Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) Script

This is Providence...

Providence, Rhode Island, where we lived in the year 1921.

I was 16 then and a sophomore in high school.

But enough about me, for this is not my story... but the story of our family and, first and foremost... the story of my father and my mother.

Dad... Frank Bunker Gilbreth... was an industrial engineer... and a leader in the field of scientific management.

If that sounds complicated, just say that he was an efficiency expert... a man who'd shown industry how to save time.

He was a man of definite character... and once his course was set, nothing could swerve him.

Road hog!

Whenever he came home from a business trip... even if he'd been away only for a day, He brought with him an element of surprise and suspense.

For there's no doubt about it. Dad was a rugged individualist...

Brilliant but... well, let's face it... a trifle eccentric, Living by a code of his own design.

It's Daddy! It's Daddy!

Hello, live bait.

Hello, Dad. Glad you're home. Glad to be home, Anne.

Hi, Dad. I was over on the lot. Hmm. So I see.

Eighteen seconds. Not bad, not bad. But I still say we should make it in less.

- We gotta keep trying. Hello, Frank.

Hello, dear. How was your trip?

Couldn't have been better. I'm glad, dear.

Hi, there, funny face. Have any trouble with the offspring this time?

No more than usual. How about this one?

Oh, she's been good as gold. - Hey, Dad... what did you bring us?

Quiet, quiet. You'll find out later.

Fall in. Fall in. Come on, there, small fry.


Good boy, Jackie.


You, there. What's your name... Sitting Bull?

Aw, you haven't forgotten me, Daddy. I'm Fred.

Fred? Fred what? Fred Sittin Bull.

How! How!

All right, let's see your nails.

Hmm, you could stand a little soap and water on those hands, young man.

Aw, heck, Dad. What's the good of always washing 'em? They only get dirty again.

That's a risk we have to take.

Lillian, I thought I told you not to bite your nails.

I didn't bite 'em, Daddy. They broke off on the piano.

Then maybe you'd better go back to the violin.

Oh-oh. How many home runs today? Two.

Slipping, huh?

All right, Martha. Still dieting?


Very nice, Mary. Ernestine.


What's that on your face? Paint?

No, it isn't. And besides, Dad, they don't call it paint anymore. It's makeup.

I don't care what they call it. And don't think you can fool me, either.

I know paint when I see it.

Here. Spit on this.

Hm. Well, I see it isn't paint, and I apologize.

But it might have been.

As I've told you, I won't have any painted women in this house.

If you start any of that nonsense, you'll find yourself... In a convent.

Yes, Daddy, I know... the one with the 12-foot wall, near Albany.

Don't be impertinent.

Now, you'll find the chocolate bars there in my briefcase. Fall out. Fall out.

Well, Lillie, it's all settled.

Is it, dear?

Yes, ma'am... signed, sealed and ready for delivery.


What is? What is? What's ready for delivery, Dad?

Shall I? They'll have to know sooner or later.

All right. Hey, small fry, how would you kids like to live in Montclair, New Jersey?

Montclair? You mean leave Providence?

I don't know how else you'd do it. Oh, but why? Why?

Well, because it'd be nearer my work. But, gee, Dad.

I'm shortstop on our team. And I'm pitcher.

There's plenty of time before school starts.

You can form a new team in Montclair.

But we don't wanna form a new team.

We wanna be on the one we're on.

Who wants to live in Montclair?

You promised when we moved here we could stay.

Just when we were makir friends too. It's all right now, lady.

I got them marbles and the comb out, and I think most of the bird's nest.

Anyway, it works just as good as ever. I'll send you a check.

That's all right, you just sign here. Aw, Dad, please...

Be quiet, all of you!

Stop this infernal howling.

But Dad... Stop it!

All these kids yours, mister? Or is this a picnic?

They're all mine, and believe me, it's no picnic.

Aw, look... Silence!

After a few days of organized confusion... we were packed and ready to depart.

And I might add that Ringling Brothers'Circus had nothing on us.

Hurry up there, Frank. Get off my feet!

Be sure everything's out of the house before you leave, Jim.

Don't you worry, Mrs. Gilbreth. We'll take care of everything.

Have a nice trip. We'll see you Friday morning.

Yes, we'll meet the train.

Hey, Bill. Come on, there. Hurry up.

Come on. Foolish Carriage is getting restless.

I'm comir, Dad.

Come on, Bill. Make it snappy.

Mercy Maud! Scared you, didn't I, son?

Mercy Maud!

I'll bet you jumped six and 9/10ths inches.

Gee, Dad. It's all right, dear.

Teach you to keep your eyes open crossing streets, young man.

Well, is everybody in? Anne, Ernestine, Martha, Mary, Frank...

All present and accounted for, Dad. Okay.

If you're all reasonably sanitary, let's go.

Bye, Jim! Bye, Mrs. Monahan!

Good-bye! Good-bye! Good-bye, Rhode Island.

New Jersey, here we come.

Hey, Noah, what are you doir with that ark?

Collecting animals like the good lord told me, brother.

All I need now is a jackass. Hop in!

We turn to the left here, don't we, dear? I'm going to turn.

It's okay, Dad. I think you can make it.

I know I can make it. Hold out your hand.

- Hi, brother. Hi, brother.


Eh, that fan belt again. You have to get out, Bill.

Excuse me, Lillie. It's not going to blow up, is it?

Of course not. Wort take a minute to fix it.

Incidentally, now's a good time, while we're stopped, if any of you want to go see Mrs. Murphy.

Well, how about it? Not me, Dad.

All right. But remember, all of you, this is your last chance.

Can't understand why a good car like this should keep acting up.

If it's not one thing, it's another. Last week it was the carburetor.

Who did that? Uh, that was a good joke on you, Dad.

Listen, young man... there's a time and a place for jokes, and a time and a place for spankings.

And the sooner you learn... Get out. Get out.

Mercy Maud, Frank. I'll bet you jumped six and 9/10ths inches that time.

Ha, you're right, son.

That was a good joke on me. By jingo, I'll bet I did jump six and 9/10ths inches.

Oh, these kids. These kids.

Oh, excuse me, dear. I did that. It was accidental.

# You made life cheery when you called me dearie #

# 'Twas down where the bluegrass grows #

# Your lips were sweeter than julep #

# When you wore a tulip #

#And I wore a big, red rose # # Bom, bom ##

Ah, Lillie, what do you suppose piddling little families... with only five or six children do with themselves?

I can't imagine. But I do know one thing.

We'll look back on moments like these as the happiest in our lives.

You children hear that? Yes, sir.

All right. Don't forget it.

# Memories, memories # # Memories #

Dad. Hey, Dad.

Yes, son? I gotta go see Mrs. Murphy.

I asked you not 15 minutes ago, and you said that you...

Yes, I know... but, gee, I can't help it, Dad.

Me too, Dad. I do too, Dad.

By jingo, I gave you your last chance. I'm not stopping again.

But, Dad... Nothing doing. You had every opportunity.

Frank, I think you'd better stop.

All right. Out you go.

And hurry up. We haven't got all day!

Make it snappy.

All right. You can open your eyes now.

Well, what do you think of it?

Oh, Frank, it's beautiful. It's wonderful, Dad.

I'm glad you like it. Wait till you see the inside. Come on. Let's get out.

Come on there, Frank. Help your mother.

That's a good fella.

You must admit it's a mighty fine piece of property.

It's lovely.

I knew it was the right place the minute I laid eyes on it.

I didn't say much or try to describe it. I didn't want you to be disappointed.

Oh, no, Daddy. We love it. Howdy. You folks moving in here?

That's right. Gilbreth's the name. You certainly got a nice place.

I'll say that for you. Thank you. We think so.

All those kids yours? Oh, these aren't so many.

You ought to see the ones we left behind.

How you ever feed 'em?

Ah, theycome cheaper by the dozen, you know.

Come on, kids.

It was a wonderful house, and we loved living in it... but we soon found out that, while it was often too small for 12 children... it was more often too large for two servants.

As usual, Mother and Dad met their problem in the typical Gilbreth manner... head on!

The family council will please come to order.

Now, obviously, this house is too big for Mrs. Monahan and Jim Bracken... to take care of without help.

Therefore, your mother and I have called this meeting to discuss... you children taking over part of the work in the house and in the yard.

Assignments will be made on the basis of personal choice and aptitude.

