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Cheaper by the Dozen

Clifton Webb , Myrna Loy , Walter Lang    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.98
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Frequently Bought Together

Cheaper by the Dozen + Belles on Their Toes + Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (M. Hobbs prend des vacances)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.91

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Product Details

Product Description


Though it's impossible to gauge just how much of it is true, this endearing family comedy (based on the book by their children Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey) is inspired by the true story of the husband-and-wife efficiency experts Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their adventures raising 12 kids at the turn of the century. Director Walter Lang takes a loping pace through the episodes of family life: the kids descend upon the new school in force while Dad (fussy Clifton Webb) offers his unsolicited views on education; Dad takes his oldest daughter (wholesome Jeanne Crain) to the school dance and becomes the hit of the ball; a mass tonsillectomy becomes an opportunity to document the ordeal as an experiment in efficiency. Myrna Loy almost steals the film in her one standout scene, holding back a smirk while a birth-control advocate (played by Mildred Natwick) solicits this mother of 12 to speak at a rally, but her martini-dry comic deadpan is criminally underused in this picture, which is dominated by Webb's stern, military-like parenting and Crain's adolescent crises. Though this sometimes overly sentimental classic never builds to any real dramatic plateau or comic highlights, it maintains an even tone of good humor and warmth throughout, capturing a bygone era through the travails of a loving family. A charming sequel, Belles on Their Toes, followed two years later. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

This colorful depiction of life in a family of 12 children stars Clifton Webb as Frank Bunker Gilbreth, an eccentric father who prides himself on some truly unorthodox child-rearing methods. Based on the bestseller by two children of the real Mr. Gilbreth, this charming film co-starring Myrna Loy is "alive with big laughs" (Los Angeles Times).

Narrated by the oldest daughter (Jeanne Crain), the story follows a series of family crises over the years: from how the children over-whelmed their new school's administration office, to the time they threw a hospital into chaos when they arrived for a mass tonsillectomy. There's even a memorable encounter with a birth control advocate. Simultaneously hilarious and sentimental, "Cheaper by the Dozen is a family comedy in the truest sense.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny! Intelligent! Down-to-earth! May 22 2004
By A Customer
This movie is an absolute delight all around, content and production quality included! Pro-lifers will especially LOVE it! There's a very funny moment concerning that issue. Also, be sure to watch the "Special Awards" extra featured on the DVD menu. Fascinating to learn that this movie was attended by more people in 1950 than any other movie, according to Ernestine Gilbreth.
The cry from most today is just as strong as it was then - "We want wholesome family movies that are intelligently made." It takes a lot of EFFORT, a lot of THINKING to produce those. But, if Hollywood makes them, we will spend our money to see them, and also add them to our personal libraries. Wholesome movies are a good investment in the health of our society. Love those Gilbreth's!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper by the Dozen -Clifton Webb July 4 2004
By A Customer
This is by far better than the remake. A definite must see. For a collector it is a must have. I really enjoyed all the problems that cropped up and were solved ingeniously.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bargain At Any Price March 20 2004
Cheaper By The Dozen is a wonderful recreation of American family life during the early days of the twentieth century. Based on the best-selling biography of the same name, the narrative follows the adventures of the Gilbreth family headed up by father and mother Frank and Lillian (Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy), pioneers in the field of industrial engineering. Between the two of them, they raised 12 children, including oldest daugher, Ann, (Jeanne Crain) who narrates the story. Cheaper is Great entertainment for the whole family. This "fictionalized" real story is a lot of fun, in the same way Life With Father is. Webb has one of the best roles of his career as the exacting efficiency expert. Myrna Loy glows with maternal warmth, and Jeanne Crain is lovely as always, struggling to grow up under the iron-fisted rule of a father born in the nineteenth century. My only complaint with the DVD is the color is uneven in places, which is unfortunate. This was a big budget production in its day and a lot of the wonderful Technicolor photography has been reduced to pinks and faded greens and blues. Overall, however, viewing this DVD is a pleasant experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Chris
I couldn't belive it when I head that Cheaper By The Dozen was coming to DVD. And Also THe Rare Sequel Belles On THeir Toes. I pre-ordered both of them yesterday.
I have always loved both of the films and they are finally coming out on DVD.
Cheaper By The Dozen Is About The Gilbreth Family who have 12 kids (how unbeliveable) and their adventures. Clifton Webb was excellent as the father. In the sequel Belles On Their toes Clifton Webb is an angel who looks down on his family when they are having all of their problems. Cheaper By The Dozen also stars 2 of the greatest actoresses ever Myrna Loy, and Jeanne Crain. For years these 2 films have been out of print and hard to find. And finally 20th Century Fox is putting them out on DVD. I highly suggest these movies to anyone who wants to get some good clean family entertainment for their kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT!! March 14 2004
All I can say about this true classic is...MYRNA LOY, what more can you say. She's truly a delight in this film. Take the six Brady kids and add six more and you have a movie that will stand up against time. Thank God for films like this, they don't make em' like this anymore. This classic and the sequal, {also great}
will be in my dvd collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper by the Dozen - A Classic Dec 27 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I agree with Sharon. The movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, along with the sequel, Belles on their Toes, are excellent movies - classics! They should be made available (in either DVD or VHS format) in a boxed set. I know I would buy it and from the reviews on this web page, others would too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I was one who hounded the powers-that-be that this movie (that pre-dates ME by a good 23 years!) be released on DVD. I was thrilled when I received notice that it was being released and I just received it today (funny since I just happened to catch it on TV two days ago!). It's a timeless classic with a fantastic (and woman-empowering)plot based on a true story. I still can't imagine how they managed with 12 children but it gives me the courage to deal with my two (who sometimes make the mess of 12!). A great story for homeschoolers too- the importance of education could not be more delightfully presented.
I was worried that the quality of the DVD might not be up-to-snuff but it was great (unlike the other classic-movie DVD I just purchased, Life with Father, another favorite movie but the quality is quite poor).
By the way, I haven't seen the Steve Martin adaptation of Cheaper by the dozen but I've heard/ read that the storylines have close to nothing (other than 12 children) in common. Instead, invest in this classic and you'll be very pleased.
If I could give it more stars, I would!!
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