Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Script - Dialogue Transcript
Voila! Finally, the Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Cary Grant and Myra
Loy movie. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
Manhattan.New York.U.S.A.In any discussion of
contemporary America...... and how its people live, we must
inevitably start with Manhattan.New York City, U.S.A.Manhattan, glistening modern giant
of concrete and steel...... reaching to the heavens
and cradling in its arms millions.Seven millions.Happy beneficiaries of the advantages and
comforts this great metropolis has to offer.Its fine, wide boulevards facilitate the
New Yorker's carefree, orderly existence.A transportation system second to none
in passenger comfort.Quaint little sidewalk cafés
make for leisurely, gracious living.For its nature lovers,
the peace and privacy of a day in the sun.The city offers delightful changes
Well, I'll tell you.
Jim Blandings is part
of the fabric of this town.
Born and raised right here, he's as typical
a New Yorker as anyone you'll ever meet.
At least, he was.
If you wanna know the real story, I guess
I'm your boy. My name's Cole. Bill Cole.
I'm Jim's lawyer and "best friend."
Jim's one of those bright young fellas
you see around.
College graduate, ad business, lovely wife,
two fine kids, makes about a year.
Jim and Muriel Blandings are just like
thousands of other New Yorkers:Modern cliff dwellers.The morning it all started was just another
of those crisp September mornings.And the Blandings were still asleep.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Okay, Dad.
- Okay, Dad.
No. Good morning, Theodore.
- Good morning, Mr. Blandings.
- Good morning, Gussie.
Looking for something?
Why don't you look in your sock drawer.
That's where I found my underwear.
- Well, try your underwear drawer.
- I am in my underwear drawer.
Well, they must be somewhere. Socks don't
get up and walk away by themselves.
Muriel, I thought we had it
clearly understood that these two...
Two and a half top drawers were mine.
I thought... Why do...?
The closet. That's where they are.
We put them in the closet.
- Put what in the closet?
- Your socks.
- There wasn't room in the drawers.
- There's a lot in the closet.
So Gussie and I decided that from now on
we'd keep them in a basket on the shelf.
Jim, dear, I do wish you'd try
to make a little effort.
I'll try, dear.
Father, just one morning,
I wish you'd knock.
I beg your pardon.
- Lf you don't mind, dear.
- One moment.
Take your time.
I can spare the blood.
- Did you cut yourself?
- I cut myself every morning.
I kind of look forward to it.
- Why don't you use an electric razor?
- Can't get used to them.
- Bill Cole's been using one for years.
- He hasn't got my beard.
- Bill's beard is just as coarse...
- I am not interested in discussing...
...the grain and texture of Bill Cole's
hair follicles before I've had my breakfast.
All I said was, why don't you use
an electric razor?
Because I prefer the clean sweep
of the tempered steel as it glides smoothly...
No advertising copy, please.
- And hurry up. You'll be late for breakfast.
- Yeah. Sure.
- Who did it? Yes?
- I did.
Haven't I repeatedly told you not to cut up
the paper until I've read it?
I'm sorry, Father.
It's necessary research.
What? Another of Ms. Stellwagon's
so-called progressive projects?
Coming through, Theodore.
Does Theodore have to have breakfast with
us? Can't you take him to the living room?
Why send your children to
an expensive school...
...if you undermine the teacher's authority
in your dining room?
I'm not undermining anything.
I'm in the advertising business.
Keeping abreast of the times is important.
So is your child's education.
- That's not the point.
- It certainly is.
- Bicker, bicker, bicker.
You drink your milk.
Joan, every time Father and I have a lively
discussion, we aren't necessarily bickering.
What is it, Betsy?
Another English composition?
Ms. Stellwagon has assigned us
to take a classified ad...
...and write a human-interest theme on it.
I found one typical of the disintegration
of our present society.
I wasn't aware of the fact
our society was disintegrating.
I didn't expect you to be, Father.
Ms. Stellwagon says middle-class people
like us are prone to overlook...
Muriel, this is asking a lot,
but just one morning...
...I would like to sit and have breakfast
without social significance.
You must take more interest
in your children's education.
Can't squeeze blood from a turnip.
All right. I listen.
- It's just words.
I'm going to call it
A Minor Tragedy of Our Times.
"Forced to sell.
- Go on.
- That's all.
