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Ma & Pa Kettle: Complete Comedy Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 19455041
  • Release Date: 09/27/2011
  • Rating: NR
  • 5.0 (4)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
5.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

Synopsis

Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki
The title tells all in this seventh entry in Universal's "Ma and Pa Kettle" series. This time around, Ma (Marjorie Main) and Pa (Percy Kilbride) take their brood to Hawaii, where Pa is to take over management of his cousin's fruit processing operation. The villains are a group of rival businessmen who kidnap Pa and spirit him off to a remote island. Before long, however, it's the bad guys who need rescuing. Some of the funnier scenes involve Ma and Pa's Hawaiian counterparts, played by Hilo Hattie and Charley Lung. With this entry, Percy Kilbride bade adieu to the role of Pa Kettle, leaving Marjorie Main to carry on alone in the remaining two series installments. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Egg and I
Based on the humorous autobiographical book by Betty McDonald, The Egg & I casts Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray as Manhattan-dwelling newlyweds. When MacMurray enthusiastically purchases an upstate farm in the hopes of cleaning up in the egg business, Colbert cautiously goes along. The film's humor is derived from the efforts of these two hopelessly citified slickers to adapt themselves to the rigors of rural life. In a plot complication added to the film, pretty neighbor Louise Allbritton upsets the equilibrium of MacMurray and Colbert's union, but both husband and wife are happily reunited at the finale (in real life, Betty McDonald and her husband were splitsville before the book even hit the stands). Retained from the novel, though heavily laundered, were the earthy characters of farmers Ma and Pa Kettle and their huge brood of children. Marjorie Main as Ma and Percy Kilbride as Pa struck so responsive a chord with filmgoers that Universal headlined them in their own "Kettle" series of B pictures, which endured until 1956. The Egg & I would be adapted into a live TV comedy serial in 1952, with Pat Kirkland and John Craven in the leading roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm
This third entry in Universal's money-spinning "Ma and Pa Kettle" series once more stars Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as the title characters. This time, the Kettles extend their hospitality to their stuffy Boston in-laws (Ray Collins and Barbara Brown). Trouble brews when the Bostonites offer to raise the Kettles' grandson in a more "suitable" environment--namely, their own. The plot goes off on another tangent when it is presumed that the Kettle farm is rich with uranium. Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm delivers the goods for fans of the series, and even provides a few bright and funny moments for non-fans. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair
Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair was Number Four in Universal's immensely successful "B"-picture series. It is giving away nothing to reveal that Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride once more assume the title roles. The plot is motivated by Ma's desire to send daughter Rosie (Lori Nelson) to college. To that end, she intends to win a big cash prize at the upcoming county fair. Meanwhile, Pa uses his half of the winnings (which no one, as yet, has really won!) to purchase a race horse. When Mafails to win the money, the Kettles are forced to rely on the horse to save the day during a sweepstakes race. Towards the end of Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair, a close-up of the racing statistics sheet is shown, revealing that one of the owners is "Quinn Martin"--a cute inside joke, inasmuch as Mr. Martin was a prolific scriptwriter and a friend of Ma and Pa Kettle producer Leonard Goldstein. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Kettles in the Ozarks
The Kettles in the Ozarks was the eighth of Universal's "Ma and Pa Kettle" series--minus "Pa" (actor Percy Kilbride had left the series). Carrying on without the Kettle paterfamilias, Ma Kettle (Marjorie Main) and her large brood of children head for the Ozarks to visit her brother-in-law Sedge (Arthur Hunnicutt). She spends a good portion of the film's running time outwitting three bootleggers who've set up shop in Sedge's barn. Ma also accelerates Sedge's marriage to Bedelia Baines (Una Merkel), to whom he has been engaged for two decades. Kettles in the Ozarks suffers from the absence of Percy Kilbride, but the climactic slapstick battle with the bootleggers is well up to par. Una Merkel, who played Sedge's erstwhile sweetheart, would recall years later that she fought tooth and nail with her agent to get out of Kettles in the Ozarks, but eventually had a wonderful time on the set thanks to the kindness and cooperation of star Marjorie Main. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle
