Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Subscribe to Cary Grant alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th June 1948

Distributed by: RKO

Production compaines: RKO Radio Pictures

Reviews 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: H.C. Potter

Starring: Cary Grant as Jim Blandings, Myrna Loy as Muriel Blandings, Melvyn Douglas as Bill Cole, Reginald Denny as Henry L. Simms, Sharyn Moffett as Joan Blandings, Connie Marshall as Betsy Blandings, Louise Beavers as Gussie, Ian Wolfe as Smith, Harry Shannon as Tesander, Tito Vuolo as Mr. Zucca, Nestor Paiva as Joe Appollonio, Jason Robards Sr. as John W. Retch, Lurene Tuttle as Mary, Lex Barker as Carpenter Foreman, Emory Parnell as Mr. PeDelford

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Movie Review

By the time Cary Grant took on the role of Jim Blandings, the hapless hero of this would-be screwball comedy about the perils of home ownership, he no longer had to prove himself as a great comic actor. His charm-school looks and exacting sense of timing propelled three of the finest comedies from Hollywood's golden age -- Bringing Up Baby (1938), His Girl Friday (1940), and The Philadelphia Story (1940) -- but here he doesn't seem particularly compelled to top himself. The script doesn't light much of a fire under him either. What makes those three earlier movies so enduring is their speed -- the way the jokes keep coming, and the way Grant and his cohorts keep knocking them out of the park -- and Dream House is built out of much weaker material.

Grant plays Blandings, a Manhattan advertising executive who lives in a too-small apartment with his wife Muriel (Myrna Loy), their two children, and a maid. After a clunky opening sequence that oversells just how tightly packed everybody is, the Blandings go house-hunting in Connecticut, where they fall for a large house on an estate of rolling hills. They've rushed into things, though: the broker mischaracterized the size of the property and the state of the home, which is beyond repair and needs to be torn down. The idea of the Blandings setting off to build a brand-new house initially seems like solid comic fodder, but there really aren't too many jokes to tell within the setup - most revolve around the ever-escalating construction tab, and shots of Grant making outraged noises and widening his eyes get old fast. Jim's lawyer friend Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) is a decent straight man, but he's also hooked into a go-nowhere infidelity subplot that drags down an already sluggish film.

Dream House is best appreciated as a sort of adult version of teenage hygiene films from the '40s and '50s, which advised adolescents on the best ways to study, go on dates, and dress themselves. Coming just after the end of World War II, Dream House reflects the eagerness of that generation to actively pursue the American Dream of a suburban house with a fireplace and a big sprawling lawn - the perfect place for hosting garden parties where nobody says anything too offensive and everybody's careful not to laugh too loud.

The DVD includes a Cary Grant trailer gallery; two radio broadcasts of the story featuring Grant as a costar; and The House of Tomorrow, a cartoon directed by Tex Avery that has more laughs and irreverence in it than the film itself.


Subscribe to Cary Grant alerts


Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Rating

" OK "


More Cary Grant

Jamie Scott - Last Christmas Video

Jamie Scott of London duo GRAFFITI6 performs an acoustic rendition of Wham!'s 1984 festive single 'Last Christmas' in a black and white one-take video. In...

Christina Aguilera Ft. Brian McKnight - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Video

In 2000, Christina Aguilera recorded a collection of some of her favourite Christmas songs and the sessions resulted in the album 'My Kind of Christmas',...

Sam Smith - Like I Can Video

Sam Smith has launched the new video for his single 'Like I Can', released off of his number one debut album 'In The Lonely Hour'....

Jack Garratt - The Love You're Given (Live) Video

Buckinghamshire musician Jack Garratt performs an intimate live rendition of his new track 'The Love You're Given'. The artist has currently been touring across the...


Jack Garratt - Interview Video

Jack Garratt talks about his strict musical upbringing and subsequent multi-instrumental ability. However, it seems he hasn't always been dead set on being a musician...

Renee Fleming ft. Gregory Porter - Central Park Serenade Video

Renee Fleming and Gregory Porter perform a festive live rendition of their duet 'Central Park Serenade', taken from Renee's latest holiday album 'Christmas In New...

Laura Marling - Short Movie Video

Laura Marling has now launched the title track for her forthcoming new album 'Short Movie' alongside a colourful animated equine video. The record co-produced by...

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane Video

Tame Impala side-project Pond unveil a psychedelic graphics laden video for their new track 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', taken from their forthcoming new album...