Now, does the chair hear any suggestions?

Come, come, members of the council, this is a democracy. Everybody has an equal voice.

How do you want to divide the work?

In a democracy, everybody speaks. So, by jingo, start speaking.

Bill, I recognize you. What do you think?

I think Mrs. Monahan and Jim Bracken ought to do the work. They get paid for it.

Sit down. You're no longer recognized. But in a democracy...

Hush, Bill. It's almost impossible to get good servants... these days with so many children in the family.

Mr. Chairman? - Yes, son?

I think you're right.

Jim and Mrs. Monahando have too much to do.

I move we hire more people to work for us.

Second the motion! Me too.

Out of order. Sit down and be quiet, all of you.

I, uh... Uh, The chair recognizes the assistant chairman.

Well, of course, we could hire additional help, and that might be the answer.

But that would mean cutting the budget somewhere else.

Perhaps if we cut out all desserts... and allowances, we might be able to afford a maid.

And then if we cut out movies, ice cream sodas and new clothes for a year... we might even be able to afford a helper forJim too.

Uh-huh. Do I hear a motion to that effect?

How about it, Bill? You want to stop allowances? Frank? Anne?

Oh, well. I move we allot the work.

Splendid, splendid. Do I hear a second? Second the motion.

All those in favor signify. Aye.

Motion carried. Now, is there any further business?

I move we adjourn.

Not so fast, young lady. There's still that little matter of specific assignments.

For instance, the back fence, which is badly in need of whitewashing.

Do I hear any bids?

Huh? Speak up. If you want to earn a little extra spending money, here's your chance.

Yes, Bill? I'll bid $10.

You must think this is a government project. Do I hear any reasonable bids?

I... I bid 47 cents.

Forty-seven cents? Please, Daddy. Let me do it.

Tell me, how do you happen to hit on 47 cents?

I've been saving to buy a pair of roller skates, and that's how much more I need.

But you're gonna get skates for your birthday.


Oh, I'm sorry, Lillie. I wasn't supposed to let that out of the bag.

Oh, Daddy, that's wonderful. Thank you, thank you.

Besides, that's too big a job for a little girl like you.

Frank, here's your chance. What do you bid... within reason?

Oh, well. 2.50, I guess.

Good. You got yourself a contract. Now, is there any more new business?

I think this family ought to buy a dog.

Out of order. Meeting adjourned.

Well, here we are. I know you're all eager to get started... on a new school year, so out you go.

Hurry up. Hurry up. But, Dad, not all of us?

Certainly all of you. You want us to make an impression, don't you?

But this isn't our school... Ernestine's and mine.

We're gonna go to high school. We'll take care of that later.

I wanna show these people first what a rea lfamily looks like.

But it's so embarrassing.

A person with inner dignity is never embarrassed.

Besides, visits like this get results. Teachers lap it up.

I only wish I had time to send home for your mother and the babies.

And I will, too, unless you two get a move-on. Come on.

Honestly, Dad.

You have more gall...

Somebody in this family has to show a little spunk.

Come on, son. It's so silly.

Ern! Ern!

There he is.

He's the one I told you about, the captain of the swimming team.

His name is Tom Black.

Oh, he's adorable. I'll say.

What are you two hanging back there for? Come along!

Shh! Daddy, please. Why...

Why, somebody might hear you. Suppose they do?

They're gonna hear from me soon enough anyhow.

No dying-cow looks, now. Hold your heads up and look alive. Let's go.

Take your hats off.


Refer these to Miss Jensen. Give these to Miss Sweeney.

Come in.

Good morning, madam.

Just a Gilbreth invasion, or perhaps I should say a partial invasion... since I left most of them at home with their mother.

I hope we're not intruding. Oh, not at all.

I'm delighted to see you, Mr. Gilbreth.

We've heard so much about you. I understand you have...

Eleven children, ma'am, but unfortunately... only five will be under your excellent supervision:

Mary, Martha, Lillian, Bill and Frank Jr.

How do you do, sir? I just brought my two older girls, Anne and Ernestine along... so you could get a better idea of the crop we're raising.

Well, I'm so glad you dropped in, Mr. Gilbreth.

I'm sure we're all going to get along beautifully together.

It's such a pleasure...

Uh, just a minute. I'm not just dropping in.

I want to meet their teachers and see what grades they're going into.

Well, I'm afraid all our teachers are busy at the moment. You see, it's opening day...

Oh, that's all right. I'm in no hurry.

In fact, I've arranged my schedule so as to give you my entire morning.

You have? Meanwhile, as to their grades...

I see no reason why children who are well-developed mentally should be held back... by a school system geared to those of simply normal intelligence.

No. Of course not. But so much depends on their ages. Now, if you'll just...

You mean mental ages, of course.

Bill, how old are you, son? Eight.

What grade does an eight-year-old usually belong in?

The third. Then I think he'd better go in the fifth.

Oh-ho, but that's impossible, Mr. Gilbreth. Perhaps later on, if he takes tests...

By all means. I hope they'll all take a lot of tests. It's good for them.

Meanwhile to, uh, to illustrate my point... Frank... what's 46 times 83?

Three thousand, eight hundred and eighteen.

Lillian, 19 times 91.

One thousand, seven hundred and twenty-nine.

Bill, 52 times 52.

Two thousand, seven hundred and four.

Now, would you care to suggest a few large numbers?

Well, I... think I'll take your word for it, Mr. Gilbreth... and I'll see what I can do.

It would really expedite matters... if you'd have the teacher of the fifth grade step in here for a moment.

Also, while we're about it... the teachers of the third, fourth, sixth and seventh.

Ask Miss Billsop, Miss Jensen, Miss Moore, Mrs. Hallbright... and Miss Sweeney to step in here for a moment.

Yes, ma'am. - Thank you, madam.

And now, while we're waiting... perhaps it might interest you to hear something of the home training program... their mother and I have worked out for the children:

Spelling games, geography quizzes, language study...

We're learning French and German from a Victrola.

Dad's even taught us how to take a whole bath in the time it takes to play just one record.

Really? A simple matter of coordination, madam.

Like any other physical effort, scientific bathing is...

Yes, but how do you do it?

Well, this seems hardly the time and place.

I doubt if you'd be interested.

Oh, but I am. It sounds perfectly fascinating.

Yeah. Go on. Show her, Dad. Yeah. Show her.

Well, if you insist, son. This is really very simple.

First, you take the soap in your right hand, apply it to the left shoulder... run it down the top of the left arm, up the inside of the left arm to the armpit... then the ears... both of them, of course... not forgetting the back of the neck... then down the outside of the left leg, back up the inside of the left leg... then down the right leg, and up.

Then at the hip, change the soap to the left hand... and do the same thing on the right arm and shoulder.

After a couple of circular motions on the midsection and back... and some special attention to the feet... slide under for a rinse, and you rise bathed.

Oh, come in, ladies. Mr. Gilbreth is just showing me how to take a bath.

A what? Good morning, ladies.

Good morning.

In our family, sickness was taboo.

Dr. Burtors car in front of our house could mean only one thing.

- Dad! Yes?

Where's the baby? Where is it?

In her room taking her nap, of course. Why?

We mean the latest model. Is it a boy or a girl?

Is what a boy or a girl?

Aw, come on, Daddy. You can't fool us. What are we gonna name this one?

Lillie, what's got into these children? What are they talking about?

I can't imagine, dear. We wanna see the new baby.

Whatever gave you the idea there was a new baby?

That's Dr. Burtors automobile outside, isn't it?


And you were sick last night, weren't ya? I had a slight headache.

And every time you're sick there's always a baby, isn't there?

Oh, my goodness.

Babies don't come just because you're sick. I thought you knew that.

They've always come before when you were sick.

Oh, dear.

It's up to you, Lillie. You're the psychologist.

I have some very important work to do. I'll be in my study.

You understand, don't you?

Yes, I certainly do.

Well, first, about Dr. Burton.

He's here because he's afraid Jack has a whooping cough, which means you children... will have to stay away from him.

As to babies, well, I think it's about time we had a little talk.

Oh, no, Bill. Don't tell me you're getting it too?

Who's that coughing? - Me, Dad.

Well, stop it. I'm not gonna have an epidemic in this house.

We haven't time for any such nonsense.

You children have been given good health, and by jingo, it's your job to keep it.

