Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), starring Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Van Johnson, Tom Bosley
I can honestly say that Yours, Mine and Ours 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. It’s reminiscent of the classic Vitameatavegamin 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