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Ma and Pa Kettle (1949) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • On the verge of being evicted from their run-down farmhouse, the large Kettle family is given a new, modern home after Pa wins a contest, but he is accused of plagiarizing his winning slogan by a jealous local woman.

  • The Kettles and their fifteen children are about to be evicted from their rundown rustic home when Pa wins the grand prize by coming up with a new tobacco slogan. Birdie Hicks is jealous of the family's new wealth, which includes a completely automated modern home, and accuses Pa of stealing the slogan. Reporter Kim Parker proves Birdie wrong and marries Tom Kettle.

  • Hard working but slightly unaware Ma Kettle and idle-minded and sloppy Pa Kettle, and by association their fifteen children, are in trouble with the Cape Flattery, Washington town council for the messy condition they keep their house. The council believes it to be both an eyesore and a health hazard, and they plan on condemning it. The mayor thinks it's a win-win situation for both the town and the Kettles when he learns that Pa has just won a completely furnished modern house in the King Henry Tobacco Company's slogan contest. Beyond getting the Kettles out of their current rat trap, Pa's contest win has put Cape Flattery "on the map". The Kettles, especially Pa who entered the contest solely to get a new tobacco pouch, may not see this situation as being a win as they try to adapt to their new house and all its newfangled gadgets. Local busybody Birdie Hicks also doesn't see it as a win as she, who never liked Pa, is jealous of all the attention the Kettles are receiving. She'll do whatever she can to ruin the Kettle's new life. The contest win also brings to town the Kettle's oldest son, Tom, who just graduated from college in animal husbandry, and reporter Kim Parker, who is doing a story on the Kettles. Tom is initially worried that Kim's story will make the Kettles a national laughing stock, but in the end, Tom and Kim fall for each other. Kim does whatever she can to help the Kettles.

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