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Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

(1948 b 94')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from a novel by Eric Hodgins, an advertising man in New York and his wife buy property and have a house built in Connecticut with help from their lawyer friend, an architect, a contractor, and others.

Lawyer Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) tells about New Yorker Jim Blandings (Cary Grant), who is awakened by an alarm at 7:30 and gets ready for work, sharing a bathroom with his two daughters and wife Muriel (Myrna Loy). Jim works in advertising, but Betsy Blandings (Connie Marshall) says her teacher calls it crass commercialism. Bill drops by. Muriel says she wants to redecorate the apartment, and it will cost $7,000.

Jim sees an ad for a house in Connecticut and takes Muriel to see it. The realtor Smith (Ian Wolfe) sells it to them. Bill tells Jim he is paying way too much. Jim and Muriel take Bill to see it and get lost. Bill suggests an engineer check it, and several advise them to tear it down. Architect Henry Simms (Reginald Denny) suggests they build a new house. Jim and Muriel want more rooms. They have the old house torn down and argue about reducing costs of the new one. Bill comes in and says Jim must pay the $6,000 mortgage for destroying it without getting permission. Jim is jealous of Bill kissing Muriel goodbye.

Jim and Muriel hire a contractor. Tesander (Harry Shannon) is drilling a well, and they have to blast rock for the cellar. Bill visits Jim in his office and notes he is behind in his advertising work. Jim learns the blasts hit a spring that has to be pumped out. Jim, Muriel, and Bill visit the construction site and get locked in a room.

Jim is trying to advertise ham and gets tired of eating it. He gets a notice they have to move in thirty days, and they move to the unfinished house. Simms says the wrong windows were delivered, and Muriel describes the colors she wants for painting each room. Jim learns he will have to take a 6:15 train every morning. His daughters discovered Muriel's diary about Bill and his fraternity pin, and Jim gets jealous. Muriel asks what is wrong; they argue, and he apologizes.

Jim needs a slogan for the ham and works at night while Muriel and Bill are alone because rain washed out the bridge. Jim tests slogans on his assistant Mary (Lurene Tuttle) and gives up. He goes home in the morning. Simms asks about a $1247 bill, and Muriel admits she asked for a minor change. Jim sees Bill in his robe and learns they were alone all night. Jim tells Muriel he hates the house and complains about the conspiracy to take advantage of American suckers; but Tesander brings him a small refund from an overcharge. Bill says that they have done well in following their heart to build the house. At breakfast Jim gets his slogan from the maid Gussie (Louise Beavers).

This comedy reflects the trend to build one's own house in the suburbs, satirizing the desire to have extra rooms for various luxuries.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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