on 10 March 2007
If, like me you are a fan of the old black and white comedy films of the 40's and 50's you'll love this. The plot centres on Mr and Mrs Blandings who live in a cramped New York apartment and decide to buy a house in the country (Connecticut). The house turns out to uninhabitable and so is torn down to make way for a new one. As you might guess, the build does not go smoothly. Anything that can go wrong does go wrong. It's a typical role for Cary Grant, and Myrna Loy is excellent as his long suffering wife. The plot may be predictable, but is non the less funny. The quality of the DVD is also excellent for such an old film.
I know they run only nonfiction shows, but HGTV should rerun "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" regularly, just as a warning to starry-eyed homeowners. Cary Grant and Myrna Loy are absolutely hilarious in this homebuyer's comedy, but the real star is their dream house.... and the hideous flaws with it.
The Blandings family live in a New York apartment, where they fight daily for closet and bathroom space. But then Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) gets a brilliant idea -- buy a charming house in the country, fix it up, and live in rural charm. Unfortunately, he quickly gets tangled up in a heap of mortgage problems, and gets cheated by the former owner.
And once those are sorted out, they get professional opinions ("Tear it down!") which lead to major demolition. Undaunted, Jim and Muriel (Myrna Loy) help design a brilliant new house, only to encounter a new array of setbacks. As Jim tries to deal with the strain, he suspects that his marriage is coming apart.
Personally I consider having a new house built to be from the fifth circle of hell, especially if you have to oversee the details yourself. Apparently HC Potter did too, since the movie is crammed with subtle jabs at demanding homebuyers, trendy decorators, and those guys who send the windowpanes to the wrong town.
The movie basically trundles along the increasingly bumpy road of buying land and building a house, although it becomes somewhat slack when Jim suspects that Muriel is cheating on him. Fortunately the dialogue is hilarious from beginning to end ("The house just needs someone to love it, that's all!" "Good thing there are two of you. One to love it and one to hold it up").
Mr. Blandings reminds me of some homebuyers I'm related to -- he has more optimism than any person can have, unless he is completely out of touch with reality. And Cary Grant makes you laugh WITH and AT Jim. Loy is solid and witty as the long-suffering wife, and Melvyn Douglas does his dry best as their best buddy.
The moral of this movie: Pursuing your dream house will probably be a nonstop nightmare, even if you look like Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. So beware.
on 4 October 2007
Cary Grant at his best as a Manhatten advertising executive who moves from a cramped NY apartment to a huge wreck of a house in Connecticut.
Everything goes wrong, everything goes overbudget and he suspect his wife is having an affair with his best friend/lawyer.
For me, the funniest scene is where the Yankee well digger calls when the house is completed and Grant thinks he is going to ask for more money. Grant's face is a picture when the Yankee solemnly gives him back $5.17 because he's overcharged him!
A "must have" movie for your collection.
Buy and enjoy
on 6 February 2012
Pass my new smoking jacket and slippers, because even though I don't smoke I still want to wear them to curl up in the armchair and watch this ageless movie one more time.
I've been a Cary Grant fan since seeing his older movies on television as a child, and the magic has never gone away. From his Hitchcock roles to the light comedies like this one, he is the epitome of charm, wry humour and superb comic timing. As Mr Blandings he uses not only his acting talents, but also the physical skills he learned as a young boy working with an acrobatic comedy troupe, plus the sheer force of his charismatic personality.
The wonderful Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas share the honours in a movie that looks and feels fresher than any updated remake could hope to.
If you ain't seen Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, you ain't eatin' ham!
Thoroughly fed up of living in the city, and aghast at the lack of room in the family apartment, Jim and Muriel Blandings decide to move to the Connecticut countryside. However, the house they purchase is falling down, with a sense of purpose and determination they set about building a brand new house from scratch, with one crisis after another besieging the project!
