Two years after it was originally published, Betty MacDonald’s down home memoir The Egg and I was transformed into a motion picture which hit theaters in May of 1947. In the film, Claudette Colbert stars as city-bred Manhattanite MacDonald, who has her life turned upside down after she marries would-be chicken farmer Bob (Fred MacMurray) and they buy a rundown farmhouse in Washington state. When wealthy new neighbor Harriet (Louise Allbritton) shows a romantic interest in Bob, Betty has to show Harriet her place in the pecking order.
The film was a smash hit for Universal, one that spawned a subsequent franchise thanks to how audiences responded to the characters of Ma and Pa Kettle (Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride), who make their debut here. Nine subsequent films chronicling the adventures of the hilarious hillbilly couple follow, earning the pair fans across the globe. (Not to mention raking in the bucks, a persistent Hollywood rumor indicates that the success of the Ma and Pa Kettle films was singlehandedly responsible for saving Universal Studios from bankruptcy at the time of their production).
But the fun all began with The Egg and I. A 70th anniversary of the film — featuring restored edition and sound — recently hit Blu-ray, ensuring that its comedic legacy will continue to grow like newly hatched chickens.