Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954) - full transcript

Elwin Kettle might win a scholarship to an agricultural college. Essay contest judges Mannering and Crosby decide to choose between the two finalists by spending a weekend at the home of each. Pa makes numerous cosmetic improvements to his rundown home to impress the judges, but all wash away in a torrential rainstorm. Will the judges still award the scholarship to Elwin?

Pa! Pa!

What's goin' on here?

Well, Ma, nothin' like a nice fire,
this kinda weather.

From the looks of this, the Indians
must've forgot how to make a fire.

Get away! Can't you remember
to pull the damper?

How'd a bottle
get up there, Ma?

That was genuine French
cognac Jonathan sent me.

I was savin' it for the Christmas puddin'.
Didn't want anybody to find it.

Should've hid it where
I could've seen it, Ma.

Too bad you can't eat
the wood!

It oughta be tasty, flavored
with genuine French cognac.

Open the windows. I got bakin' to do
before the kids get back from school.

I need more eggs. You three go
on out to the farm and get 'em.



Just like... Sonja Henie.

Gotta fix that...

one of these days.


Hiya, Nick.
How are ya today?

[ Moos]

That's good, Nick.
Glad to hear it.

Nick has a good outlook
on the future.

[ Big Band]

Where that music
comin' from?

I keep it on for the hens.

Music keeps them happy,
and they lay more eggs.

Not many eggs. Must be
too many commercials on.

[Radio] We interrupt this musical
program to bring you flash news.

Today m New York,
the National Magazine announced“

that two Cape Flattery
high school seniors,

Miss Sally Maddocks
and Mr. Elwin Kettle,

have been awarded $ 100 each for
writing the prize-winning essays on...

“My Life on a Typical American
Farm." Land cfficshen'.!

The regional grand prize is
a four-year college scholarship.

The contest judges were greatly
impressed with Elwin Kettle's...

vivid description
of his family's farm.

With the chicken house
made of glass brick...

and filled with a flock
of prize fat hens.

The well-kept grounds,
which feature everything...

an efficient, modern farm
can boast.

The redwood silo
almost bursting with grain.

The spanking-clean white barn,
the sleek milk cows, contented hogs,

prize goats, a satiny black
champion bu/I [ Moos ]

Congratulations to
Sally Maddocks and Elwin Kettle.

Seems maybe Elwin exaggerated
a mite here and there.

And how. Shut up.
You talk too much.

I better get home
and talk to Ma about this.

[ Moos ]

Nick, you come back here! I ain't
got time to chase after you.

He's after the Maddockss
Bessie again.

Can't keep Nick
away from that cow.

Careful with them eggs.

Ma! Oh, Ma!

Heard somethin' mighty surprisin'
on the radio a while back.

I know all about it!

Well, then,
what makes you so sad?


There's a $100 check in it,
all right.

But the letter says two judges are comin' to
Cape Flattery and spend a week on each farm.

Well, we got plenty of room for 'em.

Listen to this.

“The judges will decide which family
provides the best environment...

“for bringing up their children
as ideal farmers and good citizens.

The child of the winning family
will be awarded the scholarship.”

But what does it mean?

Pa, environment means physical
conditions under which we live.

Those big words gets your Pa all mixed up.
I'll tell him.

The way our farm looks is gonna
count in thejudgin' too.

The old place ain't just exactly
as Elwin said it was in his essay.

He did dress up the truth...
a mite.

I oughta withdraw
from the contest.

Didn't want to enter it, but the
teacher made all the seniors do it.

Did the contest rules say you had to tell
the exact truth about your own farm?

Not exactly.

You upset because you don't
want to compete against Sally?

She wants to go
to college too.

But Maddocks is
the richest man in the county.

Wouldn't strain him none
to pay Sally's way.

The real strain comes a-gettin'
Maddocks to part with his money.

I'm gonna talk to Sally.
You do that, son.

And I'll bet she tells you
to stay right in the fight.

Ma, what did we ever do...

to get such a smart son?

For one thing,
we got married.



I can only stay a minute. Dad told me to
clean out the chicken house before dark.

That's no work for a girl. You
know I'm as strong as a boy.

Yeah, but I'm glad
you don't look like one.

I hate for us to be competing
against each other.

So do I. I think I oughta withdraw
from the contest.
No, you mustn't.

I told Dad I wanted to withdraw,
but he won't let me. [Rifle Shot]

[ Mooing]

Why the devil can't you Kettles
keep that bull locked up?

Next time he comes around
here botherin' Bessie,

I'm gonna use buckshot
instead of rock salt.

Sorry, Mr. Maddocks.
You get outta here too.

You get back
to your chores.

If you stayed on your farm
and did a little work,

you'd have a chance to win that contest.
[ Laughing]

We'll move back
to the farm.

We'll show Maddocks what the Kettles can do!
We'll show 'im.

We'll have to get the farm fixed
up before the judges come.

There's plenty to do.
Sure is.

I'll have Geoduck and Crowbar
go to work tomorrow.

We'll be needin'
a lot of things.

And Billy Reed's not gonna give us any more
credit until you pay him what you owe.

Pa can use my prize money.

That don't
seem right, son,

but I don't know
what else we can do.

Pa, stop chompin'
on that carrot.

Remember, Ma, carrots is
good for seeing at night.

When'd you ever stay awake long
enough at night to see anything?

Are those the goats you
wanna sell, Mr. Maddocks?

I got no use for 'em.

I can always find a buyer for ya.
How much you want for 'em?