I don't want any excuses. You hear me? Yes, sir.

All right. I think I better get... him up to the doctor. Yes, Lillie.

Where did that whatever-it-is come from?

He's a beaut, isn't he, Dad? A beaut?

Look here, you mangy mongrel...

Go on. Get out. Don't argue. Out! Out!

Martha, keep that cover on.

Remember what the doctor said.

He wants you to keep warm. Yes, Mother.

Here, darling. Put this jacket around your shoulders.

Oh, thank you, Mother.

I'm going down to the kitchen now to get your dessert... and I'll read to you, if you like.

Oh, hello, Dad. May I come in?

- Of course, dear. I won't disturb anything.

It's all right. The children have missed you.

Oh, Frank. Not you too?

Yes, yes. Looks like I belong up here too, Lillie.

Oh, dear.

Daddy's got the whooping cough.

Daddy's got the whooping cough. You children get back in bed. Go on.

Dr. Burton... - Yes?

Will you come in here a minute, please? - Right away.

Frank, sit down, dear.

Do you ache anywhere? I'll be all right, Lillie.

In heavers name, what's the trouble now?

It's Mr. Gilbreth. He's coughing too.

Oh, me. How did I ever get mixed up with this family anyhow?

Let me hear you cough.

There's nothir the matter with me.

I was only joking. You were what?

Well, it just wasn't any fun downstairs by myself, Lillie.

I wanted to be up here with the rest of the family.

Very funny. Very funny.

Frank Gilbreth, I give up.

Sometimes I think you're more trouble than the children.

I'm sorry, Lillie. But all that quiet down there makes me nervous.

Oh, really.

Tell me, Doc, how are my Mongolians coming along?

They'll live. In spite of you, you old veterinarian.

Well, I'll say one thing for you, Gilbreth. Your children don't get sick very often... but when they do, they certainly mess up... the public health statistics of the state of New Jersey.

How's that, Mr. Bones?

Ordinarily, I only have a couple of cases of whooping cough... or measles a week, but when I have to report

11 cases in a single day, they're liable... to quarantine the whole town of Montclair and close every school in Essex county.

Well, at least these are only light cases.

Pioneer stock, you know.

As far as New Jersey's concerned, whooping cough's whooping cough.

By the way, these kids have got tonsils... really ugly ones.

As soon as they're over this, they ought to come out.

I've never had mine out.

Maybe you should. Let's look. No, you don't.

There's nothing the matter with them.

Oh, stop wasting my time and sit down. What's the point of all this?

Open your mouth. Open your mouth.

Say "ah." Ah-h-h-h.

Just as I thought. Yours should have been out years ago.

You're crazy. I've never been sick a day in my life.

Let them stay in if you want to.

You're not hurting anyone but yourself.

But these children's tonsils have got to come out, all but one... Martha's.

- Hers are as sound as a dollar. Hooray for me.

Well, good night, girls. I'll see you tomorrow.

Good night, Doctor.

Say, Doc, I was just thinking.

If we have to have their tonsils out, could we do it here in the house?

Why here? What's the matter with a hospital?

Well, it struck me if we could rig up an operating room downstairs, I could photograph the operations... and study what you doctors are doing wrong.

Then I'd be able to show how you could eliminate a lot of waste motions and speed things up.

Now, wait a minute. That system of yours may be all right in factories...

And in medicine too. Ho-ho, I've been looking for a chance like this.

Now, not so fast. Nobody's going to... Oh, you're leaving, Doctor?

Lillie, we're gonna have the children's tonsils out.

Oh, Frank, do we have to?

That's what this fella here says. But it's all right. I'm gonna take movies.

Of the operations? Certainly, of the operations.

Why, there's no telling how many lives this sort of study will help save.

But doesn't it seem rather heartless, using the children as guinea pigs?

Not at all. They'll be asleep and won't know what's going on.

Besides, if it'll make you feel any better, I'll let this old butcher here yank mine out too.

Yours? Well, why didn't you say so? Now we're getting somewhere.

Oh, Frank... No, don't stop him. Let... him go ahead and cut his own throat.

That's one part of the festivities I might even enjoy.

Will you stop drooling?

By jingo, this may make you famous, you ol' quack.

All right, May, you can ease up a little now.

All right. Start... Start cranking.

Can you see it all? Is the clock in?

Yeah, it's in.

Everything's in.

Mr. Gilbreth, my stomach's beginning to...

I'm not interested in your internal organs. Just keep cranking.

Dad had said, "Think of all the fun we'll have..."

"looking at the movies and seeing ourselves asleep."

"But I'm afraid, to those waiting, it was not a very consoling thought."

"As much as they loved movies, I have a feeling that that's one epic..."

"they'd have been delighted to pass up."

I hear you poor kids couldn't have any breakfast this morning.

Aw, everybody knows you can't eat before you get operated on.

I had doughnuts for breakfast with sugar... mmm, delicious... and a big piece of apple pie that was left over from last night.

You beast. You get out of here.

Mrs. Monahan was just as sweet as she could be.

"Why don't you have another one, Martha?"

"Thanks, Mrs. Monahan, I believe I will."

"Why don't you take two to three, dear? They're so tasty."

"I really shouldn't, Mrs. Monahan.

"But maybe while those poor kids are waiting tonight...

I'll dedicate one to each of them."

Mother, will you make Martha stop talking... about what a delicious breakfast she had?

All she's done since she's been in here is gloat.

Not another word about food, Martha. Do you understand?

I'm sorry, Mother.

I won't even mention doughnuts and apple pie again.


Nothing to it. Anneslept through it just like a baby.

And I know we got some great movies. Come on, Ernestine, girl. You're next.

Don't be afraid, dear. It'll be over in a few minutes.

I'm not afraid, Mother, much.

A Gilbreth, afraid? Don't be ridiculous. After all, she's her father's daughter.

What in the world is there to be afraid of? Never heard such nonsense.

This'll all be over in a jiffy. Go on, dear.

Go ahead, dear.

That's a good girl. I'll go up with Anne.

Everything's under control.

Let's take off the robe and hop right up here on the table.

Is it going to hurt? At your age, you won't even feel it.

That's what I told her, Doctor.

All right, May.

Just relax, dear. I'll be right here with you.

How about changing the lens for this one?

I want to see exactly how his caddy hands him those knives.

But ain't it kinda hot in here? Couldn't we open a widow or somethir?

Do you want this child to get pneumonia? But this ether...

Never mind the ether. Just take care of that camera.

Ready, Doctor.

Good heavens, man, I told you I didn't want Martha.

You haven't got Martha. That's Ernestine. You sure?

Of course I'm sure, you jackass. You must be mistaken.

Here. Look carefully. There now. Isn't that Martha?

Don't you suppose I know my own children? I tell you, that's Ernestine.

Well, if this isn't Martha, we've made a horrible mistake.

We? What do you mean, we?

What kind of a mistake?

I know them by their tonsils. I thought these were Martha's.

They're the only ones that didn't have to come out.

You mean you knocked my little girl unconscious for no reason?

I'm sorry, but that's about it.

I'll admit it was careless, but you do have an uncommon lot of them... and they all look alike to me. But what do we do now?

Take them out anyhow. They may have to come out eventually.

The worst part of an operation is dreading it beforehand.

Go get Martha ready. But she's been eating all morning.

Never mind. Go get her. I'm not going through another day like this.

Start grinding. At least we'll salvage something.

Poor Martha.

It was a blow, but in she went full of pie, doughnuts and indignation.


What is all this about Martha?

This fool, Burton... he got her mixed up with Ernestine.

It's all his fault.

I don't care whose fault it is. I think it's a shame... after letting that poor child eat all those doughnuts for breakfast... only to be snatched up and brought in to be butchered.

Now, there's nothing to worry about, Lillie.

It's no worse than a mosquito bite.

Besides, it's almost over. You better wait in the other room.

Go on, dear.

There we are.

Keep grinding.

Frank, I think this whole thing...

But you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

All it takes is the tiniest little cut at the back of the throat.

Just to show you it's nothing, I'll go next.

I thought you wanted to watch your pictures.

Oh, I'll watch, all right.

I'm only gonna take a local anesthetic. Ho-ho, I won't miss a thing.

But does Dr. Burton think a local anesthetic is wise?

That's just a lot of nonsense... about my physical condition.

