Overall | The Egg and I (1947) | Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) | Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) | Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle-Volume 1 (1949)

The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle-Volume 1 (1949)

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Released 6-Dec-2004

Cover Art

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Overall Package

     This Volume 1 of The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle is a collection that holds many hours of enjoyable, light entertainment.. The initial movie, The Egg and I is very nearly a classic, and the three Kettle titles, though inconsistent, are enjoyable nonsense. The leads, Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride, are perfection!

     The discs themselves are outstanding, with generally magnificent transfers of movies that are sixty years old. Bravo to Universal!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, December 28, 2007
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Egg and I (1947) | Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) | Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) | Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

The Egg and I (1947)

The Egg and I (1947)

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Released 6-Dec-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer-Reissue trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1947
Running Time 103:26
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (14:00) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Chester Erskine
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Claudette Colbert
Fred MacMurray
Marjorie Main
Louise Allbritton
Percy Kilbride
Richard Long
Billy House
Ida Moore
Donald MacBride
Samuel S. Hinds
Esther Dale
Case ?
RPI Box Music Frank Skinner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Prior to credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

"The family that made laughter a national pastime."

      It was 1947, just two years after the end of World War II. Audiences were going to the movies for light relief in a world still mending itself, and light relief is exactly what Universal International offered with The Egg and I. Based on the best selling comic biography by Betty MacDonald this modest movie was a huge success for the studio and its two stars. It also introduced two supporting characters who were to endear themselves to audiences for the next ten years - and make many millions for the studio.

    Bob (Fred MacMurray) and Betty (Claudette Colbert) are two newly wed city slickers, Betty having been "finished off" at an exclusive Boston school for girls. After a brief reminiscence of his war experiences, Bob announces to Betty that they are going to move to the country, that he has already bought a farm and that they're "gonna raise chickens". The apprehensive but dutiful Betty goes along with it all and together they face the perils and challenges of life on the farm. There is the ramshackle house with its leaking roof, a stove with a mind of its own, various picturesque locals, a glamorous predatory neighbour (Louise Allbritton), rainstorms and a climactic forest fire. Fred MacMurray was always a very skilled actor, whether in dramas such as the film noir Double Indemnity or in comic befuddlement such as here. However most of the comedy of the film comes from watching petite and sophisticated Claudette Colbert battle with farm life. Whether it's collecting eggs, chopping wood, lopping trees, battling with the huge and threatening stove, falling off a roof into a water filled barrel, or plopping into a muddy pig swill, Miss Colbert is a most adept comedienne. She always plays it straight, and that's what makes it funny.

    The most picturesque of the neighbours are Ma and Pa Kettle. In these roles Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride created comic characters that instantly won audiences. Miss Main, generous of character and bosom, upswept seemingly self-willed hair trampolining on her head, is a joy to behold. Whether she is battling to remember the names of her fifteen children, punctuating conversation with a cooking utensil, sweeping a table clean with one swipe of her arm or absent mindedly scratching her ample endowments - only MM could get away with that in 1947 - Ma Kettle remains a monumental character - in more ways than one. For this performance Marjorie Main received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Percy Kilbride, "the man who put dead into deadpan", is the perfect foil for her. He does so little, laconically drawling through his scenes, yet he is so right and hilariously funny. Despite the excesses of their screen characters these two consummate actors create unforgettable performances.

    Not so real is the look of the film. There is some nice location, or backlot, work when the city couple first drive to the farm and again after the fire has destroyed the barn, but most of the exteriors were shot on a soundstage. This was accepted practice in the 1940's but it fails to make the most of the contrast between Miss Colbert's character and her new rural world. The direction in general, by Chester Erskine, is adequate, but fails to make the most of opportunities such as the fire and the rallying neighbours.

    The Egg and I is extremely light fare and we never have any doubt that the city slickers will lick country life, or that the Kettles' eldest son, Tom (Richard Long), will get to college. This is a simple, funny, warm-hearted movie, and a very pleasant way to spend an hour or two with assured performers at the top of their form.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very satisfying transfer to disc of a sixty year old movie and it looks great.

