Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House by Eric Hodgins

The classic tale of leaving the city and building a house in the country, only to find country life isn't so simple. But it is hilarious.

Mr. Blandings, a successful New York advertising executive, and his wife want to escape the confines of their tiny midtown apartment. They design the perfect home in the idyllic country, but soon they are beset by construction troubles, temperamental workmen, skyrocketing bills, threatening lawyers, and difficult neighbors. Mr. Blandings' dream house soon threatens to be the nightmare that undoes him.

This internationally bestselling book by Eric Hodgins is illustrated by William Steig and was made into a film starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy.

Release date: June 4, 1948
Running time: 93 minutes
Cary Grant - James Blandings
Myrna Loy - Muriel Blandings
Melvyn Douglas - William "Bill" Cole
Louise Beavers - Gussie
Reginald Denny - Henry Simms
Jason Robards, Sr. - John Retch
Lex Barker - Carpenter Foreman
Connie Marshall - Betsy Blandings
Sharyn Moffett - Joan Blandings
Ian Wolfe - Real Estate Agent Smith
Nestor Paiva - Joe Appolonio
Harry Shannon - W.D. Tesander
Tito Vuolo - Mr. Zucca



First off, Cary Grant & Myrna Loy alone make this a classic to watch but the story is brilliant.  A classic film that may not have the prat falls that some of Grant's earlier comedies possess but still a great screwball comedy worthy of the genre.  If you're looking for a lighthearted film for summer viewing than this is one to add to your film library but it also has a great story to go with the laughs.


Author Bio:
Born 1899, Eric Francis Hodgins was the American author of the popular Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1946). Hodgins served as editor in chief of The Youth Companion, associate editor of Redbook, and then as associate editor of Fortune magazine. He became publisher of Fortune in 1937, and a vice president of Time Inc. in 1938. He quit Time Inc. in 1946 to write full-time.

His novels also included a sequel, Blandings Way, published in 1950.

He died in New York City.

Illustrator Bio:
William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig’s work began appearing in The New Yorker, where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968. In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His books for children also include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos & Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing.  Steig also published thirtAbout People in 1939, and including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, The Agony in the Kindergarten, and Our Miserable Life.  He died in Boston at the age of 95.

Eric Hodgins

William Steig


B&N  /  WIKI  /  IMDB  /  TCM

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