They're worth $40.
I'll let 'em go for 30.

Are they well behaved...
for goats, I mean?

Oh, sure.
just like little lambs.

Okay. I'll see what
I can do for ya.

[ Bleating]

[ Bleating]

Howdy, fellas.

Mighty pretty goats.
Friendly little critters.

Why, those--

Sure, real friendly. They're
the best goats in the county.

Got them from a top breeder
from Colorado.

Look like the ones your Elwin
wrote about in his essay.

Might be in the market
for some goats.

Sure would
dress my farm up.

Wanna sell these?
But... I guess you wouldn't.

You can have them for $1O0. I won't charge
for the feed they've “et“ since I bought 'em.

By golly, I'll take 'em.
Got a $100 check right here.


[ Ma] You oughta be
ashamed of yourselh.

for spendin' Elwin's money
for those smelly goats!

Why can't Pa take the goats back?
Ya can't do that.

That'd be the same as sayin'
Maddocks has outsmarted Pa.

Billy, take that thing away
from my potted plant!

Let him alone, Ma. He's getting
his units of chlorophyll.

Yes, and a stomach full
of my prize “philodoldrium?

Get away from my philodoldriums!
[ Bleating]

- Careful now!
- [Yelling]

[ Yelling Continues]

[Yelling, Groaning]

Ya shouldn't have
done that, Ma.

You get those darn goats over to the
farm before they wreck me and the house.

Just as you say, Ma.

It's a long walk, huh?

C'mon, little fellas.

That's the way to do it.

You gotta know how
to handle animals, Ma.

Geoduck, Crowbar,
come along.


Howdy, boys.
My credifs good again.

Billy Reed's rentin'
our other house,

and I can have
anything I want.

Look. He even gave me six cans
of tobacco for a present.

Here, have one on me.

That's for the two of ya.

Share and share alike.


let us go to work
unloadin' this stuff.

- What do you mean, “us“?
- You and Crowbar.

You shouldn't play with
that paint, Crowbar.

It's mighty expensive stuff.

Yes, sir!

In no time at all, it wouldn't
surprise me to see this place...

turn into the prettiest farm
in the county.

Them New York judges'll
think so... I bet ya.

Hi, honey.

♪ Flowers in the spring
Tra-la-la-- ♪

Afternoon, Mr. Mannering. I wish you
wouldn't sneak in on me like that, Pete.

I almost drenched my petunias.
I'm sorry, Chief.

How do they look? Seem to
be improving, all right.

You know, these were the most
pooped-looking petunias I ever saw...

until I started feeding them
my special fertilizer...

and bought this
little greenhouse for them.

For a city-bred man, I have a
remarkable instinct for growing things.

That's one of the reasons our publishers
selected me as one of the contest judges.

It was a cinch for your brother-in-law to pick you.
Naturally, with my ability.

Miss Young, has a package
arrived for me? Yes, sir.

Your farm background and your
activities in the 4-H Clubs...

are the reasons my brother-in-law
selected you as my colleague.

Plus the fact that
you needed a photographer along.

Here's the pistol you ordered
from Abernathy and Flitch.

Pistol? What for? After all, we are
going into the Wild West, you know.

And I understand there are still
Indians living near Cape Flattery.

Sure, there's quite a reservation,
but-- One must always be prepared.

Have you called my broker and had my
life insurance increased? Yes, sir.

And are you studying
the instructions I prepared...

so that you know exactly how
to take care of my petunias?

I am, sir. ls there anything else?

Call my valet and tell him to be sure to
pack several suits of heavy undermre--

heavy undergarments, a hot water
bottle and my electric blanket.

Yes, sir.
Electric blanket?

One cannot be too careful. I hear that the
nights are very cold in the state of Washington.

But some of those farms
may not have electricity.

My electric blanket
has a battery.

I want you to get a new
bottle of my throat spray,

a large bottle of
my vitamin pills...

and an extra-large carton
of paper cups.

Will that be all, Mr. Mannering?

Call my doctor and tell him I'll need
my monthly examination before I leave.

And tell him to be prepared to give
me an anti-mosquito-bite shot.

There won't be any mosquitoes this
time of year. You never know.

There might still be one rugged
individual buzzing around.

Mosquitoes are great
disease carriers, you know.

That will be all, Miss Young.
Yes, sir.

I'll see you later, Chief. I'd better
get my cameras and equipment ready.

What a paradise
this Kettle farm must be!

“From my bedroom windows I can see
across our lush, green meadowland...

on which contented cows
are pastured.“

[ Ma ]
“Our herd of prize goats...

“graze by the stream that flows
through the south meadow,

“where at day's end
I sometimes go fishing,

catching fighting trout
for the family's supper.“

Heavens to Betsy! I never knew
there was fish in that creek.

This job'd be a lot easier if Elwin's
imagination hadn't been so good.

No cause to worry now.

You just go on and
take care of the house.

Me and Geoduck and Crowbar will
take care of everything out here.

Well, all right.

Girls! Girls!
Forward march!

Pa, not much time
to fix things right.

Well, don't you worry about that, Geoduck.
I got it all figured out.

We'll run short of nails if you
use too many on the first job.

Gotta make
the planks stay up.

Well... two or three nails'll
keep the plank up...

while the judges is here.

If you say it's good enough,

Get outta here!

Scat! Scat!
Get outta here!

Go on now, get out.

Go on, get outta here!

This is one time that darn
thing's gonna get cleaned up.

