Monday, July 26, 2010

Book v. Movie: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

For possibly the first time, I strongly prefer a movie version to the original novel.  Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins began as a short story in Fortune magazine in 1946.  It was then almost immediately expanded into a novel, illustrated by William Steig.  The story is about a New York City family that decides to buy a home in the country.  Mr. and Mrs. Blandings want to be able to garden and spend more time with their daughters.  As you can expect, they are taken advantage of by others because of their naivety and are constantly foiled by their own grand plans.  Reading about Mr. Blandings failures is briefly funny but chiefly painful.  Mrs. Blandings' character alternates from clueless pampered wife to strong advocate and manager.

The 1948 film version stars Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.  It has a couple of added plot lines and a more humorous tone than the book.  I originally watched the movie because of the stars but have watched it a few more times since because it's amusing. This is one of my favorite scenes and is actually almost word for word from the book. Mrs. Blandings is choosing paint colors.

The story has also been remade into The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Are We Done Yet? with Ice Cube.

Verdict: Just watch the movie unless you are remodeling or building a home and need to read about someone who has it worse than you.

Trying to forget my own home ownership troubles,

Support our site and buy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (the book) and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (the DVD) on Amazon or find them at your local library.  We borrowed the book from the library.


  1. Anything with Cary Grant is going to win automatically! ;) This sounds like a fun movie; I hope I can get it from the library.

  2. I loved the original movie, have watched about three times. The re-make was Ok but the original was so much beter.


  3. Eva - That's the reason I originally watched this one. He's wonderful in this one. I love roles where he's harassed and exasperated. He has a cute sigh and frown. ;)

    Carol - The original is really fun! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I love The Money Pit!!! I had no idea it was a book before. Now you have inspired me to see if this one is at the library the next time I go!

  5. Tif - I can totally see you as a Money Pit fan. :)

  6. LOL!! Yeah, I kinda have an odd sense of humor, just like that movie!! :)