Yours, Mine and Ours, starring Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda
I can honestly say that Yours, Mine and OursÂ is one of my family’s favorite movies. It’s a wonderful story, about the merging of two large families (the Beardsley family of ten children, with the widowed father played by Henry Fonda, and the North family of eight children, with the widowed mother played by Lucille Ball). First comes the courtship of the father and mother – awkwardly, clumsily, with the very understandable resentment of the children who don’t want their deceased parents ‘replaced.’ This leads to “An alcoholic Pearl Harbor” that gives Lucille Ball an opportunity to play the drunk, reminiscent of the classic Vitametavegamin episode of her classic I Love Lucy series, ending with the dramatic revelation that she’s fallen in love again.
After the marriage comes the difficult part, the actually merging of the two families together – this is set against the background of the turbulent 1960’s in the United States of America, with one of the daughters being pressured by “the most frustrated sex maniac in the history of the world” (don’t worry, this is a family movie), as well as the specter of the Vietnam war, and the impending drafting of one of the older sons.
Wonderful performances by both Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, as well as great supporting performances by Van Johnson and Tom Bosley. It’s one of those rare movies that is funny, touching, insightful, and watched over and over again. It’s a wonderful movie, and I recommend it highly.
Editorial Review of Yours, Mine and Ours starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, courtesy of Amazon.com
Predating The Brady Bunch by almost a decade, Yours, Mine, and Ours is a screwball comedy about the ultimate blended family. When the widow Helen North (Lucille Ball) marries the widower Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda), the two must find a place to house their 18–count ’em, 18!–kids (she had 8, he had 10). Based on a real-life couple, the film details the nuances of everyday life in a house overrun with children. From getting all the kids ready for school to sending off an older son to war, this well-written film is wholesome entertainment that doesn’t condescend. Look for the very young Tracy Nelson as Germaine. —Jenny Brown
Funny Movie Quotes from Yours, Mine and OursÂ (1968) starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): [narrating] It was a typical wedding: enemies of the bride on the right, enemies of the groom on the left.
Jean North: You mean he doesn’t know about us?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Well of course he does darling!
Jean North: All of us?
Colleen North: Oh mother that’s so romantic! You lied to him!
Helen North (Lucille Ball): I did not lie to him! I just didn’t have the nerve to tell him the whole truth!
Colleen North: Mmm, I understand! No man wants a liaison with a woman with eight children!
Janette North: What’s a liaison?
Colleen North: An affair.
Janette North: That’s what I thought.
Jean North: Me too.
Phillip North: I’m legal!
Helen North (Lucille Ball): I got here as fast as I could, Sister Mary. What is it this time?
Sister Mary Alice: Why don’t you ask Phillip?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Phillip?
[Phillip turns around revealing a black eye]
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Darling! What happened?
Phillip North: Nothing.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Who did that to you?
Phillip North: One of the kids.
[points at Sister Mary]
Phillip North: *She* started it. She says I’m not legal.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): What?
Phillip North: And Mike isn’t my brother.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Of course he’s your brother.
Phillip North: Then my name’s Phillip Beardsley.
Sister Mary Alice: Phillip North.
Phillip North: There she goes again.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Sister couldn’t you – couldn’t you just call him Phillip Beardsley?
Sister Mary Alice: I’m sorry, but the school requires that we use their legal names.
Phillip North: Let’s go to another school.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Sister, I, uh, I understand your legal problem, but you must try to understand mine. You see, I’m trying to bring two families together, and this is the first sign that I may be succeeding. So I really would appreciate it if you’d let Phillip sign his name Beardsley.
Sister Mary Alice: But legally, it’s North.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): But it’s more important that emotionally, it’s Beardsley.
Sister Mary Alice: North.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Beardsley.
Sister Mary Alice: North!
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Beardsley, Beardsley, Beardsley!
Phillip North: Watch out, Mom. You might get a black eye.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): [getting ready for her date with Frank] Good heavens! What did you do to this dress?
Colleen North: Oh, Mother, it was practically an antique!
Janette North: We just shortened it a little.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): A little? I look like a teeny-bopper!
Janette North: What’s wrong with that?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): I can’t go out like this!
Jean North: Why not? Your legs are better than mine.
Family Doctor: Call my wife, will you, and tell her I’m on my way home?
