Forget the SUV, this family needs a school bus. Widow Helen North (Lucille Ball) marries widower Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda), a union that results in a grand total of 18 children. Household chaos ensues as they all learn to share the same space. When flu season hits, the family doctor (Tom Bosley) finds himself a very busy man. Just as things begin to settle down, Helen finds out they’ll need to make room for one more at the dinner table.
Melville Shavelson (April 1, 1917 – August 8, 2007) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as one of comedian Bob Hope’s joke writers, a job he held for the next five years. He is responsible for the screenplays of such Hope films as The Princess and the Pirate (1944), Where There’s Life (1947), The Great Lover (1949), and Sorrowful Jones (1949), which also starred Lucille Ball.
Shavelson was nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay—first for 1955’s The Seven Little Foys, starring Hope in a rare dramatic role, and then for 1958’s Houseboat. He shared both nominations with Jack Rose. He also directed both films.
Other films he wrote and directed include Beau James (1957), The Five Pennies (1959) for which he won a Screen Writers Guild Award, It Started in Naples (1960), On the Double… read more
I really loved this film! It had comedy, family relations, arguments, huge crowd of people trying to co-oporate with the other family and having two adults to try and control all of these children in one house! Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball that was a great final onscreen couple film since "The Big Street"! :)