Girls, fill the buckets up with a lot of
soapsuds and get goin'. Cmon, hurry up.

Fill it up
with soapsuds.

Susie, you come on
and go with me.

I'm not Susie, Ma. I'm Betty.
Whoever you are, c'mon!


How we fix that?

I got that cardboard
just for that purpose.

Painted, it'll look
just like wood.

Until it rain.

You worry too much, Geoduck.
You oughta be relaxed like me.

If I like you,
who do the work around here?

I never thought of that.


Take it easy.

Judges'll wanna take their baths in here
instead of the kitchen tub like we do.

It's a lot warmer
in the kitchen, Ma.

This is more high tone.

Well, I'll declare!

Pa borrowed that from Jeff
Jefferson three years ago!

Wonder if
he missed it.

Look at this, Betty.
Wonder what it says.

“To Ma on her birthday,
from Pa.“

Wonder how long ago he hid it
in here and forgot about it?

Open it up, Ma.
You do it, honey.I'm busy.

What is it, Ma?
[Laughing] A camisole.

I coulda gotten into it 2O years
ago, but now I'd need a shoehorn.

In those days, I had
an hourglass figure.

The sands have sure shifted.

Billy, you missed
a spot there.

Keep at it, boys.
Keep goin'.

You ain't got all year
to do this, you know.

Well, the scrubbing's about done.

The rest won't be so hard.

Almost finished outside too.
Sure got a lot done.

I'm clear tuckered out.

[ Phonograph: “Hold That Tiger“]

[ Romantic]

The place
don't look like ours.

I never thought
you could do it, Pa.

- What are they for, Pa?
- That one's the new smokehouse.

Well, I'll declare!

Just like in
Elwin's essay.

Uh, well, I-i-it--


Oh, what is this?
Come and get me!


The thing's
nothin' but cardboard!

It's just for lookin' at,
not pushin'.

I suppose that new building's made
of cardboard too. No, it ain't, Ma.

You must've used lumber and nails
on this one. Sure did, Ma.

This thing's got
no back to it!

Oh, we... sort of run out
of lumber when we got to there.

What's it supposed to be, anyhow?
This here's the machine shed...

“to house the tractor and
other mechanized equipment,“

like Elwin wrote.
For which we ain't got.

Elwin's essay says we do,
but, uh, I'm workin' on that.

Yeah, I can leave
everything to you!

But I don't know how you're
gonna explain cardboard...

and two-sided buildings
to those judges.

I got that
worked out too.

From over there,
everything looks proper.

It's only from here
you can see what ain't there.

How you gonna keep 'em
from seein' what ain't?

That's a good question, Ma.

When the judges see your trees,
that oughta impress 'em some.

I'm afraid not, Ma. The grafts
aren't growin' like they should.

Who'd know
just by lookin' at 'em?

Somebody who knew
something about pomology.


Have you seen Pa? He went off about a
hour ago with Geoduck and Crowbar.

He probably went to get a backless tractor
to go with that backless shed he built.

Well, I got to get along
about my work...

while you finish drafting
these “penologies“ on.


Oh,Jeff! Jeff!

You to home?
Yeah, I am!

What's on your mind, Pa? You
know the contest Elwin's in?

Everybody knows. Hear fixin'
up your place.

Sure did. Got a machine
shed built, but it's empty.

So, if you'd bring
your tractor down,

I'd be obliged to you.

It's just to make
good showin' for Elwin.

Okay. I didn't think you
wanted to do any work with it.

Much obliged.

I'll use the wheelbarrow
just for show.

It'll dress up the yard.
Well, take good care of it.

But remember, I want it back just
as soon as the contest is over.

You got my word on that.

Grab hold of it, boys,
and get it on the wagon.

You heard what Pa said.

I could use these.
They're nice and shiny.

Okay, Pa.

You usin' these milk cans
for display too?

Oh, no,just for show.
And much obliged.

I'll take very good care
of your pigs.

Make sure you feed 'em good.
Remember? Oh, yes.

Uh, you got a sack of corn you
can spare, for the pigs, I mean?

Wouldn't do to change their diet.
Might upset their stomachs.

All right, Pa.
I'll get it for ya.

I don't know what
makes me such a fool.

Say, that's new.
Could I-- Uh-uh.

You can't borrow that.
Too bad.

Well, we'll make do
with what we got.

Just look what a little elbow
grease will do to a place.

Yes, Ma.

Put out your hands!

[Chuckling] Run out in the
sunshine for a while, children.

Be careful not to get dirty. We've got
to make a good impression on the judges.

Okay, Ma.

Aren't you ashamed
of yourself?

Betty, come and clean up Pa's mess.
Yes, Ma.

I didn't mean it, Ma.

I'm workin'
somethin' out.

“Workin' somethi n' out.”

Got your foot on
some of the shavings, Pa.

Well, lift it up, honey.
It won't bother me none.

Now you made me
lose my place.

Sorry, Pa.

Oh, that's all right.

I'll work out something else.

[ Woman ] Howdy! Howdy!
Hi there!

[Girl] Someone better tell Ma.
C'mon, Pa!

The judges are here.

It's a false alarm, Ma.
It's only the corset lady.

Well, c'mon in!
Sure glad to see you.

Nice to see ya, Ma.
You too, Pa.

The place looks right nice. Heard you
fixed it up for the judges' visit.

Yes. When you drove up,
I thought it was them.

Ain't you a little early this winter?
I am early.

I changed my route this month so I could
make it home in time for Christmas.

You got some pretty things
this time.