These doctors don't know what they're talking about half the time.

I'll be in the amen corner when they're laying him away.

Besides, I wanna get this over with before lunch. I'm starved.

Gee, Dad, you act like you're lookir forward to it.

Why, sure, son. There's nothing to it. Huh! Just like rollir off a log.

All right, who's next?

I am.

Okay, make it snappy. A man can stand just so much.

Frank, I hope you're not making a mistake. After all, at your age...

Age has nothing to do with it, Lillie.

It's simply a matter of resolution.

Let's go.

Yes, indeed.

To Dad, a tonsil operation was nothing, just like... how did he put it?

"Just like rolling off a log."

- Frank! Oh, Lillie.

My throat. This is awful. Yes. I know, dear.

I... I can't talk. Nurse, I'll take him.

You're all right, old pioneer.

You just had to have it the hard way, that's all.

Lillie, I... I'm dying. Now, come on, old-timer.

I'll give you something to make you sleep.

How am I gonna sleep with my throat cut?

You'll be all right in a couple of weeks. Mr. Gilbreth! Mr. Gilbreth!

Go away. Go away. Can't you see I'm dying?

I hate to tell you this, but it looks like none of them motion pictures'll be any good.

No good? I forgot to put any film in the camera.

You what?

Please. Oh, now, please, please don't get excited.

- Anyhow, it's too much for me. I quit! Let me at him.

Frank! Let me at him!

Children, children. Now, we are not doing our best.

Suppose we start over, and this time, let's be sure everybody's in the same key.

Oh, it's no use, Miss Ethel.

We might as well face it. We just haven't any musical talent.

We mustrt let our father hear us say that.

Why? Doesn't he know yet?

He takes it for granted that all of his children are gifted.

Well, far be it for me to disillusion him.

Let's go. All right, children? Ready?

One, two, three...

Softly, now. Softly as a little brook tinkling through a still forest.

Excuse me, but do you by any chance hear a little brook... tinkling through a still forest?

Poor Miss Ethel. What fortitude.

You're home early, dear.

Yes, I know. Well, I had a letter today... from Dr. Bleneim of Czechoslovakia.

Thought you might like to see it. Oh, do they want you to come?

There's nothing really definite yet, but Bleneim thinks there's a good chance... they'll ask me to speak at the International Management Conference in Prague.

Oh, Frank, I knew they would. May I see it?

Let's not count our chickens too soon.

This is gonna be a pretty high-powered meeting.

It'll attract the best scientific minds in the world.

That's why it's such a wonderful opportunity to show other countries... what motion study really is and have your methods accepted universally.

I admit it's what I've always hoped for.

It might mean a great deal financially too, Lillie.

But the important thing is... that it will establish you as a leader in the whole field.

I'm so happy, Frank. I knew you'd be pleased. And why not?

After all, if it hadn't been for you and your help...

Will you tell the children tonight? You can tell them if you want... but warn them... not a word about it yet.

But I won't be here tonight. You won't be here? Where are you going?

Have you forgotten? I have a date at the hospital.

So soon? Yes, dear, I'm afraid so.

But I thought you were only joking about going to the hospital.

After all, you never went to one before just to have a baby.

Maybe I never thought about it before.

Going to be awfully lonely around here without you, Lillie.

I'll hurry back as quickly as I can.

By the way, do you mind what it is?

Why, I thought we'd already agreed it would be a boy. After all, we have six girls.

But of course, anything you decide will be all right with me.

Thank you, dear. Have you thought of a name?

Why, no, I haven't. What do you think of Robert?

Robert? Why Robert? Who's named Robert?

Oh, no one in particular. It's just a nice name, that's all.

I always knew you had a strange collection of beaus during your college years... but, uh, which one was Robert?

The one with the long hair and the violin, or the one that lisped... like "thith"?

When you're quite through, we'll decide on a name.

In the meantime, if you want to go into the subject of old flames remember... two can play at that game.

I seem to recall a certain lady poetess...

Never mind. Never mind...

I wouldn't think of blighting an old schoolgirl romance.

Male or female, Robert it is.

For the 12th time, Dad's verdict was exactly the same.

Well, I'll say this for him. He's every inch a Gilbreth.

I'm glad you approve. Yes. I expect we'd better keep him too.

Well, Lillie, it's over. Twelve of'em.

And hardly an idiot in the bunch.

And you were afraid you'd be the last of the Gilbreths.

I admit, you had me worried there for a while.

Four girls in a row. That can be pretty nerve-racking.

Of course, you know I did it deliberately.

Come here, young fella.

Let's you and me get acquainted.

Be careful with him, Frank. I don't think hospitals approve of fathers.

Hospitals. Heh.

Young man, did I ever tell you about the night your mother and I were married... and we decided to have an even dozen like you, hmm?

You set the actual target, dear... six boys and six girls.

I believe you even made a memorandum of it.

That's right, son. Sounds kind of silly now, doesn't it?

Not half as silly as it sounded then.

Honestly, dear, did you really think we'd be able to go through with it?

Why, certainly.

I always knew that anything you and I teamed up on, Lillie, would be a success.

It'll seem kind of funny, won't it? For the first time in 17 years... we'll be able to go to bed without setting the alarm for a 2:00 feeding.

It's certainly gonna be a luxury, isn't it?

A wonderful luxury... and I'll hate it.

Well, Bob, you better get back to your mother.

Looking after her is gonna be one of your jobs from now on.

And incidentally, young man, she's a pretty wonderful woman.

Anyway, that's one man's opinion.

That's good. Smile, now.

Smile so I can see the whites of your teeth.

And stop fidgeting. How can I focus this thing if you keep on fidgeting?

Children, please be quiet. This won't last much longer.

Anne, you're the oldest. Help your mother keep them quiet.

I'm afraid that would require an act of God.

Now, stop moving for all our sakes and smile.

That's right. Now, listen to your sister. Come on, now. Let's have a great big smile.

Come on. Smile for Daddy.

That's better. Are we all ready?

Jane, take your hands down from your ears. That's a good girl.

Now, then, here we go. Hold it. Hold it.

Ho-o-old it!

I think that was a good one, Lillie. Ha-ha, this new flash certainly works fine.

Yes, it certainly does.

Now that we're all together, whadaya say? Yeah, it's a swell time.

You get the chair and the gavel, and I'll get the table.

Okay. - Thank you, dear.

Come, children. It's past your bedtime. - Before you go upstairs, Lillie... don't you think we ought to take one more, just to be on the safe side?

I think not, dear. Why, after all, we should.

It's the first time we've had all 12 together.

No, Frank. Seven explosions are quite enough in one night.

Okay, Lillie. You're the boss.

Well, what's that for?

Dad, we've been talkir something over... and we wondered, as long as we're all here, if we couldn't have a family council.

Well, that's possible. What's on your mind, son?

We want to do it legally, Dad, in regular meeting.

Very good. All right, everybody. Come on. Let's take seats.

No, Frank. I have to get the babies to bed.

This won't take long.

After all, if the children are interested... I'll take them up, Mother.

I, uh... I think they want you down here.

All right, dear. But what's all mystery about?

You'll find out. Come, Jane.

All right, kids, take your places. I'll be at your service in a moment.

Hurry up, there. Make it snappy. Excuse me, gentlemen.

Now, then, are we all settled?

Now, the, uh... the family council will please come to order.

Now, then, what's the problem?

Mr. Chairman? Yes?

It's been brought to our attention that the assistant chairman... Mother... intends to buy a new rug for the dining room.

And since the entire membership will be required to look upon and sit in chairs... resting on said rug, we move that the council be consulted before any rug is purchased.

Second the motion. Me too!

That's a point well taken. Any discussion?

We'd like to ask the assistant chairman how much it's going to cost.


Mr. Chairman, I move that not more than $95 be spent.

Second the motion. Me too.

Well, this idea of saving five dollars is a very laudable one. Let me commend you.

Now, all those in favor of spending only $95 for a rug signify by saying "aye."


Carried. Now, is there any further business?

Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. I move we spend the five dollars we've just saved to buy a dog.

- Second the motion. Out of order. Out of order.

Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute.

You children know very well how I feel about having animals around here.

But, Mr. Chairman, a dog would be a pet. William...

Everyone in the family could pat him and I would be his master.

A dog would be a friend, Mr. Chairman. He could eat scraps of food, and...