    The black and white image is rock solid steady and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original theatrical ratio was 1.37:1.

    There is, of course, no 16:9 enhancement, except in the menus.

    The picture is very clear and sharp throughout with no evidence of low level noise.

    There is a small amount of grain, but nothing that is distracting.

    Aliasing was extremely slight, generally limited to striped suits and other items of clothing.

    Artefacts were extremely rare.

    The only subtitles are English for the Hearing Impaired.

    This movie is paired on a single sided disc with Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town. The layer change occurs early in the film at 14:00 in a fade to black at the end of a scene. It is undetectable.

    
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is also in good shape, though not up to the standard of the image.

    The original mono is clear and sharp, with totally distinct dialogue.

    There are no sync problems.

    There are no pops, crackles or dropouts.

    There is some background hiss, but this is never distracting.

    There is only one audio track on the disc - English.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

 

Menu

    After the Universal trademark there is a menu screen offering the choice between The Egg and I and Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town. This is all presented with 16:9 enhancement.

    After choosing The Egg and I, the next screen is a hand painted publicity shot with the options:

          Play

          Scene Selection : 18 scenes, each with a thumbnail, on five screens

          Theatrical Trailer

          Subtitles : English for the Hearing Impaired only.

 

Theatrical Trailer : (02:07)

    This is not the original theatrical trailer but a reissue trailer, the reissue apparently made after Ma and Pa Kettle had become "the favourite of fifty million".

    The trailer is presented at 1.37:1, not quite filling the height of the "square" frame.

    The picture quality is not up to the standard of the feature itself, having a large number of artefacts and some damage.

    The soundtrack is clear, but quite noisy.

    The trailer is completely intact, with no loss of image or sound, and makes an interesting footnote to the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is identical to the Region 1 release except that :

    The Region 1 release has four movies on the one disc - The Egg and I and Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town occupying one side of the disc.

    The Region 1 release has two additional language tracks, Spanish and French.

    The Region 1 release has the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles/captions "placed" on the screen according to the speaker's screen position.

     Except for an individual  concern with language, there is no reason to prefer the Region 1 release.

   

    

Summary

    Not quite a classic Hollywood comedy of the 40s, but still a highly entertaining movie with two attractive and talented leads giving first rate performances. There is the added bonus of witnessing the birth of a great comic duo, Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as Ma and Pa Kettle.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, December 21, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo-SP500, using Component output
DisplayPhilips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
So is this the one where ... - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)

Overall | The Egg and I (1947) | Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) | Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) | Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)

Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 6-Dec-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1949
Running Time 072:32
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Charles Lamont
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Marjorie Main
Percy Kilbride
Richard Long
Meg Randall
Patricia Alphin
Esther Dale
Barry Kelley
Harry Antrim
Ida Moore
Emory Parnell
Case ?
RPI Box Music Milton Schwarzwald


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

"The family that made laughter a national pastime."

     After their breakaway success as Ma and Pa Kettle in 1947's The Egg and I and their consolidation of this the next year in Donald O'Connor's Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin', though not as The Kettles, Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride were given star status in Ma and Pa Kettle. (When released to video the title was extended to The Further Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle. For this DVD release the original title appears in the credits.)

    The opening scene finds Ma (Marjorie Main) and Pa (Percy Kilbride) exactly as we remember them. Ma is still sweeping chickens off the table as she prepares for the evening meal and Pa is still contemplating doing "sump'n" one day soon. In one wonderful moment Pa makes a grand gesture encompassing the disaster area that is their home declaring that he "carved this out of the wilderness". But the Kettles are not to stay on their farm for much longer. Pa has entered a slogan contest run by the Henry King Tobacco Company to get the free tobacco pouch promised to all entrants. A telegram arrives announcing that Pa has won the contest and first prize is "the model home of the future". Soon the entire family, Ma, Pa and fourteen kids - Tom (Richard Long) is away in college - is taking up residence in their new home in the centre of town.

