Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Parody/Spoof, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jun 4, 1948 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Mark Deming

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is an ideal example of the sort of frothy, smart-without-congratulating-itself comedy that Hollywood regularly produced in the first half of the 20th century. Cary Grant is near the top of his comic form as Jim Blandings, blundering through the construction of his new home in Connecticut with more bull-headed determination than practical skill, and Myrna Loy is his superbly dry comic counterpart as Jim's slightly more sensible mate, Muriel Blandings; the wonderful scene in which she sends the painting contractor to the produce market in search of the right colors is light comic absurdity at its best. And how about a hand for Connie Marshall and Sharyn Moffett as the Blandings daughters, who never fail to hit the right note of bemusement and embarrassment with their parents' ongoing fiasco, and Louise Beavers as Gussie, the loyal servant who seems a bit smarter than her boss (and has one of the best lines in the movie). Melvin Frank's and Norman Panama's screenplay puts enough spin on the situations to keep them from getting hackneyed, and H.C. Potter's direction keeps things light, lively, and on their toes. Like a good gin and tonic, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is light and bubbly, with just enough bite to be both refreshing and intriguing.