- That's all?
- You don't see it, do you, Father?
A fellow wants to sell his house,
he puts an ad in the paper.
What'd you expect him to do,
take it to the United Nations?
There's more to it than that,
isn't there, dear?
Certainly, Mother. What some people
don't see is the whole sordid picture.
A poor, honest farmer
pushed to the wall by hardship.
Until finally, in desperation,
he's forced to sell...
...and stoops to the crass commercialism
of newspaper advertising.
Oh, indeed. Newspaper advertising?
Ms. Stellwagon says advertising
is a basically parasitic profession.
You don't say.
Ms. Stellwagon says advertising
makes people who can't afford it...
...buy things they don't want
with money they haven't got.
Oh, she does, does she? Well,
perhaps your Ms. Stellwagon is right.
Perhaps I'll quit this
basically parasitic profession.
Which at the moment is paying
for your fancy tuition.
And those extra French lessons.
And that progressive summer camp.
To say nothing of the very braces
on your back teeth.
You shouldn't discuss money
in front of the kids.
They spend enough of it.
Bicker, bicker, bicker.
Girls, get your things and run along.
You'll be late for school.
Give my regards to Ms. Stellwagon.
I'll get it.
- Hello. We haven't seen you in ages!
- Morning, Bill.
- Betsy, is your mother up?
- She's in there.
- Come on, Betsy.
- Morning, Muriel.
- Good morning, Bill.
- Hi, Jim.
- Hello, Bill.
- Aren't you going to Lillie and Paul's?
- I am. They'll get me soon.
I thought I'd return these in case you want
to go through with that Funkhauser deal.
- Cup of coffee, Bill?
- Yeah, thanks. I will.
Personally, I think he's
$ out of line.
Yes, I suppose so.
Of course, you could save that amount by
not tearing out the living room wall.
- Sort of impractical anyway.
- I guess so.
What wall? Who are you talking about?
- Bunny Funkhauser.
You remember Bunny Funkhauser, dear.
That clever, young interior decorator
we met at the Collins' cocktail party?
You mean that young man
with the open-toed sandals?
What about him?
You know how long we've said...
...we've got to do something about
fixing up this apartment.
Well, a couple of weeks ago,
And I asked him to come over.
And he had some
simply wonderful ideas.
...I didn't want to bother you
with sketches and estimates...
...until I knew whether
we could afford it.
So I sent them over to Bill.
Why ask how much until you know
what you're going to get?
I've seen Bunny Funkhauser.
I know what I'm getting.
- I think he's got some interesting sketches.
- He's terribly clever. Look.
Here's how he sees our living room.
Isn't it charming?
What's that, a shoeshine stand?
It's a cobbler's bench, dear.
The room's Colonial. Breakfront.
Student lamp. Pie cooler. And over here
is a Martha Washington desk.
And where do I keep my powdered wig?
I think it's perfect. It's us.
Bunny says we're very American.
Very blueberry pie.
Well, don't look at me.
Bunny said it.
Now, here in the hall...
How much is all this going to cost?
...the figure isn't accurate,
because it includes...
- Well, $ Jim, but...
- $ !
Well, that includes tearing out a wall.
- And I quite agree with Bill...
- Oh, you do?
You're some lawyer.
A defenseless woman without any
conception of the value of a dollar...
...comes to you for advice
and you've got her tearing out walls.
I am on record as being opposed
to tearing out walls, and so is the woman.
- Lf you'd only listen...
- $ dollars?
I wouldn't put cents into
this broken-down rattrap.
Jim, how can you talk that way?
This is our home. Betsy was practically
born in this apartment.
That does not make it a national shrine.
Now, wait. When I came in this morning,
I had no intention of sending you to Reno.
- I thought I was doing you a favor.
- He was.
He was showing you how to save $
by not tearing out a wall.
I can save $ by not doing
anything at all.
Yeah. You can save another
by not buying her that mink coat.
- You don't take a cruise to the West Indies...
- All right, Bill. All right.
Not a bad day.
You've already saved $
and it's not even : .
See you next week. Bye, Jim.
- Bye, dear.
- Have a nice weekend.
- Wait, I'll go down with you.
- All right.
Seven thousand dollars.
- Morning, Mary.
- What's that?
- Seems we're in the midst of a situation.
