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The Egg and I: 70th Anniversary Restored Edition (1947) - Blu-ray Review

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The Egg and I (1947) - Blu-ray Review

4 beers

Because Speckled Sussex’s never looked this good before.  That's why.

“Hey, Betty, you better get cleaned up. That isn’t exactly perfume you are covered with.” That’s what a newly transported city dweller gets after wrestling with pigs as her husband talks to their new (and cute) neighbor. Uh oh. And the “worst” is yet to come in this wild fish out of water tale.

I was 10 or 12 when I first saw The Egg and I; a huge crush was soon developed for Claudette Colbert, who made EVERYDAY farm life chores so funny to me. She was pretty and funny; a winning combination for a fat boy like myself. And she so, so, so loved Fred MacMurray, who – because Nick at Nite was still showing classing television shows at the time – was nailing it, night after night, on My Three Sons reruns.

Yes, farm life and this movie made most Saturdays a swell evening. So, upon hearing that this classic comedy was coming out on blu-ray, I had to check it out and see if it worked as well as I remembered it from my youth. Good news. The Egg and I is STILL a classic comedy.

"It is a film that continues to earn its comedic stripes ... only now in sparkling high definition"


Of course, the movie, directed by Chester Erskine, who also co-wrote the screenplay, lays the foundation for what would become Green Acres with Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, but – standing on its own – the film, full of flatulent beds and tables whose legs bend and a crazy crew of neighbors, remains a very funny and very charming rural comedy with great comedic performances from its leads. The situations always go to the extreme as these two characters bumble their way through chores and cooking and the very basics of farm communities.

And it is all due to the fact that Betty and Bob, urbanites through and through, are completely in over their heads. Sure, the countryside looks all sorts of clean and beautiful, but it is testing these two. But Universal, after a few delays, keeps their wits about them with the blu-ray release of The Egg and I, now digitally remastered and fully restored from the original 35mm film elements.

As the comedy introduced audiences to Ma and Pa Kettle (Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride), its legacy as a starting place for some seriously profitable franchises went bounding on into the next decade with nine other movies and a television show. How’s that for a legacy?

The film begins with a train entering a tunnel; the whistle becomes a hen’s cackle. We then cut to an egg crashing on the diner car’s floor. Claudette Colbert waxes poetic about just how much effort goes into laying an egg and then, with farm fresh title cards, The Egg and I really gets started.

You see, Betty (that’s Colbert) hasn’t always been this concerned about chickens and eggs. That would be her husband’s dream. And Bob (a great Fred MacMurray), upon returning from WWII, has no desire to return to his pre-war job. Instead, he wants to take his fancy city-drenched wife to the country and surprise, surprise wants to raise chickens.

And so it’s adios to city life for Betty; this chick is about to get hatched ... farm fresh.

From throwing pots and pans at children to learning just how to deal with the chickens, The Egg and I celebrates the ramshackle absurdities that make up rustic living one fallen tree at a time. It is a film that continues to earn its comedic stripes ... only now in sparkling high definition. 

The Egg and I arrives sunny-side up!

The Egg and I (1947) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
108 mins
Director
: Chester Erskine
Writer:
Chester Erskine
Cast:
Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main
Genre
: Comedy | Romance
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote: "Last money I saved up, Pa put it in a couple of minks he was goin' to breed to make us a fortune. They up and died before they got around to breedin'"
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Studios
Official Site:
Release Date:
May, 1947
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 17, 2018
Synopsis: On their wedding night, Bob reveals to Betty that he has purchased an abandoned chicken farm. Betty struggles to adapt to their new rural lifestyle, especially when a glamorous neighbor seems to set her eyes on Bob.

The Egg and I (1947) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- April 17, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new 4K digital restoration from Universal, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, is a beauty of black-and-white photography. The grain level is perfect. The details are crisp and there’s no flaw in the 1080p picture. It. Is. Golden. Dirt and debris have been removed from the fine-grain presentation. The black-and-white film is shadow-heavy and the transfer holds thick lines in place. Nothing bleeds. It is surprisingly clean given the age of the film, without any over-processing lending the picture an artificial appearance. The film is still allowed to breathe and retains a level of grain that ensures an authentic and credible appearance. Even the darkest of scenes are rarely problematic, with the blacks proving extremely solid and lighter grays visually stunning. The original soundtrack has been remastered for its DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 lossless soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.

Special Features:

Included in this anniversary release are two featurettes and a trailer for the film. Nothing fancy, mind you, but adequate for the release.

  • Claudette Colbert: Queen of Silver Screen (10 min)
  • 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era (9 min)
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Egg and I (1947) - Blu-ray Review

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