Save motions. What was that?

And that would save motions for the garbage man.

A dog would keep burglars away. He would sleep on the foot of my bed... and I would wash him whenever he was dirty.

A dog would be an accursed nuisance, that's what he'd be.

He'd be our master. He'd eat us out of house and home.

He'd spread fleas from the garret to the basement.

And he'd attach himself to me. Ho, they always do. And I won't have it.

But, Mr. Chairman, I promise... No.

No filthy, flea-bitten creature's gonna share my bed and board.

This whole idea is ridiculous. But, Mr. Chairman, I...

Lillie, don't you see where this is leading us?

If we start throwing our money away like this, the next thing they'll want is... ponies, roadsters, trips to Hawaii.

You tell 'em it's out of the question.

I think, dear, we can rely on the good sense of the children.

After all, a five-dollar dog... is not a trip to Hawaii. But, Lillie...

Question. Vote! Vote! Vote!

No, no! This whole thing's out of order. If I'd known what you were up to, I'd...

Vote! Vote! Vote! All those in favor...

Aye! Ayes have it!

No. No. I still say no. No!

The ayes have it, dear. But, Lillie...

The meeting's adjourned.

A dog.


Dad was right.

There were 14 Gilbreths in the house, but Mr. Chairman... for thus was he christened... soon dispelled all doubt as to which Gilbreth was his favorite.

In no time at all, they were bosom companions.

There was no end to Dad's determination to save time.

Ready? Go.

And in these experiments, large or small, Mother was always at his side... a partner in every enterprise.

Stop. How long was that? Seven seconds.

Good. Now we'll do it the other way.

Ready? Go.

That was better... only five and a half seconds.

By jingo, I knew it. Bottom to top, that's the answer.

Along with Dad's, Mother's fame as a psychologist... and industrial consultant had grown also...

To such an extent that people came from far and wide to solicit her help.

Mrs. Gilbreth? Yes?

I'm Amelia Mebane. I wonder if I could talk with you for a moment.

I'm very busy. If... If you could tell me...

Well, I'll only take a moment of your time.

Well, won't you come in?

Thank you.

In here, please.

I understand you're very civic-minded, Mrs. Gilbreth.

I believe in being a good citizen, yes.

Wort you sit down? Thank you.

You lecture too, I hear. Occasionally.

Now, just what is it you wanted to... Well, it's...

It's about birth control.

Birth control?

Yes. The National League of Planned Parenthood... is organizing a local chapter in Montclair.

I was told that you'd be interested. I?

I met a friend of yours on the train last night... a next-door neighbor, I believe.

She felt that you were just the person we're looking for.

She was sure you'd be willing to cooperate.

Well, just how would you want me to cooperate?

Why, by being the moving spirit behind our Montclair chapter.

That's a pretty big job, isn't it?

Oh, yes. Yes, there's work to be done.

That's why I'm appealing to you... a civic-minded career woman with a... and this is most important... with a large house where one can hold meetings.

Well, of course, I'll have to consult my husband.

Oh, is he interested in good works too?

Oh, yes. I think he'll be very interested in this.

Excuse me. I'll call him. Certainly.

Can you come into the living room a moment, dear?

I'm awfully busy, Lillie.

But we have a guest, dear. A lady from New York... who wants me to be the head of the local birth control organization.

Of the what?

Shh. It's a pretty big job, dear.

Oh, indeed.

Well, in that case, Lillie, let's go.

Mrs. Mebane, this is my husband, Mr. Gilbreth.

How do you do, Mr. Gilbreth? A pleasure, madam.

It's a great pleasure to meet a woman engaged in such a noble cause.

Thank you. And it's a pleasure to find a man who thinks it is noble.

Usually we find the husbands so much less sympathetic with our aims than the wives.

You'd be surprised at some of the horrible things men have said to me.

Yes, I can imagine. And yet, if you could see, as I have... relatively young women growing old before their times.

Ah, a pity. A great pity.

Excuse me, Mrs. Mebane, just a moment. Why, of course.

Why, how odd. What's he doing, Mrs. Gilbreth?

Whistling. Oh, yes, I know.

But why? Oh, he frequently whistles.

Uh... - Gangway!

Come on, Jackie. Hurry up, there. Pick up your feet.

Make it snappy. Where's Frank? He's always late. Come here, Frank.

Now, then. Are we all assembled? Yeah.

Fourteen seconds. By jingo, I knew you could do it. It's a new world's record.

- What is it? - Yeah, what'd you call us for?

I want you to meet a very important lady.

Now, come with me, children. Watch your manners.

Children, this is Mrs. Mebane.

How do you do? How do you do? Hello. Hello.

I... don't quite understand. Is this a school?

No, it isn't a school.

Then it's... No. Oh, no. Yes, they are.

They are what, madam? They're yours. Don't try to deny it.

I shouldn't think of denying it, madam. Let me introduce the family, at least most of it.

Seems to me there should be some more of them around here.

Heaven help us.

Lillie, how many head of children have we now, would you say offhand?

Well, the last time I counted them, dear, there seemed to be an even dozen.

A dozen?

I may have missed one or two, but not many.

I'd say twelve was a pretty fair guess.

Disgusting. And within 18 miles of national headquarters too.

Shall we have some tea? Certainly not. Good day.

Good day, madam. Good day.

It looks to me as though somebody's been pulling my leg!

How revolting.

And within 18 miles of national headquarters too.

Our summers, we spent at Nantucket... in a cottage and two abandoned lighthouses.

Dad had named it "The Shoe" in honor of Mother... who, he said, reminded him of the old woman who lived in one.

Come on, slowpokes. Last one in is Kaiser Bill.

There you go, young lady.

You boys look out after her.

Come along, Anne, Ernestine. There's nothing you can do about it.

You know how your father feels about the primitive life.

Now, be good, children. We will.

You'd think Dad invented this ocean.


Look. Is that Tom Black?

It certainly looks like him.

It is. He's the lifeguard.

Oh, I can't imagine what he's doing here.

Well, he has to keep in condition for swimming somewhere, doesn't he?

Oh, yes. But here... in Nantucket.

Leave your towels here, children.


Wonderful air. Ho-ho. Oh, now, Frank, please don't overdo it.

You know what Dr. Burton said. That quack? He can't scare me.

My heart's as good as his any day. Better.

But this water's always cold. It's a shock.

A good dip in the ocean never hurt anybody. Hurry up. Get your robe off.

Let's go, kids. Come on, girls.

The sooner we get this over with, the better.

You go on ahead, Mother.

We'll be in in just a few minutes. All right. But don't be long.

We won't.

Why don't we stroll by and speak to him? Why should we?

Well, after all, we see him at school, don't we?

Yes. We see him, but he doesn't even know I... we exist.

Flaming youth. Heh. Look at them!

Fine spectacle:

Bobbed hair, rolled stockings, painted knees.

I don't know what's coming over girls today.

Don't they know what's going to happen to them if they go around looking like...


Frank, that word's "Eskimo." "Jezebels" I said, and "Jezebels" I mean.

But that's the way everybody dresses today.

Everybody but Ernestine and me. Why, we're... we're freaks.

Freaks or not, you're not going around with bare knees... for all the boys to ogle... not while I'm alive.

Boys don't ogle when everybody dresses that way.

Don't tell me what boys ogle.

I was young once myself.

And I'd hate to tell you what would have happened in my day... if girls had dressed like some of these girls do today.

What? Never you mind what.

But, Mother, what's wrong with the way girls dress today?

Is it a crime to try to look as attractive as you can?

That isn't the point, dear.

Men... that is, nice men... don't want to marry girls who make themselves cheap.

They may run around with them before they're married... but when they settle down, they want someone they can respect.

Well, they certainly respect me.

I'm the most respected girl I know.

Why, they respect me so much, they won't even look at me.

Me either.

That's too bad.

Honestly, Dad, how do you expect us to ever be popular?

Popular! Popular!

That's all I hear. That's the magic word, isn't it?

That's what's the matter with this generation.

Nobody thinks about being smart or clever.

Huh. No, sir. They just want to be pop-ular!

Huh. But, Dad, if you'd only be reasonable.

For the last time, no. I'll not have any fancy women in my family.

If other people want to go to the devil, that's their business.

But you're not going with them. Is that clear?

It oughta be. We've heard it often enough.

