him.

Director:

Peter Tewksbury

Writers:

John Elliotte, Ed James (characters)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Robert Young ... Jim Anderson
Jane Wyatt ... Margaret Anderson
Elinor Donahue ... Betty Anderson
Billy Gray ... Bud Anderson
Lauren Chapin ... Kathy Anderson
Sarah Selby Sarah Selby ... Miss Thomas
Charles Ruggles ... Arthur (as Charlie Ruggles)
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Storyline

Jim must tell Arthur, a co-worker in the insurance company, that he has to retire as he has reached retirement age. Jim invites him to dinner with the Andersons and Arthur is full of energy. This only makes it harder for Jim to tell him.

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Genres:

Comedy | Family

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Arthur refers to a "television fellow who claims he's just 39." This is a reference to Jack Benny, a radio, film, and then-television star who used to have a running gag where he would lie about his age, claiming to be 39 when he was in fact much older. See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday To You
(uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Sung by Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, and Lauren Chapin
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User Reviews

 
Powerful Episode
1 August 2018 | by MichaelMartinDeSapioSee all my reviews

In this poignant final-season episode, Jim has to bear the grim news to a fellow employee that his mandatory retirement is approaching. The employee is a beloved figure to the Andersons, known as "Uncle Arthur." He has no family of his own - the Andersons are a surrogate family to him - and he is very much attached to his work. How will he take the news?

The original audiences for FKB would undoubtedly have recognized the connections between it and the serious drama of the era, such as Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN. The character of Arthur is very much a Willy Loman-like figure, a little guy who is on the verge of being discarded by the system. There are even specific lines that resonate with SALESMAN. Arthur is played by recognizable and durable character actor Charles Ruggles.

One thing that will surprise audiences today: Arthur is 65, but this treated as if it is an extremely old age. (Ruggles was actually in his 70s.) In the end, the episode affirms that age is irrelevant in the face of human spirit and vitality. Arthur will continue to lead a full and happy life.

In response to the other review: Arthur IS aware of the company's retirement policy; as he puts it, he knew it would come sooner or later but was hoping the company would just "forget about it" for a while.

This is FATHER KNOWS BEST at its considerable best - an episode to show to anyone who thinks the series was mere "fluff."


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