Ain't they beauts?
Special Christmas merchandise.

Isn't this elegant? No, I don't
think it would do anything for you.

Try this on, Ma.
I think this'll fit you fine.

But I ain't got time to undress now.
No need to.

Try it on right over your dress.
We'll have to hurry.

I stopped by the Maddocks's place
on my way up here.

They're sure bound
Sally's gonna win the contest.

We're gonna give 'em a run for their money.
Sure you will!

Sally wanted to buy a gift for her
mother with part of her prize money.

Poor Mrs. Maddocks sure needs a...
new garment. [Grunts]

Hasn't bought a corset
in five years.

That old tightwad
wouldn't buy her a thing.

Nothin' worse than a stingy man.

Loosen up a bit, will ya?
You 're shuttin ' off my wind.

Looks right smart
on ya, Ma.

This'd be pretty for Rosie, Ma.

Slip it on so I can see if
the length's right for her.

Lucky you and Rosie
are the same size.

Lucky she don't
look like him.

Rosie comin' home for Christmas?
No. She got a job in Seattle.

[ Dog Barking]
[ Boy] Hey, Ma!

[Girl] Ma, the judges are here!
They're here, Ma.


Look, Ma, the judges.

Good heavens! Do you suppose
it could be a mirage?

Howdy, judges?

I don't believe it.

If you want anything,
just holler.

I'll be in the kitchen fixin' the noon day meal.
Thanks, Mrs. Kettle.

Just call me Ma. Everybody does.
Fine, Ma.

Cmon, Billy. Cmon, dear.
Okay, Ma.

Let the gentlemen
get settled.

They're strange people.
Very strange.

There are so many of them.
Well, they're different.

Does this look like the paradise
described in the boy's essay?

You might say Elwin writes more like an
advertising man than a factual reporter.

After we've made a complete inspection tour
of the farm, perhaps I'll feel differently.

I suppose this is where we wash.
That's it.

I hope the system
is not too unsanitary.

[Frog Croaks]
Ooh! Hey!

Look, it's a frog.

What's wrong in here?

He was in the water pitcher.
In the water--

Yes, Ma.

Did you put Oscar in the water pitcher?
So that's where he was!

Thanks for finding him,
Mr. Mannering.

Sorry to upset ya,
but a good meal'll fix you up.

I don't think I'll be able
to eat again for a month.


Remember, you've got to act like a gentleman.
Be careful what you say.

Sure, Ma,
just like I always am.

Don't look so
down in the mouth, son.

Maybe we didn't make such a good first
impression, but we'll try and make up for it.

The animals oughta impress 'em. Sure. I
borrowed some of the best stock in the county.

Shh! You gotta keep quiet about borrowin'!
You'll spoil everything.

I'll remember, Ma.

You've both got to remember to keep them
away from those makeshift buildings.

Come and get it!

[Children Yelling]

It sounds like the charge
of the light brigade.

Working on a farm gives you an appetite.
Cmon, lunch is ready.

[Pa Banging On Dish]

Manners! Manners!
Remember, we got company.

Eats is ready, gentlemen.
Seat yourselves in those chairs.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the
vittles we are about to eat.

And Elwin will be much obliged if
he gets to go to college. Amen.

Dig in, Mr. Mannering.
Help yourself.

Mr. Kettle, don't you ever remove your hat?
Oh, I'm sorry.

Just call me Pa.

You're a marvelous cook, Ma Kettle.
I haven't had a meal like this...

since I left my father's farm.
I'm glad you like it.

Mrs. Kettle, I have
a delicate digestive system,

and I follow a strict
health routine.

Well, that's too bad.
My vittles'll fix ya up.

Precisely the point. I cannot
eat this kind of food.

Would you be kind enough to let me have
either a soda cracker or melba toast?

Then you don't like my dinner?

Either the cracker or the toast But I
haven't got crackers or melba toast.

Ma, there's that sample box of biscuits
Billy Reed left the other day.

You know,
the Bright Heart's Delight?

They're dog biscuits, Pa.

But, Ma, we could spare a few
for a guest.

Excuse me.
I want to lie down.

Glad you're feeling better, Mr. Mannering.
I do not feel better,

but I want to see you and your father do
the milking, and see those prize goats.

What on earth are you doing that for?
You expect it to rain?

Just keeping the sun
out of your eyes, Mr. Mannering.

The setting sun
is very bad for the eyes.

I'll have to tell Geoduck and
Crowbar they were right.

Three nails weren't enough
to hold it up.

Let me see if I remember
the words exactly.

“A modern, sun-flooded
machine-equipped dairy barn...

housing a herd of
blue ribbon cows.“

I don't see any machinery,
and does one cow make up a herd?

The essay described the farm
as I hope it will be someday.

[ Mooing]

I used to see our farm
with my imagination too.

The 4-H Club taught me to fix up
the place the way I wanted it.

I wish there was
a 4-H Club around here.

I could use some advice.

I'm doing some experimental grafting on apple
trees, and the grafts aren't growing right.

[ Pete] That's a little out of my line,
but I'll take a look. Maybe I can help.

[ Elwin] Thanks, it'll be dark soon, but
I'll show you the orchard in the morning.

You gotta be careful
around goats, Mr. Mannering.

'Less you wanna play with 'em, don't
ever turn your back theirway.

I've had more than enough for today.
I'm going to my room.

We shall continue our
inspection at 9:45 tomorrow.

[ Mooing]

Was that bull wearing a derby?
Sure was.

