"Anybody who builds a house today is crazy."
Description: Cary Grant as Jim Blandings complains about houses in the motion picture Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948).
Jim Blandings works in advertising in New York City and lives in a tiny apartment with his wife, Muriel (Mryna Loy), their two children, Joan and Betsy, and Gussie (Louise Beavers), their housekeeper.
In need of more space and tired of the rat race of the city, the Blandings decide to look for a house in the Connectcut countryside.
Mr. Smith, the realtor introduces the Blandings to their potential "Dream Home" and tries to motivate them to buy the house with a little historical information. "You're buying a piece of American history," he says. "Why, first year she was built, General Gates stopped right here to water his horses."
Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) a lawyer and close friend of the family isn't as impressed at the historical significance of the house and tells the Blandings in no uncertain terms, "I don't care if 'General Grant' dropped in for a scotch and soda. You're still getting rooked."
Despite the age of the house, Muriel likes it, and says "The house and the lilac bush at the corner are just the same age. If a lilac bush can live and be so old, so can a house. It just needs someone to love it, that's all."
The Blandings agree to buy the property but soon with all the costs for drilling a water well, and the other expenses, decisions and choices that come along with building a house, the Blandings realize they might have bitten off more than can handle, mentally and financially. Home ownership is a lot more pressure than they ever imagined.
|Jim:||What about the windows?|
|Simms:||I'm afraid there's been a little slip up. These windows seem to belong to a Mr. Landing in Fishkill. I spoke to him on the phone this morning.|
|Jim:||Well, has he got mine?|
|Simms:||No, he seems to have the windows that belong to a Mr. Blandworth in Peekskill.|
|Jim:||Where are MY windows?|
|Simms:||Well, near as we can find out, they've either been sent to a Mr. Banning in Danbury, or a Mr. Bamburger in Waterbury.|
Lamenting his decision to buy the place, Jim confides his misgivings to friend, Bill Cole:
“Anybody who builds a house today is crazy. The minute you start, they put you on a list—the All-American Sucker list. You start out to build a home and you wind up in the poorhouse. And if it can happen to me, what about the fellas who aren’t making $15,000 a year? What about the kids who just got married and want a home of their own? It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. A conspiracy against every boy and girl, who were ever in love.”
When Bill Cole sees the construction costs for the Blandings house, even he realizes that Jim and Muriel are in trouble, and says, "You've been taken to the cleaners, and you don't even know your pants are off."
He also advises, "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:||I refuse to endanger the lives of my children in a house with less than four bathrooms.|
|Jim||For 1,300 dollars they can live in a house with three bathrooms and ROUGH IT.|
But the film has a happy ending. With the help of Gussie the housekeeper who comes up with a successful adverting slogan for one of Jim's accounts ("If you ain't eatin' Wham, you ain't eatin' ham"), the Blandings have enough funds to finish their house in the country and finally live the life of ease and comfort that they always wanted.