Old Movie Teams

Weren’t they also in that other movie?

Guy Kibbee & Milton Kibbee

The movie careers of Milton and Guy Kibbee converge not only in the fact that they are brothers, but also in the ways in which their careers parallel one another for duration, craft, and volume of output. For all practical purposes, Guy began his busy movie career in 1929; Milton began his in 1933 (Milton may have gotten a ten-year head start, but that suggestion is based on his name supposedly appearing in the credits of the 1923 silent feature Back to Old Virginia. There are no other known credits for him until 1933). Each continued, respectively, in these careers for approximately 20 years. Milton is estimated to have lent his talents to 365 features and Guy Kibbee to 107. That’s a total of 454 feature-length films. If the math does not seem to add up, that’s because they share appearances in 18 of those films:

42nd Street (1933)
Lady for a Day (1933)
Girl Missing (1933)
The World Changes (1933)
The Silk Express (1933)
Dames (1934)
Babbitt (1934)
Harold Teen (1934)
Big Hearted Herbert (1934)
While the Patient Slept (1935)
Don’t Bet on Blondes (1935)
Going Highbrow (1935)
Mary Jane’s Pa (1935)
Earthworm Tractors (1936)
The Big Noise (1936)
I Married a Doctor (1936)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Design for Scandal (1941)

Guy Kibbee’s movie career culminated in 1948 with his appearance in John Ford’s remake of the 3 Godfathers (he did continue until 1950 to appear in TV productions). Milton Kibbee, however, continued to make movies for another five years, submitting his final performance (like his brother, he also made it a Western) in the 1953 Born to the Saddle. They both played mostly jovial, portly characters, making their most remarkable departure from one another in their otherwise similar careers with the distinction that Guy Kibbee’s appearances in the movies are often in roles more substantive than his brother’s. Milton Kibbee’s appearances are many times little more than cameo, almost imperceptible, roles as an extra. While he did get some meaty parts, he never garnered what could be described as a leading role. Guy, on the other hand, landed many leads, even the titular character in the 1934 Babbitt. One final and remarkable parallel occurs in their ages; Guy was 14 years older than Milton and died at the age of 74 in 1956. Milton lived another 14 years and died in 1970, also at the age of 74.


  Alice Craig wrote @

Really enjoyed seeing this! These men are my great uncles. My Grandfather, Roy Kibbee was their brother.

  pkingwp wrote @

A wonderful family connection. Not to take anything from Milton, but Guy Kibbee has always been one of my favorites in the movies. His Captain January role is priceless. And, though I haven’t seen them all, I love his Scattergood series. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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