Frank Gilbreth (Clifton Webb) and his wife Lillian (Myrna Loy) are inordinately proud of their large family of eleven and there is no question in the Gilbreth household as to who wears the pants. It is their efficiency-expert father who daily parades his family and inspects them for cleanliness and other virtues consistent with a well-regulated family.
They move to a new house in New Jersey where they experience an outbreak of whooping cough which affects father too.
In typical Gilbrethian fashion, Frank decides that the family tonsils will be removed en masse in their own home and has the operation filmed to “show doctors how to speed things up.”
The next visit from the doctor is to assist at the birth of another child, a boy, making up the round dozen.
The family grows up and gets into the most embarrassing situations, especially, rebellious teenager Ann (Jeanne Crain).
When father dies suddenly, the Gilbreths are broken-hearted, but Lillian pulls them together – not allowing grief to undermine the family spirit – and takes over her husband’s European tour and speeches.
Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Mrs Lillian Gilbreth
Frank Gilbreth Jr.