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Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) (Bilingual) [Import]
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Based on a true story and co-starring Van Johnson and Tom Bosley, Yours, Mine And Ours keeps the laughs coming in a "clean, wholesome family comedy" (Life). This population explosion occurs when widowed Navy nurse Helen North (Ball) meets handsome Naval officer and widower Frank Beardsley (Fonda). They have much in commontoo much in factshehas eight kids and he has ten, and when they tie the knot, anarchy reigns in the Beardsley-North merger. The opposing camps of step-siblings do all they can to sabotage each other and their parents' union. But, through it all, mother lovingly cares for her "troops," while father patiently coaches his coming-of-age kids in more delicate matters, and resentment soon gives way to respect and something bigger than anyone could have imagined!
Predating The Brady Bunch by almost a decade, Yours, Mine, and Ours is a screwball comedy about the ultimate blended family. When the widow Helen North (Lucille Ball) marries the widower Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda), the two must find a place to house their 18--count 'em, 18!--kids (she had 8, he had 10). Based on a real-life couple, the film details the nuances of everyday life in a house overrun with children. From getting all the kids ready for school to sending off an older son to war, this well-written film is wholesome entertainment that doesn't condescend. Look for the very young Tracy Nelson as Germaine. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Though this is a comedy, and bits of it are truly hilarious, it is not overdone and focuses well on important family issues. Lucille Ball is very much not Lucy in this film, and is the perfect blend of serious and funny. Many of the younger actors are very recognizable despite their youth including Tim Matheson and Tracy Nelson who, due to her smile and other facial features, is easy to spot as the approximately three-year-old Jermaine.
The dual narration, assembly line lunch making, industrial laundry chores, military-like logistics for bathroom sharing, and grocery shopping for an apparent army are all interestingly staged. The movie also includes a nice variety of settings including the crowded house, bar, aircraft carrier, clinic, navel base, school, commissary, and hospital.
This is an uplifting family story and a wonderful Christmastime feel-good movie, though it is fun to watch all year round.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda are both excellent in their role as loving but harried parents trying to blend two families into one without going crazy. The ups and downs they have are played for fun but even so the feeling of a real family comes through. As parents, both are willing to give up their own feelings to help the other and their children. They present a good example of loving parents trying to adjust to life in a crowd of 18 children.
A reviewer wrote that she was disappointed at the children's disrespect toward the adults. But I thought the children's less than perfect behavior was essential to the film and the film's message. Yeah, having children, be it three or eighteen, is a burden. There's no guarantee they'll be grateful for the sacrifices you make for them or that they'll allow you to have any sort of life of your own. The children in the film are not angels. Few are. Indeed, I would argue they're rather normal, with the scales leaning heavily toward good. They're bratty, tender, difficult, warm, self-centered and giving. That's the beauty of life and humanity and it's more or less what Fonda tried to explain to Lucy's oldest daughter when she questioned him about sex. "You tell him that this is what it's all about."
Notice how the film places a certain amount of focus on Tim Matheson's character. Early on, he spikes Lucy's drink and then giggles as she humiliates herself. (Shades of the "Otter" character he would play ten years later.) But eventually he decides that she's not so bad - at about the time, not coincidentally, that he's becoming a man - then he accepts her and, being a natural leader like his father, persuades his siblings to elect her "our mother, for life".
That scene, indeed the whole film, would not have worked had the children been so unrealistically and quickly accepting of the stepmother.Read more ›
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