The title couple and their enormous brood of bumpkins made their movie debut in the film version of Betty McDonald's humorous book The Egg and I (1947) where they appeared as supporting characters. Audiences found them funny and so the characters got their own long-running series of B movies. Ma and Pa Kettle is the first in that series and centers on the exploits of the impoverished hayseed family after Pa wins a contest by writing a jim-dandy slogan for a tobacco company. The Kettle's prize is a brand new, ultra modern, fully automated home. It's a good thing too, for Ma, Pa and their 15 kids were about to get booted out of their previous wreck of a home. Of course the film is at its funniest when the Kettles are trying to figure out how to operate their fancy new digs. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation
This fifth entry in Universal's "Ma and Pa Kettle" series finds the Kettle family taking a trip to Paris (courtesy of the Universal back lot). All the standard "innocents abroad" gags are in attendance, including Pa Kettle's (Percy Kilbride) efforts to extinguish a flaming serving of crepes suzettes, and Ma's (Marjorie Main) entanglement with a team of Apache dancers. Somewhere along the way, the Kettles agree to help the American authorities trap a gang of international spies. A running gag finds Pa Kettle trying to purchase a set of postcards depicting "zee beauties of Paree." There's even a throwaway joke about the Marshall Plan! Sharp-eyed viewers will spot Rita Moreno as a nightclub chanteuse in one scene. Of the nine "Kettle" programmers produced by Universal, Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation is arguably the most memorable. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm
The 8-year-old "Ma and Pa Kettle Series" came to an end with The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm. In her last screen appearance, Marjorie Main is back as Ma Kettle, while Parker Fennelly replaces the defecting Percy Kilbride as Pa Kettle. This time, Ma and Pa try to smooth the path of romance for newlyweds Sally Flemming (Gloria Talbot) and Brad Johnson (John Smith). Despite her wealthy parents' objections, Sally intends to "rough it" with her back-to-the-soil husband by living on the Kettles' old, ramshackle farm. Ensuing comic complications include a set-to with a bunch of crooked loggers and a wild appearance at a rodeo. A worthwhile finale to this durable series, The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm was still making the second-run-theater rounds as late as 1960. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle at Home
This sixth in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series produced by Universal stars (as usual) Marjorie Main as Ma and Percy Kilbride as Pa. After a whirlwind international tour, the contest-winning rustics and their fifteen children return to their old farm. The eldest Kettle son (Brett Halsey) has a chance of winning a scholarship prize to a prestigious university, prompting the Kettles to try to impress a representative (Alan Mobray) of the magazine offering the scholarship. The magazine man is arrogant beyond belief, but a warm and fuzzy Christmas celebration humanizes the pompous visitor, so everything ends happily (after the expected slapstick finale, that is!) Considered the best of the "Kettle" series, Ma and Pa Kettle at Home is worth the admission price if only to hear the veddy British Alan Mobray say the word "Ma". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town
The second of Universal's "Ma and Pa Kettle" series, Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town stars, as ever, Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride. This time, the Kettles win a letter-writing contest, which offers as first prize an all-expense-paid trip to New York City. Once in Manhattan, the huge Kettle brood raises all sorts of Holy Ned, culminating in an episode involving stolen bank money. Somehow this all ends with a riotous, slapstick-laden square dance. The film's romantic subplot is handled by Richard Long as oldest son Tom Kettle and Meg Randall as his high-society wife Kim. Also carried over from the first Kettle entry are Ray Collins and Barbara Brown as the Kettle's wealthy in-laws. A winner at the box-office, Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town helped pay for many of Universal's "prestige" releases of 1950. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Overall Customer Rating

(4 Reviews)
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