Otherwise you'll find yourself right in that convent... the one with the 12-foot wall.

Mother, what are we gonna do?

Go back and have your swim, dear. I'll talk to your father.

Oh, but, Mother, you... I know, dear. I understand.

Now, you girls run along. I don't feel like going in, Mother.

I'll help you with the table. All right, dear.

I want it back. You said I could have it.

Give it to me!

No, you don't. Come on and catch me, if you want it.

But it's my turn to play with that ball. If you want it, get it.

Andy, button me, will you, please?

"Button me." That's all I hear from morning till night.

It's, "Andy, button me up," or "Andy, unbutton me."

Aw, you're not mad. No, but I'm fed up.

Honestly, won't you ever learn to button yourself?

You're pretty when you're mad.

Oh, you little dickens. Go on. Get outta here.

Look out, convent. Here I come. And I mean the one with the 12-foot wall.

What have you done now? Nothing. It's what I'm about to do.

And I want you to know I'm not doing this just for myself.

I'm doing it for you and Martha and Mary and Lillian and Jane...

'cause I know you'll never be emancipated until I pave the way.

What are you talking about? Oh, Anne, you're not.

I've got to, otherwise we'll all go to our graves old maids... still wearing cootie garages over our ears and long drawers.

Oh, but Dad'll murder you. You'll back me up, won't you?

Of course I will. But who's gonna back Dad up?

Someone's got to take a stand somewhere... and I've made up my mind... I'm going to.

Oh, but, Anne... There!

Oh, no.

What is it, Dad? Whatcha got?

Now, hold your horses. Keep your shirts on. You remember I promised you children... there'd be no formal studying this summer... no language lessons or schoolbooks.

But I've discovered a way to teach you the Morse code without studying.

Oh, Dad, do we have to? Not if you don't want to.

But those who don't are gonna be sorry. Yes, indeedy.

I've painted the code on the bathroom wall... the one that faces you.

Now, you don't have to make a project of studying it, but, uh... you'll be surprised how much you'll absorb each day when...

Who's that? It's a telegram. I'll get it.

It's all right, Frank. It's probably for me. I'll go. Hold that.

Let me see it. I will. Just a minute.

Does it work? Of course it works.

Martha, will you call Anne and Ernestine, please?


There we are. Thank you, Jed.

'Twas no bother. How's the family? Oh, couldn't be better.

Good. Glad to see you back, Mr. Gilbreth.

Thank you very much. Be seeing you.


Don't poke it so hard.

Get down, Fred. You want to break it?

What is it, dear? A cable from Bleneim in Prague.

It seems the management conference program is filled without me.

Oh, Frank, really? Bleneim says he's still working... but for me not to count on it.

He's trying to let me down easy, but I gather there's a general lack of interest.

I'm sorry, dear.

But don't be too disappointed. There'll be other conferences.

I suppose I was counting on it too much, Lillie, but...

Well, no use crying over spilt milk.

You go ahead with dinner. I'll be right in.

All right, dear.

Hey, see what you've done?

It's just a screw. Here, I'll fix it.

You better before Daddy sees it.

There. Now it's all right.

- Let me work it. - Wait a minute!

Leave that alone, now, children. Sit down.

Come along.

I'll take those, Mrs. Monahan.

Where's Anne? She's coming up, Mother.

Come along, dear. We're rea...

Anne, what have you done?

Look at yourself. Oh, I have looked at myself, Mother.

Please don't ask me to look again. I don't want to spoil my appetite.

But your hair. Your beautiful hair. What's the matter with her hair?

Take that ridiculous wig off.

It's not a wig. I've cut my hair. You've what?

You can kill me if you want to, but I've done it.

I think it looks snaky. Besides, it's more efficient.

I'll bet she can fix her hair now in 15 seconds.

Fix what hair?

She hasn't any hair left to fix. Anne, how could you do this to yourself?

Herself? How could she do it to an Airedale?

Well, I won't have it. I want it grown back fast.

I'm not gonna grow it back. I don't care what you say. I'm sick of being a freak!

Anne, come back here. Anne? Let her go, dear.

After all, it isn't such a tragedy.

All the girls her age are bobbing their hair now.

But I distinctly told her...

But you forget. She's growing up. She's no longer a child.

She has to make some decisions for herself.

Nevertheless, I'm not gonna have her defying me...

Please, come and have dinner.

I'll talk to her after we've had time to think this over.

But, Lillie, if we start letting the children do as they please...

Please, dear, for my sake.

Well, all right, Lillie, but...

By the time vacation was over... and we were on our way back to Montclair...

Dad was reconciled.

My bobbed hair had been a bitter pill for him to swallow... but like all fathers from the beginning of time... he gulped and swallowed it.

- What's that? Oh. Hello, Daddy. Come on in.

You might as well know the worst. I...

I bought these with my own money and I'm going to wear them.

Oh, no, you're not. You're gonna take them back where you got them.

They embarrass me even to look at them. Oh, but, Dad...

Do you mean to tell me this is all the underwear women put on nowadays?

But they don't show. Besides, Dad, everybody wears them now.

If you don't believe me, you can come and see for yourself.

That won't be necessary.

Oh, Daddy, please be sensible. You...

You don't really mean I have to take them back? Not really, do you, Dad?

Do you? Well, all right.

But no silk stockings and high-heeled shoes.

I'm not gonna have a lot of doctor bills because of foot trouble.

Thank you, Dad. And while we're both in the mood... you might as well know it's a little late for that now.

I've been wearing them ever since we came home from Nantucket.

Now, Anne... - Andy! Andy, telephone!

- It's a boy calling! A boy? Excuse me, Dad!

Come back here. I'm not saying you can wear those things.

Better hurry up before he gets away. Who do you suppose it is?

Yeah, who could be calling you? Shut up.

Hello. Oh, hello, Joe.

Fine, thank you.

What? Oh, I'd love to. You will?

8:00? Oh, that would be simply wonderful.

Thank you for calling. Good-bye.

You see, Dad? I told you if I started dressing like the other girls... everything would be all right. Who was it, dear?

Joe Scales. He's asked me to the senior prom Friday night.

It's the dance of the year. Why, how lovely, dear. I'm so glad.

Who's Joe Scales? Is he nice?

Well, he comes from an awfully nice family, and he's a cheerleader.

He's got his own car too. Two fine recommendations.

What about a raccoon coat?

Oh, he'll probably get that next year when he goes to college.


Come on. I've got to decide what I'm gonna wear. It's formal.

Just a minute. Friday night, you say? Yes.

Let me see. Um, yes. That's all right. I can make it.

You can make what? The dance, of course.

You didn't think I was gonna let you go out by yourself with a cheerleader, did you?

Daddy, you wouldn't spoil everything by doing a thing like that, would you?

What'll he think of me? That you're a sensible... well brought-up child with sensible parents.

Honestly, Dad, don't you trust your own flesh and blood?

Of course I trust you. I trust all my daughters.

It's that cheerleader I don't trust. Oh, no.

Now, make up your mind to it. Either I go, or you don't.

Well, shall I tell him we'll go in his car or ours?

His car?

Ho-ho, I should say not. I haven't seen it, but I can imagine what it's like.

We'll go in Foolish Carriage.

Come on, Lillie.

Oh, when you and the others start going out...

I just hope you appreciate what I've had to suffer for you.

Come on, Joe. Okay, baby.

Is your pop ready?

Great Caesar's ghost, Lillie, it's Joe College in the flesh.

And if he "pops" me once more, I'll pop him right back.

Shh, dear. I think he's kind of cute, in a vest pocket way.

Cute? Heh.

He looks like what might happen if a pygmy married a bob-tailed penguin.

And look at that car.

Well, don't worry. You'll be riding in yours, not that contraption.

Thank heavens for small favors. I'd better bring Foolish Carriage around.

Come on, children. Come on.

Boy, oh, boy. You look good enough to eat.

And I'll bet you do. Get it?

"I'll bet you do... eat"?

Wort you come in, Joe? I'd like you to meet my family.

Sure, baby. It'll be a pleasure.

Now, you children behave yourselves.

Mother, this is Mr. Scales. Good evening, Mr. Scales.

Hiya, Mrs. Gilbreth. I'm fine, thank you.

And these are Anne's brothers and sisters.

Hiya, gang.

Hi. This is quite a family.

