Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Cheaper by the Dozen Photos

Movie Info

This comedy-drama, based on the Gilbreth-Carey novel, presents episodes from the life of the Gilbreth family in the early twenties. Much of the story focuses on the father of the 12-children. He is prissy and obsessed with time. His wife, a psychologist, is always trying to get him to relax. Meanwhile, the children deal with the changing times and their old fashioned dad. Despite their differences, the family remains close-knit even after tragedy strikes.

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Clifton Webb
as Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Myrna Loy
as Lillian Gilbreth
Jeanne Crain
as Ann Gilbreth
Barbara Bates
as Ernestine
Mildred Natwick
as Mrs. Mebane
Edgar Buchanan
as Dr. Burton
Sara Allgood
as Mrs. Monahan
Anthony Sydes
as Fred Gilbreth
Roddy McCaskill
as Jack Gilbreth
Norman Ollestad
as Frank Gilbreth Jr.
Carol Nugent
as Lillie Gilbreth
Jimmy Hunt
as William Gilbreth
Teddy Driver
as Dan Gilbreth
Betty Barker
as Mary Gilbreth
Patti Brady
as Martha Gilbreath
Evelyn Varden
as School Principal
Frank Orth
as Higgins
Craig Hill
as Tom Black
Virginia Brissac
as Mrs. Benson
Walter S. Baldwin
as Jim Bracken
Bennie Bartlett
as Joe Scales
Syd Saylor
as Plumber
Ken Christy
as Mailman
Mary Field
as Music teacher
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Critic Reviews for Cheaper by the Dozen

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

The plot is actually a string of incidents which contain enough humor and heart to engross any audience.

July 29, 2019 | Full Review…

One of the most popular films of 1950, this comedy stars Clifton Webb in one of his best known parts.

January 29, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Old-fashioned upbeat family comedy with sad ending.

July 10, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Cheaper by the Dozen may not have much of a plot, but the film's lack of storyline is more than compensated for by its charm and genuine affection for its subjects.

October 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A film rich in turn of the century atmosphere. And family values times 12.

October 26, 2004 | Rating: B

There's a lot to be said about a family with 12 kids but this film doesn't do any of them justice.

August 24, 2004 | Rating: 62/100

Audience Reviews for Cheaper by the Dozen

The original "Cheaper by the Dozen" is based on the autobiography of the real Gilbreth clan, who lived in early 20th century New England. The film is queerly obsessed with the olden days, and how great they were. Headed by patriarch Frank (Webb) the family of twelve moves to another state, gets a big house, and shenanigans ensue. Tonsils are removed, makeup and heels are denigrated, there's a school dance, and a dog somehow takes residence in the home. Webb's character is supposed to be wacky yet strict, but he comes off as a loudmouth sexist. His often slut shames his daughter (Crain) who is just trying to be a normal teenage girl. He talks a lot about the virtues of marriage, the inefficiency of others, and his own warped, often outdated views, on a plethora of other subjects. I understand that this may have been the tone of family life in the twenties, but language such as this has no bearing on a family film in the early fifties. Frank is always trying to show how efficient he can make certain processes, but in the midst of it he often talks down to people and basically insults everyone's intelligence. It's a film that tries to be sweet natured, but Webb's dialogue comes off like a mean girl lecturing on morality. It comes off as fake and twisted, tarnishing any family value it tries to exact.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


An interesting family drama/comedy based on a real family, but it gets boring after a while, it could've been better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

not as good as the newer one

erika bruhns
erika bruhns

Super Reviewer

Cheaper by the Dozen Quotes

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