"W-H-A-M. Wham. A whale of a ham."
- Why's it here? That's Johnson's headache.
- Not anymore.
Mr. Johnson is no longer with us.
Mr. Johnson lost the touch.
- Guess whose headache it is now?
- Oh, no.
- Oh, yes.
- Oh, no.
On your desk you will find a directive
from the high command.
What a morning. Bunny Funkhauser,
blueberry pie and Wham.
Nothing, Mary. Just a private joke between
me and whoever's going to be my analyst.
They sent down Mr. Johnson's handiwork
before he was drummed from the corps.
July: "When you've got the whim,
August, House and Stream:
"For a grand slam in ham, try Wham."
I have some more over here.
Balance of last year's campaign.
September's the little gem
that cost him his job.
Just a minute.
Would you spend $ to tear out
someone else's walls...
...when, for a few thousand more, you could
find a nice old place in Connecticut...
...fix it up and have the dream
house you've always wanted?
I beg your pardon?
Well, that's the way it all started.The ad was enough to convince Jim.But Muriel was a little tougher.I guess the corsage did it.There they are.Two little fish from New York out in
the deep waters of Connecticut real estate.That's Smith, the real estate salesman.Mighty shrewd cookie,
in a quiet sort of way.Yes, sir, he knows a sucker...
I mean customer, when he sees one.He sees one.Well, Smith, looks like you're finally gonna
unload the old Hackett place.The old, very old Hackett place.
Well, folks. There she is.
That is, for an old house.
You understand, Mr. Smith, we're just
window-shopping. Nothing definite.
Oh, perfectly all right.
Not a bad-looking house.
But it's a lot older than anything
we had in mind.
Well, she's no spring chicken.
But that's just what
makes her such a buy. Yep.
A man's got just about everything
he'd need here. A nice big hay barn.
Couple of fruit orchards
just over the hill.
Virgin stand oak grove other side
the trout stream there.
The trout stream will give you your own
pure, clear, cold mountain water.
Paved highway right to your door.
Grocer from town delivers twice a week.
Easy commuting distance, yeah.
minutes from New York City.
Brand-new high school
right down the road.
Yes, sir, mighty pretty little acres.
Fine old house too.
Four family bedrooms,
plenty of closet space.
However, it's not just all these,
- You're buying a piece of American history.
- Really? How's that?
Why, first year she was built, General Gates
stopped right here to water his horses.
Old General Gates, huh? Civil War.
Oh, that General Gates.
But I'm not trying to sell you anything,
understand. All I'm saying is that one day...
...someone with a little imagination's gonna
come along and steal this place.
And I mean steal it.
I don't have to tell you,
...what a woman's touch could do
to a place like this.
You've certainly got to visualize.
Couple coats of paint,
a little pointing up here and there.
Shall we go up and take a look at her?
Well, I suppose as long as we're here.
I guess it doesn't hurt to take a look.
I'll just see if the keys are
up there where I left them.
It has possibilities.
You think we can get it?
Like taking candy from a baby.
- Now, don't lose your head.
- You just keep quiet, dear. Let me handle it.
Tell me, Smith, what kind of price
is the owner asking for this old place?
What do you think, Bill?
"Steal" is an understatement.
"Swindle" might be more appropriate.
What do you mean?
Every time you get tight, you weep on my
shoulder about the advertising business.
How it forces a sensitive soul like yourself
to live by bamboozling the American public.
I would say a small part of that victimized
group has now redressed the balance.
- What are you talking about?
You got taken to the cleaners,
don't even know your pants are off.
Darling, I told you.
I said we ought to call Bill.
Now, Muriel. All right,
just what's wrong with this deal?
First time around, you offered $
for acres, right?
- What of it?
- That's $ an acre.
I know that part of Connecticut.
$ an acre...
...is standard top-gouge price
to city slickers.
When the natives sell to each other,
it's around or less.
The man's entitled to a fair profit.
Besides, you're not getting acres,
you're only getting more or less.
- Where does it say that?
- I refer to a rather obscure postscript...
...on the back of the second letter
from friend Smith.
"Incidentally, Mr. Hackett has been a little
optimistic about the acreage.
It will probably survey somewhere
in the neighborhood...
...of acres, more or less."
All right, so it's .
What's the difference?
Do you know how many tennis courts
you can get on acres?