Looks good in it,
don't he?

Ah, he's gonna meet
Bessie again.

C'mon. We best go after him or Maddocks
will be mad. I'll go with you.

I heard Dad yelling at Nick, and I
thought you'd be along after him.

Sally, this is Pete Crosby, one of the
contestjudges. How do you do, Sally?

I'm glad to see the two contestants
are friendly rivals. [Rifle Shot]

[ Mooing]

You and your bull!

If you'd stop tryin' to keep Nick and Bessie
apart, you'd save yourself a heap of trouble.

I'm not lettin' my prize cattle get
mixed up with that mangy bull of yours.

Let love have its way,
I always say. Ah!

Dad, this is Mr. Crosby,
one of the contest judges.

How do you do,
Mr. Crosby?

You'll be glad when your
week with the Kettles is up.

I'll show you what life
on a real farm is like.

I'm enjoying my stay
with the Kettles very much.

[Bed Springs Rattling]

Ow! Ow! Help! Help!

What's the matter? What happened?
There's a thing in there.

Up to your old tricks, huh?

Jenny's my pet,
my best layer too.

But she's particular. She will not nest with
the other chickens in the chicken house.

Now, get outta here
and stay out.

She won't bother you anymore, Mr. Mannering.
Pleasant dreams.

I certainly hope so.

Frogs in the water!
Chickens in the bed!

What next?

[Jenny Clucking]

[ Clucking]

Where you going,
Mr. Mannering?

I'd like to see
the other side of the silo.

Will you get that umbrella
out of my way?

It might rain. You wouldn't
wanna get wet, would you?

Shouldn't we go
and inspect the orchard?

Is this another feature
of your model farm? Pa?

Me and the little kids got up early
this morning to tie the apples on...

so Mr. Mannering and Pete could see how
pretty the trees looked in the summertime.

I think they did
a right good job too.

What a clever idea! And I'm sure
you didn't mean to fool us, Pa.

Where you going? I want to take
a look at the machine shed.

The buildings can wait.
It's the pigs' feedin' time.

Outside of a sunset, there's
nothing quite so pretty...

as a bunch of
hungry hogs a-sloppin'.

- Feed the pigs, Elwin.
- Okay, Ma.

They're a healthy bunch,
just like Elwin said in his essay.


[Pigs Squealing]

They're pretty, aren't?

- [ Squealing]
- No, no!

I'm afraid you'll have to take a bath
before you do any more inspection.


It's full, Ma!

Your bath's poured,
Mr. Mannering!

You may go now.

Well-mannered children
do not stare.

But we've never seen
anything like you before.


Go away'.
[ Door Slams Shut]

It's a madhouse. No door keys.
No window latches.

I know I'll catch



Help! Help, someone!

I need help! Help!

Ma wants to know
what you want.

Be a good boy and
get me my soap, will you?

There it is, Mr. Mannering.
Thank you, Billy.

You're welcome.

' [ Croaks]
- Aah! Help! Help!

Help! Help! Help!

Billy, what've you
been up to?

Nothin', Ma.

What did you do
to Mr. Mannering?

Gee whiz, Ma!
Oscar needed a bath too.

[Laughing] No wonder
he's having a fit.

Don't worry, Ma.
He'll get over it.

What are you
takin' pictures for?

For our magazine story
about Elwin's essay.

You didn't take pictures of the
new buildings, did you? Mm-hmm.

But don't worry, Ma. I photographed
those buildings from their good side.

We hate foolin' anybody, Pete.

But Elwin's only chance to go to
college is to win the scholarship.

I understand. Besides, you can
still raise kids right...

without a fancy place for 'em to live in.
I see what you mean.

But Mr. Mannering, he's--


I'm catching a cold.
After I've medicated myself,

I'll continue
the inspection.

What was that

A special, portable
electric blanket.

Made for use in the Wild West.
I guess that's us.

How 'bout one more shot, Ma?

But gotta hurry. Miss Wetter'll
be here pretty soon.

And I gotta pack
a basket of bread for her.

Miss Wetter? Who's she? A
maiden lady librarian.

Knows all about books,
but nothin' about cookin'.

[ Mooing]

[Girl #1 ] Ma!
[Girl #2 ] Get up!

Excuse me. Sounds like
a war's startin'. Mal

What's wrong?
What ya fightin' for?

Me and Susie are playin'.
I'm Ma and she's Pa.

But I'm tired ofdoin'
all the work.

I wanna sit in the rocker
and be Pa.

Now, let's see.

Who's bigger?

Me... and I'm
a year older.

Then I guess you're stronger
than Susie, aren't ya, honey?

'Course I am ! Don't you think the
biggest one oughta do the most work?

Oh, so that's why you work
and Pa sits!

'Cause you're bigger than him.

[Pete Laughing]

That's right, honey.

No more fightin' now.

Yeah, Ma.
Promise, Ma.


[War Cries]

We'll all be scalped.

Keep going-
keep going.

I'll get my pistol.

It ain't fair
to worry a man so.

Let's go and tell him those Indians are not wild.
Let him think they are wild.

But Geoduck and Crowbar can't stay
there till Mr. Mannering leaves!

They will if I ask'em to.

[ Car Horn Honking] Ohh'.
Luck who' s here'!

Pa, get that basket
of bread for Miss Wetter.

Howdy, Miss Wetter. Here's that book on
successful fruit growing I promised Elwin.

Thanks! Hope it tells him all about
drafting those “penologies“!

