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Favorite houses in films?


Dothery
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Mine tend to be country houses of the Westchester County variety, like the one Katharine Hepburn floated through in "Bringing Up Baby," the one the judge and her sister lived in in "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer," but most of all the great big wonder in "Christmas in Connecticut," with all that white woodwork, the flowered sofas, the cute little kitchen (that still had plenty of room for a table and people to sit around it), the four poster beds all over the place and the fireplace you could roast an ox in. The only thing that disturbed me was the room that kept changing ... the den to the right of the stairway, that went from having a fireplace to not having one, from having a bar to not having a bar. The rest of the house pretty much stayed put, except for an extraneous clock that was only three feet from another one. I loved the picture of Stanwyck at the top of the ladder hanging Christmas ornaments and Dennis Morgan at the grand piano singing his little heart out. My kind of house.

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I really like the houses in the three films you mention, but if I had to choose just one favorite, it would definitely be the house in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. It looks like a place that would be very comfortable to live in, with the beautiful living room, comfortable kitchen, and cozy den, not to mention the lovely rural setting. If I ever win the lottery, I'll build a real version of that house and invite Robert Osborne to tape his Christmas Eve intros there. I recall his saying when introducing that film once that he'd like to live in that house.

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Well if I could hve a house just like one of those in the movies, one of those huge homes on New York's Park Avenue, so often featured in 1930s movies (as escapism for depression audiences I guess) like MY MAN GODFREY, MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, HOLIDAY (1938), etc. Especially the last, with its two-story columns and indoor elevator and upstairs (3rd floor?) living rooms....wowee....

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So few film houses are real, the rooms look big & airy because they're only 2 sided!

A very real house used in a movie was Jean Simmon's house in Home Before Dark filmed in historic Marblehead Massachusetts. I've taken lots of screen shots and compared them with modern shots as the town never changes, just the trees got bigger in 60 years.

 

She lived in the circa 1731 Lafayette House:

HBDfull.jpg

 

And here's me & my salty dog standing in the corner:

corner.jpg

 

We're still trying to figure out if the interiors were filmed inside-something about the doors & staircases don't seem quite right. But it's a gorgeous home worth over a million dollars even though it doesn't have a yard!

 

The house I live in IS like The Haunting house....very old & creepy with lots of cobwebs, heh.

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Definitely Mr. Blandings' dream house! Of course, I know how much work went into it and it was constructed to last! (And I'm a sucker for apple orchards and streams where Revolutionary War military officers watered their horses.) It's a train ride to NYC and I wouldn't have to migrate from the East Coast! Hope there aren't too many McDonald's or Pizza Hut restaurants with garish signs to ruin the countryside view.

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I love the Blandings' house, too. Several years ago, I read in a magazine -- possibly Architectural Digest -- that as part of RKO's marketing campaign for the movie, plans for the Blandings' house were offered to the public, and that some houses were actually built. At the time of the article (the 1990s), one or more of the replica houses still existed.

 

 

I'd recommend the book of MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE to anyone who has gone through the process of buying or building a house. Even 60+ years after its publication, you'll still be able to relate to the trials and tribulations that they go through. It's not exactly like the movie -- the book is more whimsical -- but it's very entertaining.

 

 

There was a second book, BLANDINGS WAY. It's all about what the family did after moving into their house, with a career change for Jim, among other things. It's a little more serious, and is more of a conventional novel, while the earlier book was almost like a connected series of humorous essays. Still, if you can locate a used copy, it's a worthy successor to the original book (and movie).

 

 

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I agree, it's lovely, and if I know my window seats and curtains, the CIC house was used in other movies?

 

I am sure the Cleaver house (didn't like it) was used in other TV shows.

 

The Blandings house was interesting re the inventory of costs, expensive at the time I assume for a non-Vanderbilt. Reminds me of the inventory Rudy Vallee keeps on the clothing bought by Claudette Colbert in Palm Beach Story, as outrageous now as they were then!

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While I too like the BLANDINGS house, plus that big, drafty, expensive to heat home in *Meet Me In St. Louis* , I STILL covet that house used in *North By Northwest* .

 

 

BingFan, I have both Blanding's books. They ARE very different in vibe, but both are good.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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{quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}I *agree, it's lovely, and if I know my window seats and curtains, the CIC house was used in other movies?*

 

*I am sure the Cleaver house (didn't like it) was used in other TV shows.*

 

*The Blandings house was interesting re the inventory of costs, expensive at the time I assume for a non-Vanderbilt. Reminds me of the inventory Rudy Vallee keeps on the clothing bought by Claudette Colbert in Palm Beach Story, as outrageous now as they were then!*

 

I've never seen the CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT house used in any other movie -- if it was, I'd love to know, because it's my favorite movie house.

 

Regarding the cost of the Blandings' house, in the magazine article I mentioned earlier, I think they noted that there was no way that someone making $15,000 per year in 1947 -- Jim's stated salary in the movie -- could have afforded the small country estate that the family ended up with ("35 acres -- more or less" plus the cost of building a very nice house).

