Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Facts and Figures
Run time: 94 mins
In Theaters: Friday 4th June 1948
Distributed by: RKO
Production compaines: RKO Radio Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 3
IMDB: 7.4 / 10
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Movie Review
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.