Family Doctor: And tell her thank you.
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): For what?
Family Doctor: We don’t have any children.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Frank, there’s something I have to tell you before we go any further. I have eight children.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Frank! We’re on a cable car!
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Of course.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): I get sick on cable cars!
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Well wait’ll you hear what I have to tell you. I have TEN children.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Ten. TEN? Frank! Eight and ten is …
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Ridiculous.
Warrant Officer Darrel Harrison (Van Johnson): [after Helen’s false eyelash falls into her drink] Your Irish coffee is *winking* at me.
Howard Beardsley: Is, uh, is this the Beardsley’s new house?
Nancy Beardsley: We’ve come to deliver the babies.
Family Doctor: Oh, have a heart! Leave them on somebody else’s doorstep.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): [drunk] Boy, if this damn room would stop rolling around maybe I could find some place to be sick!
Family Doctor: [Helen is pregnant, but Mike doesn’t know] How’s your mother?
Mike Beardsley: You mean my stepmother. Oh, she’s fine, I guess.
Family Doctor: No morning sickness?
Mike Beardsley: No, doc, I feel fine.
Family Doctor: Not you, your mother!
Mike Beardsley: Well, why should she have mor–? Morning sickness!
[rolls his eyes in disbelief]
Family Doctor: We need a sample of your blood.
Mike Beardsley: Take it all!
Mike Beardsley: [confronting Helen about her pregnancy] You knew about it Christmas Day, didn’t you?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Yes.
Mike Beardsley: And you still let Dad ship out. Why?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): He wanted so much to go. Two people can’t live with an ocean between them for the rest of their lives.
Mike Beardsley: Do you really want this baby?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Very much. You see, he won’t have to worry whether he’s a Beardsley or a North.
Mike Beardsley: [nods his head in understanding]
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): We’ve decided to use our company manners. Helen, the boys have something to say to you.
Greg Beardsley: Mrs. North, I apologize for putting all that gin in your drink.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Ooh, *that’s* what did it.
Rusty Beardsley: And I apologize for all that vodka.
Mike Beardsley: And I apologize for the scotch.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Scotch, vodka, and–?
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Helen, you’ve been the victim of an alcoholic Pearl Harbor. It’s amazing you survived at all.
Colleen North: Larry says he’ll never speak to me again unless I grow up. He says that I’m being ridiculous and I don’t love him, but I do love him. Am I being ridiculous?
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): You’re not being ridiculous.
Colleen North: Well, do all the other girls, like Larry says? And am I just being old-fashioned?
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): The same idiots were passing the same rumors when I was your age, but if all the girls did, how come I always ended up with the ones who didn’t?
Colleen North: But it’s all different now!
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): I don’t know, they wrote Fanny Hill in 1742 and they haven’t found anything new since.
Veronica Beardsley: Who’s Fanny Hill?
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Go to bed, that’s who Fanny Hill is.
Colleen North: [Helen is about to have a baby] I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says–
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): I’ve got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it’s all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): What are you two talking about?
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Take a good look at your mother.
Helen North (Lucille Ball): Not now!
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): Yes, now.
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): It’s giving life that counts. Until you’re ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love in, it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and … ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else: it isn’t going to a bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip … you?
Helen North (Lucille Ball): [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.
Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda): If we don’t get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it’s going to be explained right here
Trivia for Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fond
- Based upon the real story of Helen Eileen Beardsley and her husband.
- The real Helen Eileen Beardsley appeared on To Tell the Truth (1956) where she related her story to the panel.
- Helen Eileen Beardsley (who wrote the book Who Gets the Drumsticks? on which this was based) died 26 April 2000, aged 70, Healdsburg, California, USA (Parkinson’s disease).
- The wedding invitation used in the movie is the actual wedding invitation designed by Frank Beardsley, husband of the real Helen Eileen Beardsley. The children’s’ names are listed in their real-life birth order.
- The baby born at the end of the movie is Joseph John Beardsley. He was born in the early hours of 14 July 1962.
- Lucille Ball co-produced the film under her company, Desilu Productions. When the film became a surprise smash hit grossing over $17 million on a $2.5 million investment, she became furious about it. She hadn’t anticipated the film’s huge box-office success and failed to provide a tax shelter for her personal profits, resulting in most of her share going in taxes.