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House is adapted from the novel written by Eric Hodgins, a novel that I believe was very popular due to its satirical edge and perfect timing. It was a time of housing problems in America and a time when many people were moving out to the suburbs. Having no frame of reference here (not read the book myself), I can't say if this adaptation to the screen does the source material justice, what I do know is that the film is charming, very funny in places, yet lacking in any sort of originality.
Really it's probably down to the cast that the film still holds up today as an entertaining viewing, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy (the Blandings) team up again for the third time, with Melvyn Douglas stealing the picture as the wry and causticly funny friend, Bill Cole (the character arc written in to add a bit of spice to proceedings). Remade to mixed critical notices in 1986 as The Money Pit, this 48 version is still the go to guy for your entertainment needs. Unfussy and without any major hindrances, Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House scores well above average. 7/10
A successful advertising man in NYC, Mr Blandings and his family live in an apartment that is crowding them out. This is their story, one of how many millions in 1948.
Mr. Blandings, played by Cary Grant decides to look for a big, roomy house in Conneticut. He and his wife, Mrs Blandings, played by Myrna Loy, find themselves in deep doo-doo. Their lawyer/business manager, mr Cole, played by Melvyn Douglas, tries to keep costs down. Unfortunately, Mr. Blandings bulls ahead on his own, purchasing an estate that is falling apart, and then deciding to build his dream house. The construction of the new Blandings home is slowed down by many things, and of course problems arise everyday.
This is a sometimes humorous film, but it is, indeed, time centered, in 1948, so much of the humor is stretched too thin. Cary Grant and Myrna Loy are excellent and have good chemistry. The story is, of course, timeless, and it is an entertaining film. Don't expect too much drama, it is light hearted fare, and meant to stay that way. The children the cook and all the construction workers give this film interest. Note that everyone, all males, tags is, wear hats when working. Not the baseball like caps we are used to, but real hats. Days if yore. Lovely country side and a good film for the entire family.
Recommended. prisrob 12-21-13
on 11 March 2009
This is the ultimate feel-good movie for me.
The proof that vision and hard graft go a long way to allowing us mere mortals to achieve our dreams.
This is the film I watch on a dismal dreary rainy Sunday afternoon when the rest of the world is "doing my head in"
on 4 December 2012
I've seen most of Cary Grant's films and enjoyed most of the ones I've seen, especially the earlier ones.
He is at his best in this one, but I felt that Myrna Loy was miscast. She is certainly glamorous, with a beautiful appearance and somewhat distant manner - but switching from an icy aloofness to occasional bursts of empty-headed behaviour seemed to be out of character. Someone of the likes of Judy Holliday or even Doris Day could have carried it off - but I don't think the part quite suited Myrna.
But that's just my opinion.
on 10 August 2008
This is a truly excellent film, unlike the lammentable so called remake 'The money pit', it has a very well observed and funny script, style, pace, characterization, and Cary Grant, of course. This film seems to have been ignored of late so count it as a lost classic and find it if you haven't already seen it.
Long before there was `Grand Designs' there was Mr Blandings, which goes to show that some things never change.
Based on a true story, city ad exec Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) has had enough of being cramped in a small NY apartment with his wife and daughters, so takes an enthusiastic gamble on buying a run-down place in the country to turn it into a spacious family home. He soon finds himself at the mercy of estate agents, builders, architects and the like, and is under pressure to find not only the money for the venture, but also a new slogan for `Wham', a popular ham product. Determined to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, the Blandings cope comically with the difficulties strewn in their path and are ultimately rewarded.
Grant is perhaps a tad too handsome to portray Mr Average American, but he can't help being easy on the eye and does his usual good job of bringing his unique comic style to a role which might easily have fallen flat in other hands. He's well supported by Melvyn Douglas playing the sensible lawyer friend with a dry sense of humour and by Myrna Loy as the wife who dreams of roses round the door.
DVD quality is good enough and far better than the low-quality version sometimes shown on TV. No extras.