There a delightful scene in the 1950 film Cheaper by the Dozen movie that shows the change in social and moral attitudes since the 1930s. Mildred Natwick’s character visits the Gilbreth household representing a Planned Parenthood-like organization. Mrs. Gilbreth is amused by the visit and calls her husband. Showing indignation, as only Clifton Webb can, he signals for the children to assemble in the living room.
The 12 children come running from every corner of the house. The woman is shocked and bolts for the door muttering as she goes that someone had been pulling her leg for recommending that she ask if Mrs. Gilbreth would like to join the pro-abortion organization.
Man on street: Hey Noah, what are you doing with that Ark?
Frank Gilbreth: Collecting animals like the good Lord told me brother. All we need now is a jackass. Hop in!
The setting for the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, based on a 1946 novel of the same name written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, two of the dozen, is New Jersey. The movie and novel tell the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their twelve children. It’s unfortunate that this family-friendly movie has been eclipsed by the crude remake starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. There is no comparison with the original. Avoid the remake and its sequel like the plagues that they are.
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