You're not spending $
for tennis courts.
- That's not the point.
- That's precisely the point.
We'll write Hackett a strong letter.
Tell him he can kick in those acres...
...reduce the price
or find another sucker.
We'll do no such thing. I'm not gonna queer
this deal over broken-down acres.
- You just don't understand business.
- You mean extortion.
Now, wait a minute.
Now, put that thing down.
Look, you can't measure everything
on a slide rule.
- This house has intangibles.
- Like what, for instance?
Like antique value, for instance.
It just so happens that General...
...Gates stopped at that very house
to water his horses.
I don't care if General Grant dropped in
for Scotch and soda, you're getting rooked.
That was a different war.
I think Bill's absolutely right.
Let me explain something to you both.
For years I've been cooped up
in a four-room cracker box.
Just getting a morning shave
entitles a man to the Purple Heart.
That still doesn't make it a good buy.
Muriel and I have found what I'm not
ashamed to call our dream house.
It's like a painting.
You buy it with your heart, not your head.
You don't ask, "How much
was the paint? The canvas?"
You look at it. And you say,
"It's beautiful. I want it."
And if it costs a few more pennies,
you pay it and gladly.
Because you love it.
And you can't measure the things you love
in dollars and cents.
Well, anyway, that's the way
I feel about it.
When I sign on Saturday, I can look
the world in the face and say, "It's mine.
My house. My home.
Our house. Our home.
More or less.
So Jim cashed in his government bonds.Gave old man Hackett a $ mortgage...... and bought the place.Then they drove me out to see it.
This isn't the way we came
with Mr. Smith.
What in the world are "Shrunk Mills"?
Probably mills that have shrunk.
Seems to me we go left.
Over the bridge and turn right.
Congress ought to pass a law.
When a man buys a house in Lansdale,
there's a prize. percent off if he finds it.
- Over the bridge and turn right.
If you really want to find that house,
it's no problem.
Pretend you're one of General Gates'
horses and you're very thirsty.
Where would you go for a drink of water?
Well, I must admit,
it's a very beautiful thing.
The house and the lilac bush at the corner
are just the same age, Bill.
If a lilac can live and be so old,
so can the house.
It just needs someone to love it,
It's good there are two of you.
One to love it, one to hold it up.
What'd your engineer say
about the foundation and the roof?
Who needs engineers?
This isn't a train.
I just saw it move.
It's stood since the second year
of the Continental Congress.
You take one look at it
and shingles start to fall off.
Let me do you a favor. I've got a client,
structural engineer, Joe Apollonio.
the George Washington Bridge.
Thanks a lot, but we're
not building a bridge.
He advised the government
not to raise the Normandie.
They didn't listen, cost them $ million.
You have my word.
If I were raising the Normandie...
...I wouldn't make a move without
Apollonio. Would you like to come in?
I think you'd better get in touch
with Mr. Apollonio.
The house has charm,
hasn't it, Mr. Apollonio?
Any small changes would have to conform
to the character of the countryside.
And still be functional.
What is your professional opinion?
- Tear it down.
- Tear it down?
If your sills were shot and your
timbers was okay, I'd say fix her up.
If your timbers were shot and sills
was okay, I'd say fix her up.
But your sills are shot
and your timbers are shot.
I'll show you.
Take a look at the way
what she leans. Here.
It has to be level.
So I say, don't throw good money
after bad. Tear it down. Good day.
- Thanks a lot.
- That's okay.
And I send my bill to your office.
Bill Cole and his experts.
Never mind, darling.
We'll get our own experts.
And so they got their own experts.- Mr. Simpson said:
- Tear it down.- On the other hand, Mr. Murphy said:
- Tear it down.That's how our friend
Mr. Simms came into it.He said it was possible
to fix up the old place.But why not build
a new house, same size?It certainly wouldn't cost any more.
"Why not look at a floor plan?"
Here we are. Something like this.
First floor, living room,
dining room, study...
...kitchen, breakfast room,
service porch, maid's rooms.
Upstairs, three family bedrooms
with two adjoining baths.
Well, it's very nice.
But don't you think
it's a little conventional?
Yes, Mr. Simms, of course...
...if we were going to build a house,
we'd want it...
...well, just a little bit different.
Yes. Of course,
this is just a point of departure.
You don't have to adhere
to any of this.
