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Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, a great movie!


FredCDobbs
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I love this movie. It is so funny, and so realistic, as anyone would know if they had ever tried to repair an old house or build one in an odd location.

 

I owned a hundred-year-old Victorian one time, and owning it was just like this movie in many ways.

 

 

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I love this movie. It is so funny, and so realistic, as anyone would know if they had ever tried to repair an old house or build one in an odd location.

 

I owned a hundred-year-old Victorian one time, and owning it was just like this movie in many ways.

I remember when I was a kid in the 80s, before we had the old AMC channel and my knowledge of classic film was quite limited-- the Tom Hanks/Shelley Long movie THE MONEY PIT had just come out in theatres. I think it was Gene Shalit or one of those guys who did short movie reviews on those morning news programs who compared it to MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE. Because I loved THE MONEY PIT, I was eager to obtain a copy of this film (on VHS) from the local library and watch it. Of course, we all know that Tom Hanks and Shelley Long can't hold a candle to Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.

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I love this movie. It is so funny, and so realistic, as anyone would know if they had ever tried to repair an old house or build one in an odd location.

 

I owned a hundred-year-old Victorian one time, and owning it was just like this movie in many ways.

 

I love the clever way the guy used a picture frame and carpenters level to show how bad the house was not level.  Goes to show one don't need fancy gadgets.  :)

 

Too bad they didn't had Valspar back then,  :lol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZwOGVWqHAw

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Myrna Loy makes this movie tolerable for me.    I really don't like it when women in movies are really clueless but Loy is so charming I look past that.

 

Before we got our kitchen redone my wife and I watched this film.    It helped her understand that talking to your contractor and signing work orders can be dangerous!

 

 

 

 

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MR. BLANDINGS has been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it in the 80s.  My wife and I watch it in full about once a year, and, like the other night, also enjoy chuckling at individual scenes when we catch part of it on TCM.

 

The movie partly inspired us to buy a house in the country outside a big city, where we've now lived happily for over 20 years, although our house wasn't nearly old enough for "General Gates" to have watered his horses there.  (We do have a lilac that's as old as the house, though, just as in the movie.)

 

Around the time we bought our house, I read the MR. BLANDINGS book, and found it both very funny and exceptionally perceptive about the house-buying experience, especially if you were, like us, apartment dwellers moving to our first house, and in the country at that.  There's a re-print paperback edition of the book available through Amazon if you're interested.  And the book's sequel, BLANDINGS WAY, about Jim and Muriel's adventures living full time in the country, can be found used -- it's also very entertaining, although it's a more conventional novel than the original, which was a more episodic book of humor.  Both books are well worth reading, especially if you like the movie.

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This was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and I enjoy it even more as an adult (although I think Muriel would be rather trying in the hands of just about anyone other than my favorite, Myrna Loy).

 

I love the opening scenes of a typical morning in their apartment, particularly how Muriel is sitting up, but not actually awake until Jim sticks a cup of coffee under her nose - and I love the way he scratches her head as he does so; Cary Grant and Myrna Loy do a nice job capturing the chemistry of a long-married couple who are a little worn down by the tedium of daily life but still love each other.

 

And the paint colors scene, of course, as well as Jim's bursts of jealousy with respect to Bill.  Muriel gets some of her best moments reacting to those. 

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While I love Myrna Loy and Cary Grant in this film, to me, Melvyn Douglas steals the show.

He also gets one of the best lines of all time:  "You've been taken to the cleaners and you

don't even know your pants are off."

 

Lydecker

 

Melvyn Douglas was really great, and he was given some great lines. I especially like his casual attitude the next day after he got stranded with Loy overnight, during the rainstorm. That was so funny!

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If you want to see the house, you still can.  It's up in the Malibu Creek State Park, and it is used as a administrative building.  Not much to see inside, but the outside is still recognizable. 

 

http://www.malibucreekstatepark.org/history.html

 

They need to hang the architect who designed that ape house eyesore. (top photo in link)

Edited by hamradio
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To promote the movie they built several "Blandings" houses and raffled them off.  One is in Fresno.  This blog has the photos (not sure if the link will work 'tho):

http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/11/15/mr-blandings-builds-his-dream-house/

 

I'll admit I love Mrs. Blandings daydream of the house..the flowered storybook cottage more than the actual one they built. :D  I have an obsession with movie set design houses.  Just the other day there was a short on TCM about Art Direction and there was a 1930s? movie set house that apparently everybody wrote in for the blueprints.  Does anyone know what movie that was?  Once I read something about Ronald Reagan and wife built a house based on some movie...can't remember which one.

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I'll admit I never heard of this movie until I was reading a review of the Tom Hanks movie, "The Money Pit", and the critic brought up the title MR. BLANDINGS BIULDS HIS DREAM HOUSE".  So I resolved to try to find a copy of it on video tape( pre DVD days it was) but saw a used hardcover copy of the BOOK in a thrift shop, so I READ it before SEEING it.  There ARE a few changes in the movie, but they're incosequential.  For example, When the architect brngs up the question of the added expense of the tile floor in Muriel's "flower closet"  or whatever...in the book, it describes her as getting a shocked look on her face and marching across the room, pouring herself a large glass of whiskey, and gulping it down in one shot as Blandings and the architect look on in disbelief.  Both the book and movie are equally humorous.  You CAN enjoy one AND the other.  One of the few times the movie IS as good as the book!

 

Sepiatone

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I enjoy this movie on so many levels.  First off, I grew up in "upstate New York," where a ton of "New Yorkers" so often came for their dose of the rural life, as it were.  So I saw plenty of Blandings in my time!  They all thought we were rubes and we just smiled...

 

At the same time, I now live in a 100+ year old house, which we've struggled to renovate and keep working, so I understand (all too well) the problem of finding competent contractors and all that.  I also understand how you can be hornswoggled over the lallys and the lintels...

 

Finally, I've worked in and around advertising most of my life, so I also "get" the idea that Cary Grant has to come up with the

next killer "campaign," and how that can drag you down!

 

It's one of those movies that doesn't seem to age.  I've seen it so many times and am still noticing new bits here and there.  Other than the seemingly tacked on ending, it's a pure delight!

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I just got back from my week trip to the beach; so I'm trying to catch up on the boards. 

 

I love Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.  I remember watching it on TCM purely for Cary Grant and I loved it.  In fact, I bought the Cary Grant Signature Collection just because this film was part of it.  Fortunately, there were a bunch of other great films included. 

 

Anyway, back to 'Blandings.'  I know that many points of the film have already been discussed; I'd like to talk about my favorite parts.

 

Like someone else mentioned, I love when Myrna Loy is discussing what paint colors she wants in her home; using the most ridiculous examples for her color scheme. 

 

I also love the beginning where Cary Grant and Myrna Loy fight over space in the bathroom and their bedroom. 

 

The reoccurring theme of people getting locked into the room was hilarious.  I also loved their maid.  If you a'int eatin wham, you a'int eatin ham! I like to throw that little quote into my everyday life whenever I can.  Of course, it's really only funny with other people who've seen that film.

 

I also loved another poster's comparison of this film with my beloved The Long, Long Trailer.  While Lucy and Desi aren't building a new house persay, they're buying a new home based on the promise that it'll be more convenient and more romantic; of course, Desi's stuck with payments for the trailer, the expense of the new car, and all the equipment that they're required to install in order to pull the new trailer.  The small costs just keep adding up, just like in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

 

I can't say enough positive things about 'Blandings' or 'Long, Long Trailer' for that matter-- both films are fantastic.

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