Blu-ray Review: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, June 17th, 2021  

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Studio: Warner Archive

May 26, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Mr. and Mrs. Blandings seem to have an ideal life in post-War New York City: a happy marriage, two loving daughters, and a stable financial life thanks to Mr. Blandings’ successful career as an ad man on Madison Avenue. Their only issue seems to be that their four-large family seems to have outgrown their two-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Sick of waiting in line for the shower and squeezing up to the mirror for his morning shave, Mr. Blandings spots an ad for real estate in Connecticut farm country, within commuting distance from the city. The couple start looking for houses.

It’s not long, though, before Mr. Blandings is hoodwinked into purchasing an overpriced plot of land that’s home to a purportedly historic house—one that he’s unaware is only fit for demolition until the contractors arrive to assess his newly-purchased piece of crumbling architecture. The only option is to tear it down and build new, and so the couple dream up the perfect – and increasingly expensive – blueprints for their country home…

Released in 1948, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was the third film to pair Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Their charms do the heavy lifting in this comedy, which lacks the clever jokes of Grant’s classic screwball comedies or Loy’s Thin Man series. It’s pleasant, but produces laughs with nowhere near the same frequency as these other works—most of the humor comes from the family’s ever-mounting bills (which may actually produce anxiety in anyone who’s ever bought a home) and a subplot where Mr. Blandings becomes jealous of his wife’s college ex-boyfriend, who is now a longtime friend of the family. (It seems petty, fast.) Again, while fans of both actors will probably find enough to like in this film, it’s definitely in a second or third tier behind other potential choices.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse is well-presented on Warner Archive’s new Blu-ray edition. Extras include a very funny Tex Avery cartoon, The House of Tomorrow, and two radio presentations of the story which feature Grant paired up with different actresses: Irene Dunne, and Betsy Drake.

(Warner Archive Shop)


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