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MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE

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MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE ($20) is a genuine delight of a movie and a personal favorite (of which there are many) amongst those films starring the legendary Cary Grant. This comedy classic tells the story of Madison Avenue advertising man Jim Blandings (Cary Grant), who decides to move his wife Muriel (the lovely Myrna Loy) and their two daughters out of their cramped midtown Manhattan apartment and into a home in the country.

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You know the old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, well, for the Blandings, it is paved with ever mounting bills, as their lovely little home in country turns into a hellish money pit (where do you think they got the idea for the Tom Hanks movie???) that begins sucking them dry. Of course, the film’s oftentimes-hilarious comedy stems from every unforeseen expense and complication associated with Blandings’ crazy notion of building his dream house in a relatively inexpensive fashion. The cast of MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE also features Melvyn Douglas, Reginald Denny, Louise Beavers Ian Wolfe, Nestor Paiva and Jason Robards Sr..

Warner Home Video has made MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE available on DVD in its proper 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratio. MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE has been given a really terrific transfer that shows off the beauty of James Wong Howe’s lovely black and white cinematography. The image appears very crisp and rather finely detailed. The blacks appear quite deep and velvety, while the whites are clean and wholly stable. Grayscale is produced with great nuance, which brings a nice dimensional quality to the image. The film elements are in great shape for a movie well past its fiftieth anniversary, with minor blemishes and scratches being the biggest sign of age. One will notice a grain structure through most of the proceedings, but it isn’t distracting and it gives the image a film like quality. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

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MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE comes with a Dolby Digital monaural channel soundtrack that is quite respectable considering the film’s age. Most signs of background hiss and noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, which leaves a generally smooth sounding track. Fidelity has the expected limitations, but the music never sounds harsh or reedy. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the voices come across with a good sense of character. No other language tracks are provided, but English, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some rather choice extras. The 1949 Tex Avery animated short The House Of Tomorrow makes for a rather amusing companion piece to the feature. From the Audio Vault one will find a Lux Radio Broadcast and a Screen Directors Playhouse Broadcast, both featuring Cary Grant reprising his Jim Blandings role. Closing things out is a Cary Grant Theatrical Trailer Gallery featuring BRINGING UP BABY, GUNGA DIN, MY FAVORITE WIFE, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, DESTINATION TOKYO, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, NIGHT AND DAY, THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER, MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE and NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE is indeed a classic comedy and a genuine delight starring cinema icon Cary Grant. Warner has done a truly fine job with the DVD, providing an excellent transfer and some really nice extras. If you are a movie buff, Cary Grant fan or even a fan of the often overlooked, but wonderful and lovely Myrna Loy, you’ll want to add MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE to your DVD library. Recommended.

 

MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE 


Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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