Yes. Will you excuse me, please, while I get my wrap?

Why, sure, baby. On the double quick, huh?

Wont you sit down, Mr. Scales?

No, thanks. I'd rather stand. We'll only be a minute.

Well, just make yourself at home. Yeah, sure. Thanks.

What's new, kids? Nothir.

Um, did you ever see a William Tell tie? Uh-uh.

You didn't, huh? Well, you pull the bow, and it hits the apple, get it?

It hits the apple... the Adam's apple, see?

Gee, you're the first cheerleader we ever saw up close.

Yeah? How about showing us how you do a yell?

Andy and Ern taught most of'em to us. I don't mind if I do.

Do you know the old Montclair High rah? We know that one.

Let's hit it. Let me get rid of my hat.

I wanna hear you holler, get me? Yeah.

Ready? Rah! Rah! Rah, rah, rah!

Rah, rah, Montclair! Rah, rah, Montclair! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah!

Oh, you Montclair!

Psst. Psst. - Gee, I wish I could be a cheerleader.

How did you get to be one?

- You gotta get elected. - But don't you have to practice?

- I don't know. It just comes natural. The car won't start.

What'll I do? Go in his car.

Do I look like a chicken waiting for a place to roost?

He isn't very big. I don't think anything will happen to Anne.

Maybe if you warn her to come home early.

I said I was going and I am, even if it has to be in that insane calliope.

Daddy, have you metJoe? Uh, not yet, I haven't.

All set, huh? Mighty fancy, I'll say.

This is my father, Mr. Gilbreth. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Gilbreth.

Good evening, young man.

I hear you kind of go in for this time-saving racket.

I manage to make a fair living.

I got a few ideas.

I'd like to talk to you about sometime. That would be a great pleasure.

We're late. Don't you think we ought to go?

Let's shake that thing.

Good night, gang. Good night, Mrs. Gilbreth.

Good night!

Good night, Mr. Scales. Have a good time, dear.

We will, Mother.

I know it's not your fault, Lillie... but things would have been a whole lot easier... if you'd taken my advice and had all boys.

I'm sorry, dear. I'll try to be more careful with the next dozen.

Boy, is that a car! I bet you he can do 50 in it.

What's so wonderful about that? Fifty's not so fast.

Yeah? Well, I'd like to see you do it, fatty.

You shut up.


Good night, Mother. Good night, dear.

How's about the little old rumble seat, pops?

You know the old saying, "Two's company."

I'm well acquainted with that expression, young man.

You all right, Dad? Dandy.

And now, if you'll be good enough to keep it down to a dull roar, let's go.


Special delivery for Mr. Frank Gilbreth. I'll sign for it.

Thank you. Good night.

Good night.

Who's it from? It's postmarked "Prague."

Mother, it's the invitation. Oh, I hope so.

Go on, Mother. Open it. You know Dad would want you to.

Yes, go on.

But I hate to open anyone else's mail. Oh, but this is different.

Yes, I suppose he wouldn't really mind. Of course he wouldn't.

Listen. "Dear Gilbreth...

"the board of directors of the International Management Conference..."

"have voted unanimously to extend to you an invitation..."

"to speak at their forthcoming meeting in Prague."

Oh, Mother.

"At the same time, I am reliably informed...

"a similar invitation will be extended to you... to address the World Power Conference in London. Bleneim."

Gee, and Dad just missed it. I wish I could get this to him somehow.

Couldn't we telephone him? There's no telephone in the gym.

You hop on your bicycle and run down there and give it to him.

Okay, Mother. Sure.

That's a good boy.

Wouldn't you give anything to see Daddy's face when he reads it?

Yes, dear, anything.

Well, unfortunately, I can't ride a bicycle.

Hiya, Joe. Hi, Anne. Hiya, fellas. Here you are, sonny boy.

What held you two up? Kinda early to start neckir, ain't it?

Shh. Lxnay. Lxnay. Oh, excuse me, sir.

Hello, Anne. Hi, Anne.

Gee, it's her father.

What's he doing here? Chaperoning Anne. Isn't it a scream?

The way that cookie's looking tonight, she needs chaperoning.

Hiya, Joe. Hiya, pal.

Where'd you get the hand-me-downs? Easy. Don't bruise the material.

Hey, Joe, who's the third wheel?

Yeah, you said it. Third wheel is right.

You see, Dad? Everybody's talking. I don't know why boys even bother with me.

Well, I know, if you don't, and that's exactly why I'm here.

Don't you sort of feel like... like what they said... a third wheel?

Yes. That's what I'm gonna keep on being.

I might not be able to whip some of these fullbacks... but if I see any of them start taking liberties... at least I'll be able to run for help.

All set, baby? Come on. Let's give it the old hips.

So long, pop. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.


Lipstick, honey? No, thanks.

Do me a favor, will you, sugar? Look in my bag and hand me my perfume.

Sure, Debby. Oh, what a darling bottle.

Well, go ahead. Help yourself.

Oh, I don't think I should. I never use perfume.

You don't? Why, I'd simply die before I'd go out without my perfume on.

Why, I'd feel positively naked. Go on. Put a little behind your ear.

Well, maybe just a dab won't matter. Oh, it's wonderful, Debby.

A little old boy I met in New Haven sent it to me.

You know something? I just got to meet your daddy. I think he's so cute.

All the girls at school do. I could just eat him up.

That's nice, but he's kind of old-fashioned, you know.

Then I'll just adore him, 'cause I'm awfully old-fashioned myself too.

Maybe it's 'cause I was born in Mississippi.

You got to be old-fashioned to be born in Mississippi.

But you will be careful, won't you, Debby... about the perfume and lipstick and everything?

Now, don't you worry, honey. My daddy's the same way... always carryir on about me.

But I notice he doesn't carry on when it's someone else's daughter.

- Dad? Oh, Anne.

Dad, I'd like you to meet one of my very dearest friends, Deborah Lancaster.

She's from Mississippi. How do you do?

I've just been dying to get somebody to introduce me, Mr. Gilbreth.

Why, I've been hoping to meet you ever since you started visiting our school.

Is that so? Well, well. I'm delighted. Delighted.

So, you're from Mississippi, are you?

Yes, sir. I'm just a little old fugitive from a plantation.

Pardon me.

Hello, Debby. Hello, honey.

Dad, this is Tom Black. How do you do?

How are you, Mr. Gilbreth? I'm very well, thank you, young man.

At least I was. I'm sorry. How about a dance?

You mind, Dad? Not at all.

I'm sure this young lady and I will have a very pleasant time.

We won't be long.

Hey, what have you done to yourself? Nothing. What do you mean?

You didn't look like this in Nantucket last summer, baby.

How would you know what I looked like? You never even noticed.

Well, I'm noticing you now... and I mean.

If you'd rather be out there dancing, don't let me detain you.

Oh, no, Mr. Gilbreth. I'd much rather sit this one out with you.

Anne tells me you've just been revolutionizing industry... just saving millions of dollars in time and things.

By jingo, that smells good. Do you like it?

A little old boy from New Haven sent it to me. But I mean, What does anybody want to save all that time for, Mr. Gilbreth?

So as to be able to sit here and talk... to a... Pretty little lady like you.

Why, I declare. Anne didn't tell me she had such a gallant daddy... and so good-looking too.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that. You'd be surprised... at the things other girls are saying about you.

Why, they're only hopir you'll come to all our dances from now on.

Is that so? Well, if I'd known that...

I'd have started comir sooner.

There just gonna hate me if they don't get to meet you too. You mind?

Oh, no. No. Of course not. Bring 'em over. As many as you like.

Oh, thank you, sugar... I mean... Excuse me, Mr. Gilbreth.

Now, don't you go away, you hear me? I'll be right back.

How about some punch? Oh, I'd love some.

Say, your old man sure is swell. Dad's really sweet, but...

Believe me, you've got to hand it to him, coming here like this just to look after you.

I tried to get him not to, but... I'll get it.

Excuse me, Mike. Sure, Tom.

Hope you like pineapple.

I do.

I mean, where are you gonna find fathers like yours today?

Sure bet you're proud of him. Proud of him?

If I ever have a daughter, I'm sure gonna watch after her.

You aren't gonna catch me letting her run around... by herself with guys, you know, trying to act funny.

You aren't?

You wouldn't catch me marrying anybody... whose folks let her act like that either.