    The bulk of the plot then focuses on the problems Ma and Pa have with the gadgetry of the new house. Pa, in particular, has run-ins with automatic doors, a revolving bar, a foldaway bed, a clothes dryer, sun lamps and a particularly unusual faucet. (What visitor to the US has not had this experience?) Percy Kilbride has a field day with all of this, especially the automatic door bit. So simple and so funny.

    Returning from college Tom meets a young reporter on the train, Kim Parker (Meg Randall). Kim is on her way to interview Ma and Pa - and on her way to romantic involvement with Tom. Other complications ensue. Pa becomes fed up with his battles with his new fangled house and returns alone to the farm. Town gossip Birdie Hicks (Esther Dale) determines to expose Pa's win as a fraud, claiming that he stole the slogan from travelling salesman Billy Reed (Emory Parnell). Ma and the kids arms themselves for siege as the sheriff comes to evict them from their new home and as he is preparing to rush to Ma's aid, Pa is "killed" in a dynamite explosion back on the farm.  

    All of this decidedly silly stuff is resolved when a horde of Indians led by Geoduck (Lester Allen), Crowbar (Chief Yowlachie) and Pa (!?) ride to the rescue, "Injun" music beating on the soundtrack. All that has to come is the wedding scene for Tom and Kim.

    The Kettle comedy here is broader than in The Egg and I. Marjorie Main has lost the pathos of her original characterisation and Pa is less mean and more animated. Ma is also more corseted, with her figure more under control. Nevertheless this is enjoyable nonsense and the running time of just over seventy-two minutes seems too short.

    In the final scene Pa gets a second telegram. He has won yet another contest, this prize being a trip to New York. Here comes number two in the series, Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town! Universal was counting the millions!

    Ma and Pa Kettle is included in the Universal two disc/four title set The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle Volume 1. 

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The quality of the transfer to disc is excellent.

    The black and white image is rock solid steady and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original theatrical ratio was 1.37:1.

    There is, of course, no 16:9 enhancement, except in the menus.

    The picture is beautifully sharp and clear throughout with no evidence of low level noise.

    The black and white reproduction is brilliant, with an extremely wide grey scale and excellent shadow detail. Blacks are strong and solid.

    There is a small amount of grain, but nothing that is distracting.

    I was not aware of any aliasing other than a little in the opening credits.

    Artefacts were minimal. I was so impressed that a number of times I paused the movie and checked frame by frame. I finally found two then gave up.

    I doubt if this movie looked this good in its original theatrical release.

    The only subtitles are English for the Hearing Impaired.

    Ma and Pa Kettle occupies one layer of a single sided disc. It is paired with Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm .

  

  
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Happily the audio is also in very good shape.

    The original mono is clear and sharp.

    Dialogue is totally clear and there are no sync problems.

    There are no pops, crackles or dropouts.

    There is some background hiss, but this is very slight.

    There is only one audio track on the disc - English.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

 

  There are no extras as such with this title.

    

Menu

    After the Universal trademark there is a menu screen offering the choice between this feature and Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm .

    After choosing Ma and Pa Kettle, the next screen is a hand painted publicity shot with the options:

          Play

          Scene Selection : 18 scenes, each with a black and white thumbnail, on five screens         

          Subtitles : English for the Hearing Impaired only.

    All of these menu items are presented with 16:9 enhancement.

    There is no sound or animation.

 

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is identical to the Region 1 release except that :

    The Region 1 release has four movies on the one disc - (The Further Adventures of) Ma and Pa Kettle sharing one side with Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm.

    The Region 1 release has two additional language tracks, Spanish and French.

    The Region 1 release has the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles/captions "placed" on the screen according to the speaker's screen position.

     Except for an individual concern with language, there is no reason to prefer the Region 1 release.

