My favorite movie about buying a house: ‘Mr. Blandings builds his dream house

By | November 14, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. Blandings need to construct their dream residence in Connecticut. (Warner Bros.)

HGTV’s lineup received stale, so I surfed the channel and got here throughout considered one of my favourite films, Mr. Blandings builds his dream home (1948) on TCM.

It is an previous film. It stars Cary Grant.

However earlier than you scoff and take into account this overview coming from an previous man yelling on the children on his garden, I actually hope you do that film. It’s appropriate for homebuyers of all ages and eras. It is the infinite story of metropolis dwellers wanting to flee to the suburbs.

Within the case of the Blandings household, it is to get away from the claustrophobic existence of Manhattan for extra space in Connecticut.

If the plot appears acquainted, it is as a result of sequels have been tried. However they fail. Tom Hanks and Shelly Lengthy gave it a good shot in a 1986 remake known as The silver pit. Worse, a lot worse, Ice Dice performed Are we executed? (2007).

These remakes – counting on low-cost scraps and mayhem – did not seize the delicate, delicate, virtually humorous humor of the Cary Grant-Myrna Loy-Melvyn Douglas dynamic. Loy performed Grant’s spouse, Muriel. Douglas, a two-time Oscar winner, performed Invoice Cole, Grant’s lawyer and longtime pal.

Warning: Spoilers forward on a 74-year-old movie!

To set it up, Blandings is a $15,000-a-year (a number of cash in 1948) promoting account supervisor in New York Metropolis. He and his spouse and two daughters dwell in a cramped New York residence that has little privateness. The bogs are shared. The bins fall on their heads after they open the cabinets.

Reasonably than pay $7,000 to transform an residence, Jim Blandings enthuses a few repairman in Connecticut. It is a 200-year-old farm on 35 acres (roughly) the place Basic Gates is alleged to have stopped to water his horses through the Revolutionary Warfare.

They purchase the property a number of occasions the going fee for locals, prompting Invoice Cole to berate Jim for following his coronary heart as an alternative of his head.

Mr. Blandings builds his dream home that turns right into a nightmare

Jim goes forward with the acquisition. They’re pressured to demolish the home. They pay an architect $18,000 to make it a customized home. The previous home is demolished however the mortgagee sues them for the steadiness of the mortgage, which creates much more unexpected bills (we have been there earlier than, have not we?). Throughout development, builders discover a supply beneath the inspiration, which implies extra expense.

There’s additionally the matter of journey. As DART commuters know, you’re on the mercy of schedules.

Entangled, Jim suspects his spouse of dishonest on him, a perception that shortly resolves onto deeper friendships between the three.

In the meantime, Jim’s profession goes south. He must provide you with an promoting slogan for some form of ham or ham product known as WHAM.

All the things finally ends up being okay. I even realized what a lintel and driveway is by way of home constructing.

And it turned out that Mr. Blandings’ home is the home everybody goals of.


To catch Mr. Blandings builds his dream home on TCM this month. Additionally it is obtainable for rental on YouTube.