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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)


Spotlight on Movie Mothers - Mothers Dearest and Star Birthday - Henry Fonda



Star Birthday - Henry Fonda

Henry Fonda was born on 16 May 1905, and enjoyed a prolific career of over 100 films and television appearances over 50 years. He was the father of actress Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda, and the grandfather of actor Bridget Fonda. Fonda won an Oscar for his final film 'On Golden Pond' (1981).

Recommended viewing


Keeping with the spotlight on Movie Mothers throughout May, I have selected 'Yours, Mine and Ours' (1968), to celebrate the life and career of Henry Fonda.




Yours, Mine and Ours

Anything with Lucille Ball is always a lot of fun, and 'Yours, Mine and Ours' (1968) is no exception.


The film is based on the true story of Frank and Helen Beardsley, and is far superior to the 2005 remake with Dennie Quaid and Rene Russo (I guess the only good thing about bad remakes of old films is being able to enjoy the original).


The film was written by Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, who were responsible for writing many of Lucille Ball's TV show episodes from 'I Love Lucy', 'The Lucy Show' and 'Here's Lucy'. I guess this was the closest thing we ever got to a 'The Lucy Show' movie.


Lucille Ball (looking quite good for 57), and Henry Fonda (also looking youthful for 63) are cast as Helen and Frank. Screen legend Van Johnson also appears as Frank's navy buddy.


Homage to Vitameatavegamin

In one scene, Frank's children spike Helen's drink with vodka, gin and scotch. This is a fascinating homage to the classic 'Lucy Makes a TV Commerical' episode of 'I Love Lucy', where Lucy starred in the vitameatavegamin commerical (see video below). 




The super mother
Helen is committed to her children, working part time as a nurse close to their school. As she is walking down the aisle, on her wedding day to Frank, we hear Helen's voice over "How can I do it to them?", showing she is having second thoughts, and considers sacrificing her happiness for her children. After her wedding, she cancels her honeymoon because her son has a temperature: "If Philip is sick I can't go".


If you thought a single mother capable of juggling part time work, a household, and 8 kids of her own was impressive, try adding 10 step children to the equation. If this is not a super mother, what is? Every morning breakfast consists of "5 pounds of bacon, 2 gallons of oatmeal, 3 dozen eggs and 40 pieces of toast".


In order to integrate the two families, Frank and Helen mutually agree to adopt their step children.


Did you know...

Lucille Ball's real life daughter Lucie Arnaz, screen tested for the role of Colleen. Footage from this screen test is included as an special feature on the 'Here's Lucy Series 1' DVD set.

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