   

    

Summary

    An undeniably corny and obvious comedy that was a monster hit when originally released. There is still plenty of enjoyable nonsense and the two leads are perfect in their roles. The transfer is outstanding.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo-SP500, using Component output
DisplayPhilips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Where can we find this DVD? - Byron Kolln (HELLO FOOLS! Read my Bio!) REPLY POSTED
Re: Where can we find this DVD? - Bill T
After vol 2 -
re Volume 2 and Region 4. - Bran (my bio, or something very like it) REPLY POSTED
re Deanna Durbin (a little OT, I know) - Bran (my bio, or something very like it) REPLY POSTED
In stock at JB @ Bondi - REPLY POSTED

Overall | The Egg and I (1947) | Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) | Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) | Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950)

Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950)

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Released 6-Dec-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Original theatrical 50 sec teaser
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1950
Running Time 076:08
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (103:26) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Charles Lamont
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Marjorie Main
Percy Kilbride
Richard Long
Meg Randall
Gregg Martel
Charles McGraw
Kathryn Givney
Paul McVey
Jim Backus
Case ?
RPI Box Music Milton Schwarzwald


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

"The family that made laughter a national pastime."

     Produced in 1949 and released in 1950, this was the second film in the Ma and Pa Kettle series. The Town is New York, New York!

    We are reintroduced to the Kettle family, Ma (Marjorie Main), Pa (Percy Kilbride) and their fourteen kids, living in the dream home won by Pa in a contest in the first Kettle feature, Ma and Pa Kettle. Eldest son Tom (Richard Long) is now married to Kim (Meg Randall) and is living in New York. Pa has won a second contest, but they can't take their first prize holiday to New York because "there's no one to mind the kids". Ma confesses that their offspring are difficult to handle but Pa defends all fifteen as being "chips off the old block". Ma replies, "Any more chips and there won't be any more old block!"

    Shotgun Munger (Charles McGraw) is a bank robber on the lam with a hundred thousand dollars in "a little black bag". Shotgun seeks refuge in the Kettles' old place where he is discovered by Pa. Masquerading as "Mr Jones", a poet, Shotgun ends up minding the kids while Ma and Pa go to the big apple. In return Pa agrees to deliver the "empty" black bag to "Mr Jones's" brother.

    The remainder of the film's plot revolves around the little black bag, or rather four little black bags, as Pa tries to make his delivery and various bad guys attempt to steal the bag, or bags, from him. Much fun is made of these comic crooks, who include a young Jim Backus as "Little Joe", the actor as yet to find fame as the voice of Mr Magoo.

    The first entry in this series, Ma and Pa Kettle, had been a box office bonanza for Universal despite the fact that it was a "B" picture and was produced for peanuts. That initial success evidently spurred the studio on to spend a little more on Go to Town and the results are up there on the screen. The exterior of the "dream home" is much more impressive and more use is made of the Universal backlot, its urban streets doubling for New York at night. In addition there is extensive location work in New York itself, almost all of it with the two stars. We see Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride in person actually walking through Grand Central Station, trying to grab a cab, riding the cab with torsos through the sunroof, at Central Park Zoo, taking a carriage in Central Park, entering the Rockefeller Centre and on that building's roof with New York spread before them. This amount of location work is very unusual for 1950, particularly in a comedy, and a "B" comedy at that.

    Director Charles Lamont keeps all this Kettle fun boiling with verve and enthusiasm. Outstanding pleasures are Pa "poisoning" the monkeys at the zoo and his subsequent "grilling" by the police, Ma getting the treatment at the beauty "saloon" and her glamorous transformation - with just a touch of Mae West. The best is kept for last and this is Pa, at a swank society party, calling a square dance, his call directing Ma as she weaves through the dance trying to get the black bag away from the crooks.

    This may not have been "the laugh spree of a lifetime" promised in the original theatrical teaser trailer, which is included on this disc, but it is one of the best entries in the Kettle series with enough genuine highlights to compensate for the occasional dull patch. Ma and Pa were, once again, a huge hit, filling the Universal coffers and leaving audiences eagerly awaiting the next entry, Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm.   

       Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town is included in the Universal two disc/four title set The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle Volume 1. 

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The quality of the transfer is extremely good.

    The black and white image is rock solid steady and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original theatrical ratio was 1.37:1.