I'm sure it does. Uh, uh, Pa's
gettin' the bread for you.

Besides, I want you to meet the
contestjudges. Come on in.

Come on, Pete! We'll show
those Indians a thing or two.


Miss Wetter, I want you to meet Pete Crosby
and Mr. Mannering, the contest judges.

Miss Wetteris
our lady librarian.

Mr. Mannering, I'm thrilled to meet
a literary figure of your stature.

Thank you.
I'm a devoted fan of yours.

I read your beautiful column
every month.

Honored to have your colleague
too, of course.

Through you, culture has come to Cape Flattery,
and I for one am speechless... with delight.

You must tell me. What's happening in
the theater and the dance this season?

Um, here's your bread, honey.

And don't forget you're coming
to the Christmas Eve party.

As you're both interested
in literature,

it might be right nice for you
to be partners at the party.

It'd be a pleasure.
It would?

Well, I'll be dreaming
of Christmas Eve. Bye.

Well, uh... I want you to
show me the machine shed now.

Well, I'd like to now...

except, uh, Pa found
a skunk in there this morning.

I don't think I'd like that. Suppose
you show me the smokehouse.

Looks like rain. Let's inspect
the buildings before it does.

But those Indians may still be around.
I'm ready for them this time.

We'll get drenched
if we go in this.

Perhaps we'd better put it off till morning.
That's a good idea.

Thank ye.

That's enough.
That's fine.

I'm sure I'll catch pneumonia.
What you need is a good, hot bath.

No, no, no. I'll go to bed
and rest up for a while.

But tomorrow I'm going to make a
thorough inspection of the farm...

come what may.

I'll pour you
a hot cup of coffee.

That's enough, kids.

I said, that'll be enough, kids!

That'll be all!

[ Thunderclaps]

Ma is the best needlewoman
in the county.

Won first prize at the fair
with that quilt.

Our Rosie won the blue
ribbon with this spread.

Afterwards, she gave it to me for my birthday.
Sure value it a lot.

I believe my sister, that's the wife of my
publisher, you know, would care for them.

Of course I'll pay you well for them.

Well... all ri--

Oh, no! These things
mean too much to Ma.

We couldn't allow her
to part with those.

Well, it's a small matter.

I'm going to bed
to take care of my cold.

[ Thunderclaps] Elwin, it's
about your bedtime, dear.

Okay, Ma. Good night, Pete.

Come on, Pa. The kids
will be ready for us now.

[Together] The Lord bless this
house and all the people in it.

Keep us healthy
and help us to be good.

Forgive us when we're bad
for none of us mean to be.

[ Pa] P.S.!

And please don't let it rain
too hard or too long.



[ Thunderclaps]

[ Chicken Clucking]

My homburg!

Ah. Hope she didn't
stretch it out of shape.


[ Birds Chirping]

Come here, Pete.

Pete, come here!


Maybe there's
some explanation.

There can be no explanation.
This is a plain case of fraud.

Well, what have you
got to say?

Kinda damp,
ain't it?

Your fraudulent actions
are exposed completely.

I'm moving to the
Maddocks farm this morning.

[ Door Slams]

Can I help you
with your bags?

I'm sorry, Pa,
but I'll have to get my tractor.

Storm washed away part of my field
and I'll have to rework it.

Need my wheelbarrow back, Pa.
My kitchen's half full of mud.

It's in the barn, Mr. Jones.

If you came for your pigs, they're in
the pen over there. Thank you, Elwin.

Let's get out of here before someone
comes to carry off the house.

Well, I guess the storm
cooked our goose.

You tried your best, Pa.

That's all
any man can do.

Thanks, Ma.

See you at the barn. Come out
when you're ready. We will.

That was a nice meal.
Little on the skimpy side.

Not skimpy.
Frugal and healthful.

That's the way all
civilized people should eat.

That's pretty hard work
for a girl.

I do it all the time.
I'm used to it.

Let me help.
I used to be good at this.

Let her do her own work. I don't believe
in coddling strong, healthy children.

Come on out to the barn. I want to
show you my new milking machine.

Best in the county.



What is it?

I'm sorry to bother you, but the pump's
broken down again, and I can't fix it.

Always bothering me about something.
I'll be right back.

Seems to thinkless of his family
than he does of his animals.

Oh, I think youjudge him unfairly.

Come on. Let's look
around the barn.

Here, Agnes,
come and get it.

I sure ruined
Elwin's chances, all right.

I wish there was some way
I could make Mannering...

think I'm a good father.

You no miracle man, Pa.
Mannering thinks you're a fool.

[Pa] lf I could just be a hero...

Geoduck, Crowbar,
come here.

Son, tomorrow you go out
and chop us a Christmas tree.

No need for Elwin to go.
I can do it.

Matter of fact,

I was thinking of taking Pete and
Mr. Mannering along with me.

A day in the woods'll do 'em good.
Give 'em something to write about.

Elwin, run over to the Maddocks's
place and tell the judges...

I'll be by for them
in the morning.

And be sure to remind the Maddocks
to come to our Christmas party.

Okay, Ma.

You figurin' on doin'
some work, Pa?

Don't you feel good?
Feel fine.

I figure Pete's
a strong young man.

He'll be able to chop down the
tree if I tell him how. [Laughing]

You know, you had me
worried there for a minute.


We oughta find something
to suit us here.

Do you, uh, mind givin' me
a hand with the tools?

Not at all, Pa.

This is it.

It says here we should wear
loincloths and moccasins.

It's too cold!
It's indecent!

