The Donna Reed Show


The Donna Reed Show


Opening credits to a popular 1950’s sitcom


The Donna Reed Show, a 1950s sitcom, features an idyllic middle-class American family in the 1950s. The father acts as head of the household, the mother (Donna Reed) as housewife and caretaker, and two children (a daughter and son) learning to grow up and live in 1950s society. The opening credits to the show give an overview of how gender roles are reinforced in each episode. In the thirty-second opening, Donna Reed gets her family ready for the day. She passes her children their lunches and schoolbooks as they walk out the door, answers the phone for her husband and hands him his briefcase as he leaves for work. She shuts the door behind her family after they leave and retreats back into her house with a smile. This imposes a role onto every member of the family: the father diligently working all day, the children obediently going to school, and the mother staying at home.


Screen Gems





Kimi Kennedy


Screen Gems, “The Donna Reed Show,” The American Century, accessed January 29, 2023,