Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Fed up with crowded big-city living, advertising executive Mr. Blandings (Cary Grant) decides to seek out a big, roomy house in the country. Armed with more enthusiasm than common sense, Blandings causes many a headache for his lawyer/business manager Melvyn Douglas, who tries to keep the costs within a reasonable amount. Alas, Blandings bulls ahead on his own, first purchasing an estate on the verge of collapse, then opting to build his dream house from scratch. An unpleasant legal squabble over the fact that Blandings purchased his new property without checking with the prior owners throws even more good money after bad. The construction of the new Blandings digs is slowed down to a walk by doors and windows that don't fit, plumbing that fails to function, doorknobs that break upon contact with human flesh, temperamental workmen, and various and sundry other homeowners' nightmares (if all this sounds like the much-later Tom Hanks/Shelley Long comedy The Money Pit, it only shows to go how little has changed in forty years--except, of course, for the costs of things). Attempting to keep a level head throughout the proceedings is Mrs. Blandings (Myrna Loy), though even she is guilty of pretensions and excess, especially in the classic "choice of colors" scene. The humor in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House springs so naturally from the central situation that it seems intrusive when the scriptwriters throw in an arbitrary French-farce scene wherein Blandings suspects that his wife and his lawyer are fooling around (a plot point that the original Eric Hodgins novel did just fine without). One of the best bits comes near the end, when Louise Beavers, the Blandings' cook, saves the day for everyone by ad libbing "If you ain't eating Wham, you ain't eating Ham." Why should we spoil your enjoyment by explaining that line? Now you'll have to see the picture.
home-improvement, homeowner, construction, house, remodeling, suburbs, life-changes, problems, advertising