Enjoyed Ma and Pa Kettle Movies

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 15, 1914: <<no entry>>

Ma and Pa Kettle (Source: Wikipedia)
Ma and Pa Kettle (Source: Wikipedia)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything again a hundred years ago today, I’ll continue with memories that others have of Grandma:

Aunt Eleanor (Grandma’s daughter) wrote:

I remember her sense of humor. She did enjoy a good joke or story, especially if it dealt with human foibles and/or pretensions. She adored the Ma and Pa Kettle movies, and I think she saw every one.

Last week-end I got a dvd of the first movie in the series, The Egg and I, out of the library. It is based on a book by Betty McDonald.

It was fun to imagine Grandma watching, and enjoying, the same movie 60 or 70 years ago.

This humorous movie tells the story of a couple, named Bob and Betty, who follow the husband’s dream to become a chicken farmer. One hilarious disaster follows another as they try to convert the run-down farm into a successful chicken operation. Ma and Pa Kettle (and their large family) live nearby.


24 thoughts on “Enjoyed Ma and Pa Kettle Movies

  1. I’ve never seen any of those movies, but my son used to watch the Ma and Pa Kettle cartoons on tv…..not sure if the two are connected, but we sure had some laughs from those.

    1. Until I read your comment, I hadn’t realized that there was also a Ma and Pa Kettle cartoon. I then looked at the Wikipedia page for Ma and Pa Kettle–and it mentions a short-lived cartoon series based on the same characters.

  2. I remember those movies and I loved them as a kid. I was driving through Missouri one time and saw a fast food restaurant called Ma Kettle’s – dirtiest restroom I’ve ever entered. Ma Kettle would not have been amused.

    1. I don’t think that I’ve ever read a Betty McDonald book, but I currently have The Egg and I out of the library; and look forward to reading it soon. (Last week-end, I got both the book and DVD out of the library. I watched the film–but still need to read the book.)

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I do think that a reason I enjoyed watching the film was because I was trying to picture which parts my grandmother found the funniest when she watched it years ago.

  3. I remember these movies on TV when I was growing up, but they were not a fit with the Mod ’60s! Now I’d better appreciate them, I’m sure! (Since I do like Claudette Colbert, I think I’ll rent the first one, better late than never) 🙂

    1. Interesting thought. . . In some ways I can see some similarities between the Green Acres and Petticoat Junction shows in the 60s, and the older Ma and Pa Kettle movies. . . but you’re right, the US was rapidly changing from an agrarian society that enjoyed this type of humor to a more modern one that preferred more nuanced types.

    1. I tend to think that Ma and Pa Kettle movies were popular just a little before our time. I have a vague memory of going to see one when I was very small.

  4. It has been years since I saw Ma and Pa Kettle – my dad enjoyed them too. We would watch them Sunday morning. Our PBS Station ran both that and the Andy Hardy series.

    1. Fun! I don’t think that we got a PBS station when I was a child. Living out in the country–and using an antenna–I think that we only got two channels.

      1. We lived in the city and had cable, remember citizens cable? Before that we always used an antenna so when we moved to PA I thought the cable was so cool.

          1. That is right, I keep forgetting that. Coming from a large city to live in Williamsport I remember thinking what was my father thinking??!! and here I am 40 yrs later and moved out of the area twice only to return… I really do like the big “W” and the country life of our surrounding areas.

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