 

You're correct that the LEAVE IT TO BEAVER house (at least the second one) was used elsewhere. According to the Wikipedia page on the show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leave_It_to_Beaver), the second house, on "Pine Street," was also used in the Bogart film THE DESPERATE HOURS and the TV show MARCUS WELBY, M.D., among other productions. The house is still on the Universal lot, although it's been changed over the years.

 

The house that the Hardy Family lived in was still around in the 1970s, when the host segments for THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! were filmed, with one of the hosts walking down that backlot street and looking at Andy's and Polly's houses in somewhat overgrown yards. (I can't remember which host was featured in that segment -- I'm thinking it probably wasn't Mickey Rooney, because they didn't have the hosts talking about their own films.) The Hardys' house is probably gone now -- if I remember correctly (from "MGM: When the Lion Roars"), the MGM backlot was sold and destroyed some years ago. In any event, I've always liked the Hardys' house -- spacious enough to be comfortable, especially Judge Hardy's den, but not too big to be cozy.

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I'll have to be on the look out, Bing Fan, unless I'm mixing up window seats and curtains.

 

I was thrilled to see the desk in Warren William's office (not in Skyscraper Souls, though) used twice, and a gorgeous desk it was.

 

Do you recall the final tally of the house? 35 acres in CT, what a hoot!

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It probably doesn't qualify as a house, exactly, but I loved the big old nightclub/restaurant farmhouse in "Holiday Inn." I watched that picture over and over just to enjoy the front of it, with all the big windows and the porch, and the sleigh or carriage driving up with the actors dressed up in their best. I like best the Thanksgiving scene where Bing is seated at his own little table by the fireplace and that great dinner he can't eat because he's lovesick.

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}

> ...Do you recall the final tally of the house? 35 acres in CT, what a hoot!

When they finally move into the house, either Jim or Muriel Blandings calls it "a $38,000 icebox" (because the windows are missing), if I remember correctly. According to the movie's entry in the IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040613/trivia), this was the cost of the house plus the property. I don't remember, myself, if that's how it actually tallies up in the movie, but it sounds about right. (You'd think I would remember such details, after watching this movie probably a dozen or more times over the years -- it's one of my favorites.)

 

One thing I disagree with from the IMDB is that the cost of the house/property in 2010 would have been $340,000. That sounds extremely low to me; in the Washington, DC exurbs, where I live in an area very similar to the exurban area in Connecticut where the Blandings lived, buying 35 acres and building a spacious house would cost far more than $340,000 these days (even after the housing meltdown). By contrast, the IMDB says that the actual house that original author Eric Hodgins built and used as the basis for his book recently sold for $1.2 million -- which sounds much more likely.

 

Edited by: BingFan on Oct 4, 2012 1:09 PM

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> {quote:title=Dothery wrote:}{quote}It probably doesn't qualify as a house, exactly, but I loved the big old nightclub/restaurant farmhouse in "Holiday Inn." I watched that picture over and over just to enjoy the front of it, with all the big windows and the porch, and the sleigh or carriage driving up with the actors dressed up in their best. I like best the Thanksgiving scene where Bing is seated at his own little table by the fireplace and that great dinner he can't eat because he's lovesick.

Heck, I think the "Holiday Inn" qualifies as a house, and it's another one of my favorites. Bing mentions in the movie that a farmer who felt crowded in the city built it for himself and made it as big as it could be until he ran out of lumber. So it was built as a personal residence, before Bing had the idea of turning it into an inn.

 

Now that I think about it, I seem to have a lot of favorite houses from movies, and they're usually in the country. Maybe that's part of the reason that my wife and I, almost 20 years ago, bought a house on a small acreage that's within commuting distance of a big city but is still in a semi-rural area. It takes me a long time to get back and forth to work, but it's worth it when I'm at home, looking out the front window at our small pasture.

 

The house in GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE is another of my favorite country houses, along with BLANDINGS, CHRISTMAS IN CONN., HOLIDAY INN, and BRINGING UP BABY. They're all houses that I could happily live in (although I'm not complaining about my actual house, which is considerably smaller but very comfortable -- with a framed BLANDINGS lobby card on the living room wall).

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Spencer Tracy had a nice little colonial or semi-colonial in Father of the Bride.

Spacious, but comfy and cozy too, and, a must for any Tracy abode, a nice

space to keep the liquor bottles in. It's easy to tell that The Desperate Hours

was using the second Beaver house, or rather it's the other way around since

TDH came first. Some things may have been altered, but not that much. Bogey

would have had Eddie Haskell running for his life.

 

I like the ocean side shack in Rebecca. It needed to be cleaned up and re-

decorated, then it would have been a nice hideaway to get away from everything

and everybody. Might have to have it moved--near enough to hear the ocean in

the distance, but not near enough to smell the stuff that washed up on shore.

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That was it, thanks, $38K.

 

So Jim made $15K a year and qualified for $38K, I hope he's paid it off by now!

 

But you're right, it would closer to $1.5M than $340K. I doubt the imdb writer knows real estate.

 

All in all, a very enjoyable movie: if you ain't eating WHAM, you ain't eating ham.

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