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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yours, Mine and Ours (released in 1968) starring Lucille ball and Henry Fonda - romance between people with large families

This movie was an inspiration from a real life fairy tale romance between two widowers, Fran Beardsley and Helen North who combine their families of ten and eight children respectively to live happily ever after.
Frank Beardsley (played by Henry Fonda) is a Roman Catholic Naval officer who is assigned shore duty as a project officer to develop a standard equipment in all aircraft carriers nicknamed the “meatball”. Helen North played by Lucille ball is a Roman Catholic nurse whose husband tragically dies in a naval accident. Frank Beardsley brings his distraught daughter to her hospital for treatment and Helen comforts her. She remarks that the lack of maternal guidance is responsible for her depression and this gets the both parents talking. Both Frank and Helen hit it off and go on dates with out disclosing the fact that they are bringing up big families all on their own.
They try to call off their relationship on learning about their respective children. But with the intervention of their friend chief warrant officer Darell Harrison, they start dating again and began contemplating marriage. Frank runs his house as a tight ship and has all rules in place. But when Helen visits them his elder sons, Mike, Greg and Rusty mix vodka in her drink to make her behave in an wild and embarrassing manner. Soon their game is up when Frank chances upon their trick and an angry Frank announces his decision to marry Helen.

The children from both sides are against this union and regard each household suspiciously. There are many misunderstandings and tiffs which threatens to break up Helen and Frank. But they all come together when they come to know about Helen's pregnancy and support each other. The elder Beardsley children guide and form a role model for the North children. Another storm brews in the mean time with a mean minded teacher taunting Phillip North to change his surname to Beardsley. The North children are aghast and refuse Franks decision for cross adoption. But the arrival of their small baby brother Joseph John Beardsley unites them again with all of them agreeing for adoption under a common name.
The film ends with Mike Beardsley moving out of the house fully grown up to attend the camp for joining the marines. This movie was a true life adaption of Helen Beardsley's book “who gets the Drum stick?”. In fact the movie was so entertaining that Frank Beardsley is said to have remarked that the movie was a better story than truth.
On release the movie was not received well by the critics but was a hit at the box office. It collected so much profits that Lucille ball who never anticipated such a large collection never made a tax shelter for herself. This resulted in the dwindling of her share of profits.
A feel good movie, it is a fore runner and inspiration for many shows like The Brady Bunch and was remade in 2005 with Dennis Quaid and Renee Russo. It still remains a hit in the DVD circuit.

Yours, Mine and Ours (released in 1968) starring Lucille ball and Henry Fonda - romance between people with large families

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