Cheaper by the Dozen is a 1950 film based upon the 1948 book Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. The film and book describe growing up in a family with twelve children in Montclair, New Jersey. It was made in Technicolor with Leon Shamroy as cinematographer. It was edited by James Watson Webb, Jr.
The parents were time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and psychologist Lillian Moller Gilbreth. The title comes from one of Gilbreth's favorite jokes which played out in the movie that when he and his family were out driving and stopped at a red light, a pedestrian would ask "Hey, Mister! How come you got so many kids?" Gilbreth would pretend to ponder the question carefully, and then, just as the light turned green, would say "Well, they come cheaper by the dozen, you know," and drive off.
In the book, Frank Gilbreth died of a heart attack while talking to his wife on the telephone. In the movie when his wife answers the telephone, there is no reply on the other end of the line, although she is told by the operator she is still connected. After Frank's death, the family agrees that Lillian will continue with her husband's