You wouldn't?

Oh, a fella likes to run around with 'em, maybe... just for a good time before he gets married, but... when it comes to settling down, none of these flappers for me.

I want a girl I can respect.

Why, that's funny. That's what my mother says.

Believe me, baby, she's right. I've been around, and I know.

Well, of course it does make a girl feel awfully good... to know that her parents care what she does.

Sure makes you stop and think, all right... an important man like Mr. Gilbreth sitting in there all by himself... not even dancing, just watching.

I... I was just about to ask him to dance when you came over.

Yeah? Well, come on.

I guess I can spare one dance. But just one, you understand. The rest are mine.

What about Joe Scales? That wet smack?

After all, he is my date. What am I gonna do with him?

Throw him back, baby.

He's too small to keep anyhow.


I can't believe it.

Well, what do you know? Say, not bad, either.

Come on. Let's dance. No, wait a minute.

I have an idea something tremendous has happened.

Yeah? What?

Oh, you wouldn't understand, only I guess it's my salvation.

I don't get it.

It's too deep for me. I'll tell you someday. Excuse me.

Excuse me.

Excuse me, Dot. May I cut in, please? Oh, certainly, Anne.

I just love dancing with you, Mr. Gilbreth.

Thank you, young lady.

Well, I hope you haven't been too lonely, Dad.

Oh, no. I've managed.

Funny. I didn't know you could dance.

There's lots of things you don't know, young lady.

Maybe you ought to congratulate me. What for?

After all, it isn't every girl in Montclair High... whose father can be the belle of the ball.

I wanted to show friends of yours they're not the only ones who can dance.

Your mother and I... Okay, Dad. I understand.

Now, let's be honest. They're not really bad kids, are they?

I suppose they're all right, after their fashion.

And you're not really gonna tag along with me every time I go out, are you?

We'll decide that when I get back.

I won't be able to tag along while I'm in Europe.

In Europe? But I thought you weren't going to Europe.

Oh, yes. I'm gonna speak in London as well as Prague.

When did you find out? The invitation just came.

Your mother sent it over by Frank. Oh, Daddy, that's wonderful.

Now, Anne, dear... Anne, don't get emotional.

If you're gonna toddle with me, by jingo, let's toddle.

Okay, Dad. Let's go.

Thank you.

Are you sure you have everything, dear? I think so.

Both your speeches? Right here in my briefcase.

How about your pills? Enough to last a lifetime.

You'd better hurry then. You haven't much time.

Be right with you.

Anne? Ernestine? Come along, girls.

Your father's ready to leave. - We're coming.

Frank, you'd better take his suitcases. Yes, ma'am.

Mother, why can't we go to the station with Daddy?

Yeah, I wanna see the train.

When I get back, I'll show you lots of trains.

But I don't intend to start off to Europe wringing wet with tears.

You know how I feel about good-byes.


Yes? Here's something for you... but don't open it till you get on the boat.

More socks?

Whose idea was it for me to learn to knit in the first place?

Okay, I plead guilty. Thank you, dear.

Well, I better get started. Trains don't wait, you know. Come on, kids. Let's go.

Come along, children.

Don't forget to send postcards from England and Czechoslovakia.

It won't hurt you kids to write me now and then either.

I don't see why we never get to go on a boat to Europe.

After all, Dad, they come cheaper by the dozen.

Ah, not for Eskimos.

I'll leave the car at the garage downtown, Lillie.

This darn carburetor's acting funny again.

They'll send it back. Yes, dear.

Well, good-bye, dear.

Good-bye, Frank. Take good care of yourself.

Don't worry about me. And if anything comes up and you need me, cable me.

I'll take care of the work here. You just forget it and enjoy yourself.

I will.

Come here, young lady.

You gonna be a good little girl and eat your spinach for Daddy while I'm gone?

Make you big and strong.

And that goes for you too.

Good-bye, Lillie. Good-bye.

Good-bye, girls. Good-bye, Daddy.

Ernestine. Good-bye, Dad.

Anne. Never mind about you three.

You children behave yourselves. Do what your mother tells you.

I'll be back in a couple of months. Good-bye, Mr. Chairman.

I guess I can count on you to keep the bed warm while I'm gone. Ha, ha, ha.

Mighty fine dog.

Good-bye. I'm gonna miss you so much.

A little more attention to books and a little less to that swimming champion... and you'll stand a better chance of getting into college.

I'll work on it, Dad. That's my girl. Lillie?

Good-bye, dearest. Good-bye, dear.

Have a good time. I'll try.

Bring us some souvenirs, Dad.

Take good care of your mother... We will.

And don't forget to write.

Good-bye! Good-bye! Good-bye!


Hello? Oh, hello, Dad. Hey, where are you?

Yes, sir. She's upstairs.

Oh. Okay, I'll call her. Hey, Mother! - Yes?

Dad's on the phone. He forgot somethir. He wants to talk to ya.

- I'll be right down. Okay. She's comir, Dad.

Have a good time, now. Yes, sir. I will. Good-bye.

He's at the Montclair station. Thank you, dear.

Don't be late for lunch. I won't.

Hello, Frank.

Hello? Hello?

Hello, Frank.


Operator, are we still connected?

Well, that's funny. No one answers.

Hello? Hello?



Anne. Oh, hello, Mrs. Benson.

Your mother wants you to come home, dears, right away.

What is it? What's happened?

Your father was taken ill at the station. I'm afraid it's his heart.

Is it... Is it bad? I don't know how bad, dear.

Mrs. Monahan said you were shopping and asked me to find you.

Frank's playing ball. Do you know where? The school grounds, I guess.

I said I'd pick him up too. Come on. Let's get in.

You children better go on in. I'll park in my driveway.

How... How is he, Mrs. Monahan?

Oh, Andy. Our daddy's dead.

Sit down, children.

I've called you older children together because I think you ought to know the situation.

There isn't going to be a great deal of money.

Most of it's had to go back into your father's business.

I talked by telephone to your grandmother in California... and naturally she wants all of us to move out there and live with her.

If it's a matter of money, I plan not to go to college anyway. I'll get a job.

I don't want to go to college either, Mother.

Wait until I've finished.

There's an alternative, but it hinges on your being able to take care of yourselves... and it will involve sacrifices from all of us.

I want you to make the decision. I can go on with your father's work, keep the office open... and that will mean that we can keep the house.

We'll have to let Mrs. Monahan go, and live very simply.

We couldn't letJim Bracken go, could we? Oh, he wouldn't go anyway.

No, I think we can manage with Jim.

And if things work out the way I think they will, Anne, you can go to college later on too.

You know your father wanted all of you to go to college.

Don't worry about that, Mother.

Do you want to try it?

Can you run the house and look after things until I get back?

Get back from where, Mother? I'm going to Europe.

I'm going to give those speeches for your father in London and Prague.

We all know how much they meant to him, and I'm sure that's the way he would want it.

But as I say, the final decision is up to you.

Oh, Mother, you don't have to ask us. Why, you know... we'll do anything as long as we can stay together.

Thank you, dear. I knew that's the way you'd feel about it.

Well, since I'm gonna be planning the meals from now on, I...

I guess I better get started.

I'll go over everything with Mrs. Monahan.

Yes, dear.

And I'll see the house is kept nicely, Mother. Just the way you like it.

And I'll help her, Mother. We all will.

Thank you, girls. Me too, Mother.

Maybe Bill and I better go down and see some used car dealers... about sellir the automobile, Mother.

You'd better tell them to bring a tow car.

You know Foolish Carriage never starts for anyone but Daddy.

Yeah, and sometimes it wouldn't even start for him.

I'll do all the errands, Mother, and helpJim. He's getting pretty old.

That's right.

Well, son? Yes, Mother.

From now on, you'll have to be the man of the family.

Sure, Mother. We'll handle things.

And we'll do a good job too. You wait and see.

Yes, son.

I know you will.

Anyhow, that's one mars opinion.

Yes, Dad, Gilbreth and Company will go on.

Mother and your even dozen will see to that.

Mother will go to Europe, and you'll be proud... of the way she delivers those speeches for you.

And she'll go right on, following in your footsteps... to become the foremost woman industrial engineer in the world and, by 1948...

America's Woman of the Year.

But wherever you are, Dad, somehow I'm sure you know that... and never doubted it for a moment.