Gail Lerner directed 2022’s ‘Cheaper By the Dozen,’ a family-oriented comedy film from Disney. The story centers on struggling interracial parents Zoe Baker (Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff) as they manage their large family. The parents struggle to keep track of their family, especially with children from previous marriages.
They also try to support their family’s business. You will be captivated by the New Jersey Bakers’ captivating journey. You may want to know if the story is based on a true-life family. Let’s get started on an investigation Is Cheaper by the Dozen Based on a True Story?
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Is Cheaper by the Dozen Based on a True Story?
‘Cheaper by the Dozen” is based on a true story. The later movies have been adapted, spun-offs, and rebooted many times. In 1948, US-based journalist and author Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. wrote the semi-autobiographical account ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ co-authoring with his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. This story was loosely inspired by the Gilbreth superfamily, including Frank Bunker Gilbreth’s parents and Lillian Moller Gilbreth. New Jersey couple, known for pioneering Motion Study work, made their home seem like a living laboratory.
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth had twelve children, who all survived to adulthood. However, only eleven of the twelve children survived to write the book. Mary, at five years old, died from diphtheria. Seven of Mary’s siblings had yet to be born after her death. There were never twelve children living in the same household at once.
The authors did not desire the book to be a simple novel structure. They envisioned the book as a collection of stories. The title was inspired by one of Frank Gilbreth Sr.’s favorite jokes. He would answer any road user who asked how he managed to have so many children: “Well, they are cheaper per dozen.” And then he would drive off.
While the storytellers had some creative freedom in arranging the stories, most of them were based on memory. Frank Sr.’s death in 1924 abruptly ends the book. Most of the Gilbreth children at the time were toddlers or teens — Anna was only 20 years old. The Technicolor film of 1950 preserved the essence of the original story, down to the characters’ names. A sequel to “Belles on Their Toes,” which was also written by the siblings, was made into a 1952 motion movie.
Christopher Sergel, who adapted the story to the stage, had Mark Bucci and David Rogers score the music. Shawn Levy then directed a remake of the 1950 film with the same title in 2003. In 2005, Adam Shankman directed the sequel to the 2003 Disney movie, “Cheaper By the Dozen 2“. The reboot movies were not influenced by the book, except for the basic structure of a family trying to raise twelve children.
Disney acquired twentieth Century Fox in August 2019. Robert Iger, then-CEO of Disney, announced that Disney would revive the franchise with a new version shortly after. Geil Lerner and Kenya Barris co-wrote the script with Jenifer Rice Genzuk Henry. Geil Lerner’s movie sticks to Shawn Levy’s fictional Bakker family. It changes the setting from Midland, Illinois, to New Jersey, where the Gilbreth family lived originally. Considering all aspects, the 1950 film is the only one that tells the story from close quarters. The later installments are a case where fiction prevails over reality.