    There is, of course, no 16:9 enhancement, except in the menus.

    Perhaps not quite as sharp as the image on the previous title from the series, Ma and Pa Kettle, the picture is still sharp and clear, with no evidence of low level noise.

    Once again the  black and white presentation is spot on, with wide grey scale and great shadow detail. Blacks are strong and solid.

    There is a small amount of grain, but nothing that is distracting.

    Aliasing was only noticed on animal cages at the zoo (52:40) and this was only slight.

    Artefacts were extremely rare, with only a few white flecks.

    The only subtitles are English for the Hearing Impaired.

    Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town occupies one layer of a single sided disc. It is paired with The Egg and I .

  

  

    

    

  
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is in excellent condition, considering the source is almost sixty years old.

    The original mono is clear and sharp.

    Dialogue is totally distinct and there are no sync problems.

    There are no pops, crackles or dropouts.

    Background hiss is almost non existent.

    The attractive and lively orchestral score is reproduced very satisfactorily, with the Chicken Reel sounding at its best over the final cast list.

    There is only one audio track on the disc - English.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

 

  

    

Menu

    After the Universal trademark there is a menu screen offering the choice between this feature and The Egg and I  .

    After choosing Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town, the next screen is a hand painted publicity shot with the options:

          Play

          Scene Selection : 18 scenes, each with a black and white thumbnail, on five screens   

          Theatrical Trailer      

          Subtitles : English for the Hearing Impaired only.

    All of these menu items are presented with 16:9 enhancement.

    There is no sound or animation.

 

Theatrical Trailer (00:50)

    At less than one minute this is actually a "teaser" for the movie.

    The teaser opens with a closeup of a New York travel brochure, while a clarinet glides into what sounds like it should become Rhapsody in Blue. The brochure lowers to reveal Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride who, straight down the lens, greet us and introduce us to their new "coming soon" movie. Kilbride is exactly "Pa", but Marjorie Main is more soft spoken and grammatically correct than we would expect "Ma" to be. This introduction is followed by a few well chosen "bits" from the film, while superimposed graphics promise the hilarious delights in store - "the laughspree of a lifetime".

    The sound and image quality are reasonably good, though not up to that of the feature itself.

    The trailer is completely intact and is presented at the ratio of 1.33:1.

 

 

 

    

      

 

 

    

 

  

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is identical to the Region 1 release except that :

    The Region 1 release has four movies on the one disc - Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town sharing one side with The Egg and I.

    The Region 1 release has two additional language tracks, Spanish and French.

    The Region 1 release has the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles/captions "placed" on the screen according to the speaker's screen position.

     Except for an individual  concern with language, there is no reason to prefer the Region 1 release.

   

    

Summary

     An extremely fine transfer of one of the best in the Kettle series. Tight direction, excellent New York location work, very enjoyable gangster characters, inventive situations and Main and Kilbride at their wonderful best riding the crest of their success.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo-SP500, using Component output
DisplayPhilips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Egg and I (1947) | Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) | Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) | Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 6-Dec-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1951
Running Time 077:20
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Edward Sedgwick
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Marjorie Main
Percy Kilbride
Richard Long
Meg Randall
Ray Collins
Barbara Brown
Emory Parnell
Teddy Hart
Oliver Blake
Case ?
RPI Box Music Joseph Gershenson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

"The family that made laughter a national pastime."

    An eager public was given a third annual instalment of the Kettle saga in 1951 with Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm. Critics never praised this series but moviegoers in their millions were still flocking to see their favourite rustics. Universal was making more millions, even if the Kettle sometimes does go off the boil in this patchy entry.

    We pick up with Ma (Marjorie Main), Pa (Percy Kilbride) and their kids living in their "house of tomorrow", which Pa had won in a slogan contest in Ma and Pa Kettle. Tom (Richard Long) and Kim (Meg Randall) are about to have their first child. With the birth comes the arrival of Kim's parents, Jonathan and Elizabeth Parker (Ray Collins and Barbara Brown). The two sets of grandparents naturally clash over what is best for the new addition to the family and, despite some spirited playing by Collins and Brown, it is all pretty dull. The eventual upshot is that Ma and Pa, with their fourteen kids, move out of the new house and return to the farm, leaving Tom, Kim and the Parkers to themselves.

