Belles on Their Toes

Synopsis: The "Cheaper by the Dozen" crew is back, sans Clifton Webb. Lillian is struggling to make ends meet without her husband's income, while Anne, Martha, and even Ernestine find romance.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Henry Levin
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
89 min


[ Commencement ]

- Where's Mother?

- I don't know.

- Hello, Mother. We were

beginning to worry about you.

- Hello, Ann.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Ernestine.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Frank.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Martha.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Bill.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Lillian.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Fred.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello, Dan.

- Hello, Mother.

- Hello,Jack.

- Where were you, Mother?

- I ran into someone from

the engineering department.

- He insisted that I--

- Shh!

- Oh, hi, Mom.

- Hello, Bob, dear.

- Where's Jane?

- In front. Fifth from the left.

[ Continues ]

The baby.

The baby's being graduated.

- The last one. I can hardly believe it.

- What was that, Mother?

- [ Man ] Ladies and gentlemen...

- Shh.

it gives me great pleasure

to introduce to you...

the class valedictorian,

Miss Susan Whitaker...

who will speak to you on...

''Our Generation and the

Challenge of the Future.''

Professor Dickerson,

members of the faculty...

honored guests

and fellow students...

this is an important day

in our lives.

[ Mother Narrating ]

Yes, it is an important day.

And there were times, Frank,

when I thought this day would never come.

But it had to,

for in my mind...

I had promised you

that thejob would be done.

I remember we hadjust sold

the house in Montclair...

the house that you

had bought for us...

and had moved to one not quite so spacious

and not quite so full of memories.

I was packing to go away

on a lecture trip...

for I was determined that I would

keep on with your work.

I had to.

[ Boys ]


I want to be lazy

I long to be out in the sun

With no work to be done

Under that awning

They call us


Stretching and yawning

And let the world go drifting by

I want to peep

through the deep

Tangled wildwood

Counting sheep till I sleep

Like a child would

With a great big

Valise full of books to read

Where it's peaceful

[ GirlJoins In ]

While I'm killing time

Being lazy

-Janey, you do a good job down there.

- Lazy

I want to be lazy

I long to be out in the sun

With no work to be done

- I pressed your dinner dress, Mother.

- Dinner dress?

Just because you're a lady engineer

doesn't mean you can't dress up.

Thank you, Martha.

Ernestine, dust the banister

on your way down.

While I'm killing time

Being lazy

[ Humming ]

Counting sheep till I sleep

Like a child would

And I'll pack my valise

And I'll say good-bye

to the Gilbreths

While I'm wasting time

- Being lazy

- Tom, you wouldn't leave us.

'Course not. Where could

I get such an easy job?

1 4 rooms to clean,

36 meals to get every day.

If I hadn't quit school

in the second grade...

I could tell you how many meals

that'd make a week.

- 252. Are we having hash again?

- [ Sighs ]

- That ain't hash. That's lamb Rangoon.

- What is lamb Rangoon?

- Been in my family for generations.

- It smells like it.

- [ Doorbell Ringing ]

- I'll get it.


I want to be lazy


- Hello, cousin Leora.

- Hello, Martha, and Jean, isn't it?

- Ann here and Ernestine there.

- How stupid of me.

- I always get you turned 'round.

- Well, there's so many of us.

- Yes, isn't it heartbreaking?

- Hmm?

- How are things?

-Just fine.

- I'll tell Mother you're here.

- Thank you, dear.

I'll tell her too.

Honestly, every time she comes here,

she makes me feel like a charity case.

- Shh! She might hear you.

- I hope she does.

Maybe she'll stay away and mind

her own business.

[ Banging ]

- Good afternoon, Tom.

- Good afternoon, Mrs. Simmons.

- Old snoop.

- Did you say something?

No. I just said I'd swoop

in here later.

Will you close the doors, Tom?

- Hello, Leora.

- Hello, Lillie.

[ Indistinct Chattering ]

- Hey, what's she want?

- Shh!

It's very simple.

I talked to your brother Bill

and to Aunt Margaret.

And each of us has agreed

to take two of the younger children.

I wouldn't think of it!

Why, it's outrageous!

Do you--

There. I told you

you'd fly off the handle.

Now you listen to me, Lillie Gilbreth,

and try and be sensible about this.

I know nearly all of Frank's life insurance

money has been spent already.

- That's true, isn't it?

- Yes.

Well, I have that whole big house

up in Westchester, and it's empty.

If I'm willing to take in

two of your children...

and give them some of the advantages

you can't possibly give them...

why should you feel

that I'm being outrageous?

I know it's hard to give them up.

That's only natural...

but you're not thinking

of the children when you feel like that.

- You're thinking of yourself.

- I never thought I was being selfish.

Oh, I don't think you mean to be, but

that's the way it works out for them.

Suppose something were to happen...

- to one of them while you're away.

- Oh, Leora!

You can't just shut your eyes, Lillie.

You've got to think of things like that!

I'm right. I'll telephone Bill and Aunt

Margaret and tell them you've agreed.

No. No, I have to think about it.

- Call me tonight.

- Very well, Lillie.

Oh, Leora, would you like

to stay for dinner?

Thank you very much,

but I think not.

There are enough hungry birds

to feed without me.

Well, hello, children.

Oh, you little darling.

- How would you like to come and live with me?

- No!

- Call me later, Leora.

- [ Crying ]

I will, Lillie. Good-bye.

Good-bye, children.

[ Children ]

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Phoebe Ephron

Phoebe Ephron (née Wolkind; January 26, 1914 – October 13, 1971) was an American playwright and screenwriter, who often worked with Henry Ephron, her husband, whom she wed in 1934. Ephron was born in New York City to Louis and Kate (née Lautkin) Wolkind, a dress manufacturer.Ephron was active as a writer from the early 1940s through the early 1960s. Her four daughters – Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Hallie Ephron and Amy Ephron – all became writers, like their parents. Ephron was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium , along with writing partners Richard L. Breen and husband Henry Ephron, for their work on Captain Newman, M.D. (1963). She died in 1971, aged 57, in her native New York City. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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