Okay, okay. just take off
shoes and put on moccasins.

And take shirts off!

If Pa Kettle were a blood brother,
we couldn't do any more for him.

Yeah! lf he were a blood brother,
he wouldn't ask us to do this. No.

Gimme the stuff.

If my wife finds out I stole
her lipstick, she'll scalp me.

My wife nearly blew her top when she
couldn't find her eyebrow pencil.

I gotta give my kids' paint
box back when this is over.

Everybody get their own stuff back.
Get started and do a good job.

Bring the lines down to the chin!
I'll look awful.

This is no beauty contest.
Wait, wait. I show you.

Better hurry up.
We haven't got much time.

What's the rush? There's plenty of daylight left.
I'm not thinking of daylight.

Well, let's all give a hand.
Get it on the wagon.

Howl look?

Do I have to tell you?

I don't understand our forefathers at all.

What did they use
these for, huh?

You got my loincloth.
Let it go! That's mine.

Who's got
my necklace?

What did they use these
necklaces for anyway?

Be careful of these.

I had to borrow them from agent's
collection at reservation.

I don't even know how
to handle one of these.

I put corks on end of arrows.
Nobody get hurt.

Time to go!

Throw that away. You look
like cigar store Indian.

Ah... you boys
forgot the tools.

Okay. I'll get 'em. Don't bother.
I'll get 'em.

[ War cries The Indians are coming!
The Indians are coming!

Oh, why didn't
I bring my pistol?

I'll save you!

We'll all be killed!
I know we will.

They must be kidding.
Oh, no, they ain't.

I know Indians on the Warpath
when I see 'em.

Men, our lives
are in danger.

But I'll outwit them...
or we'll die with honor.

Giddap! Giddap! Giddap!


Slow down.
We're crowdin' Pa too much.

I'm sorry I let Geoduck
talk me into this kid stuff.

If I had the money, I'd send
Elwin to college myself.

It would be easier than this.
You said it!

Brothers, come on!



They are kidding!
Look at this cork.

Don't touch it. It's
probably poisoned. Giddap.

He went “thataway“!

He should've gone thataway. He wasn't
supposed to get onto the main highway.

Too late now.
We gotta keep chasin' 'em.

Pa gotta prove himself a hero.
Come on!

[ Sirens Wailing]

There's heap big trouble.

What's goin' on here?

Thank heaven you arrived in time, Officer!
Those terrible lndians--

All right. We'll find out
what this is all about.

Heap big kidding, Chief.

It was just a littlejoke!
It was all in fun.

We'll get to the bottom
of this.

Arrest them, Officer!

I'll bring you all in. You'll have
to go along and sign a complaint.

It's all my fault, Officer.

I told Geoduck to stage this war party.
I might've known!

Why'd you do it?

I wanted to save the judge's life
and make myself out a hero.

I think all of you better come
into town with the Indians.

We'll let thejustice of the peace
decide what to do about this.

Come on, A.M.

just a minute, Officer.

My colleague and I knew this was all a joke.
Wejust played along with it.

Now-- just a minute, A.M.
We'd like to confer.

The newspapers ever get
hold of the real story,

you and I will be
a couple of prized fools.

Our publisher, your
brother-in-law, won't like it.

Well...just for the sake
of the National Magazine.

Mr. Mannering and I are gonna write
this story for National Magazine.

We'd like to include you officers.
Would you pose for us?

Well, if you guys
don't sign a complaint,

I got nothing I can hold
Pa and the Indians on.

Hey, Mike, it wouldn't do us no harm
to help out the National Magazine.


[ Knock At Door]

Oh, Sally!
How are you?

What a beautiful tree!
Hi, Billy!

How's your mama? Oh, real well.
just fine.

Dad went into town and Mother let me come with Pete.
This is a swell surprise.

I love trimming Christmas trees. We're not gonna
have one this year. Dad thinks it's silly.

You'll still have a good Christmas.
You'll get the scholarship.

I want you to have it. That's
impossible after what Pa did today.

Where's Pa?
He's in bed!

He don't feel so good. Mannering
doesn't feel so well either.

He says he's not coming to the party
tomorrow night. Oh, that's awful!

We'll all be disgraced if one of
the guests of honor don't show up!

I've got to do something to
get him to change his mind.

I know you got a right
to be mad at Pa.

But a smart man like you
couldn't be fooled like that!

I knew it was a joke,
but it was in very bad taste.

If you don't come to my party,
I'll be ashamed before everybody.

Well, since you ask it,
I will come.

See you tonight then.

Mr. Maddocks, since you
folks ain't havin' a tree,

you can put your wife's and
Sally's presents under ours.

Ain't got no presents. Too busy
to waste my time shopping.

They get the necessities
all year.

Takes all kinds...
don't it?

Sally asked me to put these
under the Kettles' tree.

Surprise presents she and
her mother bought for Maddocks.

Can't we take a ham
to the Kettles'?

What for?
it's Christmas, j ohn!

They don't need anything
from us.

Get the ham.

You better hurry, Sally.
Everybody's nearly ready.

[ Children Laughing]

You know what Ma said.

I'm just looking.

[ Ma]

[ Knock At Door]

Come in!
Come in!

Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Ma.

You know everyone. Hello,john.
Merry Christmas.

Son, come get their wraps
and put them in the closet.

Shall I put that under the tree for you?
Thank you.

Hi, Billy.

How 'bout some cookies,

I've been waiting for you!
I'm so excited about tonight.

