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“It was a joy,” Cary Grant said about making Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The movie, based on the novel by Eric Hodgins, who had his own rennovation mishaps, showed the funny side of repairs. Go behind-the-scenes below!
1. Another movie helped get it made.
Myrna Loy and Cary Grant previously worked together on Wings in the Dark and The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer with Shirley Temple. Interestingly, the young Temple made Grant angry when she did an impression of him for the crew. She also put old flashbulbs into the cameras, so photographers couldn't take pictures of Loy. Based on the success of Bobby Soxer, the studio moved forward with the two leads for Mr. Blandings. “Cary was terribly funny when he was frustrated,” Myrna Loy said.
2. Two sites had to be made.
The film focuses on the misadventures of an ad executive who tries to build his home. Two versions of “rural Connecticut” had to be created so that they could film the old house and also film the site of the new house. Years later, Grant had a similar experience renovating his home in Beverly Hills. At one point, a carpenter told him, “Imagine a man your age going through all this.”
3. It was adapted for radio.
Less than a year after the film’s release, Cary Grant performed a weekly radio program based on the film called Mr. and Mrs. Blandings. Grant performed with his then wife, Betsy Drake, and Gale Gordon. Grant was a perfectionist with the show and would comb through scripts to make sure the dialogue was perfect.