     Back on the farm the movie picks up. Ma and Pa revert to their original "look", Ma all dishevelled and Pa in his underwear, and some of the original Kettle humour returns.

Ma : Pa, yer lazier 'n that houn' dawg we useter have .

Pa : Which one?

Ma : The one useter lean against the wall when she barked .

Pa : Oooooooooh, that one .

    Pa's Indian sidekicks, Crowbar (Teddy Hart) and Geoduck (Oliver Blake), help Pa dig and blast a new well, Pa becomes "radioactive", some city slickers try to swindle the Kettles out of their radium rich farm and, best of all, Pa, with a little assistance from Ma, gives Billy Reed (Emory Parnell) a lesson in basic maths. As long as the script focuses on the characters of the central duo, and the talents of these veteran actors, things are fine, regardless of how silly it might become.

    After some extraneous plot nonsense about kidnapping babies from the hospital, all is resolved in a humorously staged chase between a car, driven by Pa, and the train carrying Kim away from Tom. The Universal backlot features strongly here, intercut with some nicely photographed footage of an extremely handsome passenger train. Stunt doubles are very obvious but there is some good rear projection work with Ma and Pa in the car and Kilbride has some wonderful moments when he finally stops the car across the railroad tracks, blocking the train,  and is confronted by the train's irate engineer. "Thunder!"

    Not up to the standard of the previous offering, Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town , but when it's good it's VERY good.

     Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm is included in the Universal two disc/four title set The Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle Volume 1. 

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Once again Universal has delivered an extremely handsome transfer of a title from this series.

    The black and white image is rock solid steady and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The original theatrical ratio was 1.37:1.

    There is, of course, no 16:9 enhancement, except in the menus.

    The image is extremely sharp and clear, with no low level noise.

    The black and white reproduction is extremely good, and in some of the exterior scenes "back on the farm" it is magnificent.

    The grey scale is most comprehensive with  great shadow detail. Blacks are strong and solid.

    There is a small amount of grain, but nothing that is distracting.

    I was more aware of aliasing with this title, particularly in one kitchen scene on Ma's apron (14:30) and on the edge of the table (17:10).    

    Other artefacts were almost non existent.

    The only subtitles are English for the Hearing Impaired.

    Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm shares a dual layered, single sided disc with the first title in the series, Ma and Pa Kettle .

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is in excellent condition, considering the source is almost sixty years old.

    The original mono is clear and sharp.

    Dialogue is totally distinct and there are no sync problems.

    There are no pops, crackles or dropouts.

    Background hiss is inaudible at room filling volume.

    There is only one audio track on the disc - English.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

 

    There are no extras with this title.

    

Menu

    After the Universal trademark there is a menu screen offering the choice between this feature and Ma and Pa Kettle .

    After choosing Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm, the next screen is a hand painted publicity shot with the options:

          Play

          Scene Selection : 18 scenes, each with a black and white thumbnail, on five screens                

          Subtitles : English for the Hearing Impaired only.

    All of these menu items are presented with 16:9 enhancement.

    There is no sound or animation.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is identical to the Region 1 release except that :

    The Region 1 release has four movies on the one disc - Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm sharing one side with Ma and Pa Kettle.

    The Region 1 release has two additional language tracks, Spanish and French.

    The Region 1 release has the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles/captions "placed" on the screen according to the speaker's screen position.

     Except for an individual  concern with language, there is no reason to prefer the Region 1 release.

   

    

Summary

     An outstandingly good transfer of a so-so entry from the series. (Would that many genuine classic titles looked this good on DVD!) There are enough high spots to compensate for the lows, thanks to Main and Kilbride. They are always a pleasure to watch, with Pa, in particular, having some moments that are hilariously wonderful.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo-SP500, using Component output
DisplayPhilips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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