It's probably because you're going
to be my partner at supper.

I've not forgotten. I, too,
was looking forward to it.

Can I get you some refreshments?
Thank you very much.


Folks, everybody's here now but Pa.
But he'll be along soon.

I'm mighty glad to have
you all here tonight,

and all us Kettles
hope you have a good time.

Me and the kids
have written a poem.

None of us is a Shakespeare, but I'll be
darned if we didn't make everything rhyme.

'“Tis the night before Christmas,
but it won't be so quiet.

“Not with us Kettles,
we make such a riot.

“AII our stockings are hanging,
that's why there's so many.

“There's even one here
for our little friendj Jenny!

[Everyone Laughing]

“There's presents for everybody,
we're all in good cheer,

“including our friend,
Mr. Madclocks, who's here.

“And I'm hoping at last,
he'll say, 'Okay' now,

“when Nick wants to go courting
with Bessie his cow.

“Our wish to Miss Wetter,
who knows all about books,

“is she marries the right man
and becomes a good cook.

“Three special cheers
to old Billy Reed...

“who lets us have credit
for whatever we need!

“It's a pleasure to meet
a nice guy like Pete...

“who thinks that my cooking
is the best you can eat.

“And poor Mr. Mannering...

“whose stomach ain't strong.

“L hope this will help
whatever is wrong.

“Our love to Geoduck
and Crowbar...

“who do all the work
while Pa does the figuring.

“He's not such a--

“Hark, hark!
What's this I hear?

Me thinks that at last
old Saint Nicholas is near.“

Come on, everybody!
Come on, folks!

[ Bells jingling]

[ Pa ] Whoa, Donner!
Whoa, Blitzen!

Steady, Comet,
Thunder and Dasher.

Oh, Santa Claus!

Merry Christmas,

[ Everybody]
Merry Christmas!

Do you mind giving me a hand
with the pack?

Unhitch my reindeers,
will you, Crowbar?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Santa Claus!
Merry Christmas, children.

Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho.
Merry Christmas.

♪ Silent Night ♪

♪ Holy night ♪

g All is calm ♪

g All is bright g

♪ Round yon Virgin
Mother and child ♪

♪ Holy infant ♪

♪ So tender and mild ♪

♪ Sleep in heavenly peace ♪

♪ Sleep in
heavenly peace ♪♪

♪ Dashing through the snow
in a one-horse open sleigh ♪

♪ O'er the fields we go
laughing all the way;

♪ Bells on bobtails ring ♪

♪ Making spirits bright;

♪ Oh, what fun it is to ride and sing
a sleighing song tonight ♪

Jjingle bells,jingle bells
jingle all the way;

;Oh,what fun it is to ride
in a one-horse open sleigh ♪

Jjingle bells,jingle bells
jingle all the way;

♪ Oh, what fun it is to ride
in a one-horse open sleigh ♪♪

Now, folks, is the time
for old Saint Nick...

to give out
the presents!

Gather 'round, folks.
Gather 'round.

Let the children
have theirs first.

This is wonderful,
isn't it?

[ Bleating]

[ Crashing]

[ Everyone Laughing]

Are you all right, Mr. Kettle?
My goodness!

I thought you said
that the goats liked ya!

Just his way of wishing me
Merry Christmas.


Then wish the rest of us Merry
Christmas by handing out the presents.

Bag says,
“Sally, from Dad.“

Sally, there's something for you.
Why, thank you.

“For Mr. Mannering
from Indians at reservation.“

Foryou, Mr. Mannering.
The Indians sent it.

It won't hurt you.

“Martha, from john.”

[ Pa ]
That must be for Mrs. Maddocks.

Come and get it,

Thank you.


Oh, how beautiful!

Oh, Dad.
how wonderful!

How'd you get Ma Kettle
to part with this?

Well, I--
Elwin, look.

John! You bought
Ma's prize quilt for me!

Oh,john, how wonderful!

Go on, open up your package,
Mr. Mannering.

Oh, yes.
Let me help you.

Put it on!
Put it on!

Billy, Betty and Susie.

This makes you
honorary chief...

of our tribe.

We be friends now?


Isn't Christmas wonderful,

Ma, you've made us all very happy...

and taught me something
I needed to learn.

I'm glad,john.

Ma, I'm taking Sally out of the contest
and sending her to college myself.

You win!
We can both go.

Ladies and gentlemen,

my colleague and I are very happy
at Mr. Maddocks's announcement.

However, we can't agree.

It wouldn'! be fair to Sally.

After all, it is a very high honor
to enter college on a scholarship.

We therefore declare
the contest... a tie,

each one to receive
a two-year scholarship.

Oh, isn't it wonderful, son?

That's mighty fine of you,
Mr. Mannering.

If there were a 4-H Club around, those two
kids could earn enough for the last two years.

You're right! The 4-H Clubs have all
sorts of money-raising projects.

The members can learn by doing
By golly, I'll start one!

I'll teach farming if Ma will
teach how to make a happy home.

You can sure count on me,

By George! I'm gonna
make some changes too!

Gonna fix up this old place
real good...

soon as Geoduck
and Crowbar get the time.

Mr. Mannering, I hope you forgive me
for all the tricks I've played on you.

Forgive you, Billy?
Why, of course I will.

Boys will be boys.
What'd you expect?

This for me?
Why, thank you.


And a Happy New Year
to you too, Oscar.

Oscar, come back here!

Look, everybody! See what
Agnes gave me for Christmas!

Heavens to Betsy!