Review: ‘Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House’

Eric Hodgins' novel of the trials and tribulations of the Blandings, while building their dream house, read a lot funnier than they filmed. Norman Panama and Melvin Frank come through with a glossy lustre in handling physical production, but fail to jell the story into solid film fare in their dual scripting.

Eric Hodgins’ novel of the trials and tribulations of the Blandings, while building their dream house, read a lot funnier than they filmed. Norman Panama and Melvin Frank come through with a glossy lustre in handling physical production, but fail to jell the story into solid film fare in their dual scripting.

Film’s opening pulls some standard sight gags that register strongly, helped by the business injected through H.C. Potter’s direction.

Script gets completely out of hand when unnecessary jealousy twist is introduced, neither advancing the story nor adding laughs.

Grant is up to his usual performance standard as Blandings, getting the best from the material, and Myrna Loy comes through with another of her screen wife assignments nicely. Melvyn Douglas, the lawyer friend of the family, gives it a tongue-in-cheek treatment. Trio’s finesse and Potter’s light directorial touch do much to give proceedings a lift.

Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House

Production

Selznick/RKO. Director H.C. Potter; Producer Norman Panama, Melvin Frank; Screenplay Norman Panama, Melvin Frank; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Harry Marker; Music Leigh Harline; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Carroll Clark

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Cary Grant Myrna Loy Melvyn Douglas Reginald Denny Jason Robards Lex Barker

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