Phillip Duggan (sparhawk2k) wrote in celluloidraving,
Phillip Duggan
sparhawk2k
celluloidraving

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) ... 7.0/10

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In many ways this may be one of the most dated movies (not dealing with war in any way) that I've seen in a lot time. It's fun to watch at times thanks to the great cast but it's also rather hard to sit through other parts. I guess growing up with a contractor had part to do with it but I can't imagine anybody handling things as badly as Mr. Blanding did. It rather hurt to see Cary Grant being that stupid sometimes. And on top of that it seemed like practically every other line was mentioning some sort of financial figure but they were all skewed thanks to inflation. They keep talking about his fifteen thousand dollar salary and from there I just kept getting more and more lost. And it doesn't even work to just cut the numbers by fractions because the costs of construction have changed so much. As I understand it, things like Hearst's Castle would be all but impossible today.

But anyway, this starts out with quite a few scenes showing us just how crowded the current apartment of the Blandings really is. They do a good job of setting the scene and throwing in some humor but they're really not all that interesting. We're brought step by step into the world and shown every little problem they seem to have. As time goes on they start to realize they want something else. So they slowly start looking around, but it doesn't quite turn out as they expected. The local sees a sucker a mile away and quickly convinces them to buy right away at an outrageous price. Things just continue to get more and more complicated as they try to restore the existing house and build on the property. Everybody gets more and more frustrated as more and more problems build up and they start to influence their entire lives.

I've seen better films by both Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Grant seemed much too dim-witted and grumpy most of the time, and while Myrna played her part well I definitely prefer characters more like Nora Charles. This quiet housewife bit isn't nearly as amusing as the rich witty wife of the famous detective� Though I guess even I'll admit it's probably more fitting for the film. On the whole, while it was enjoyable, it dragged on and didn't keep me as engrossed as I would have expected considering the cast. If you like either of the stars you'll probably at least enjoy it but there are lots of things out there I'd recommend seeing first.


Bill Cole: The next time you're going to do anything or say anything or buy anything, think it over very carefully. When you're sure you're right, forget the whole thing.

Muriel Blandings: Don't worry Snow White. You'll be just as pure and unsullied as you were the night before.
Bill Cole: That's the story of my life.
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