Well, I don't think we're
at all ready to commit ourselves.
- Oh, no.
- Of course not. I understand.
if this were my house, I'd...
Well, I mean...
Now, here, for instance...
Now. In the study...
...if we could push out this wall
a little and put in a built-in bar...
Excuse me, dear.
These bedrooms are too small.
And we'll have to have
a little dressing room.
Yeah, and closets, Mr. Simms,
plenty of closets.
- One thing this family needs is closets.
- Lf I might make a suggestion...
And bathrooms, Mr. Simms.
Each bedroom must have
at least one bathroom.
But that would be four bathrooms,
Mrs. Blandings. I better point out...
I was wondering, do you think we
could manage a playroom in the basement?
You know, nothing tremendous.
Something like this.
Well, of course, it's always possible.
But our fundamental problem...
And I've always wanted
a little sewing room.
A little utility room upstairs...
...where I could be alone and sew
or sulk on a rainy afternoon.
Pardon me, dear.
Now, Mr. Simms, about that playroom...
...not too small. Plenty of room for dodge,
Ping-Pong, nice big poker table.
Yes. If you don't mind...
- Off the kitchen, a flower sink...
- There should be a terrace...
...a stone floor and shelves...
...an awning and fireplace...
...and a closet for gardening things...
...a barbecue thing. A roasting thing.
For Sunday afternoons.
Well, let's see what we have here.
In the first place, I'm afraid...
In the first place, you've got the upstairs
about twice as big as the downstairs.
- It's all those bathrooms.
- It's all those closets.
By extending that breakfast room,
you've eliminated the possibility of stairs.
I've allowed for that.
You can put them in behind the pantry.
Mrs. Blandings, on that sewing room,
the way you have it there...
...the chimney stack would
come up through the room...
...leaving you with the shape
of a square doughnut.
Which might be very warm in winter,
but otherwise of doubtful utility.
Can't you put the chimney
Look, I think I know just about
what you two have in mind.
Suppose I go ahead
with preliminary plans...
...and we get together in a week.
- All right. You do that.
- Holy smoke!
I'm afraid we didn't realize.
Well, Mr. Simms. Don't you forget,
we've got to hold it down under .
That, I can tell you right now,
Even with trimming
of the things you've indicated...
...I don't see how we can bring it in
for less than or .
Twelve thousand, five hundred?
I guess we won't quibble about
a few pennies one way or the other.
By the way, have you any notions as to how
you'd like the old place taken down?
Why don't we just blow on it.
Well, so far it's cost us $ . .
But we have the nicest vacant lot
in the state of Connecticut.
Something will have to be cut.
These plans are too elaborate...
...for the money you have to spend.
- All right.
I'll make the sacrifice. You can cut it out.
- Now we're getting somewhere.
- What's happening?
Dad just lost his playroom.
Muriel, as the house stands now,
it's over $ .
- Mother, may we put Theodore to bed?
It just doesn't seem possible
for a house with such small rooms.
I've already explained. It's not so much
the size of the rooms as it is the number.
Is it essential for each
of your daughters...
...to have her own room
with two closets and a bath?
You see, my daughters
are approaching womanhood and...
I didn't realize they were
approaching it quite so fast.
Perhaps what you need is not so much
a house as a series of little bungalows...
...each with two closets
and a private bath.
Well, what about that silly flower sink?
We could lose that.
I beg your pardon.
Or that sewing room. That's a waste.
May I suggest that neither of these
are really major eliminations?
- Lf you could do with one less bathroom...
- Sorry, we couldn't possibly.
A simple bathroom, by by ...
...with grade-A fixtures
will cost around $ .
I refuse to endanger my children's health
in a house with less than four bathrooms.
For $ they can live in a house
with three bathrooms and rough it.
- Why, Bill!
- Hello, Muriel.
Well, you've done it again.
Once, just once, why don't you
come to me and find out if it's legal...
...before you go barging off
and run yourself into another jam?
- What's eating you?
- Simms, I hold you equally responsible.
- What happened?
- I don't understand.
- Did you let this idiot tear down that house?
- What of it?
Reconstruction was unsound
and totally impractical.
But you're dealing with a man
who doesn't think before he acts.
- Who goes off half-cocked.
- What did I do?
You're an architect.
You were aware of the legality.
- What legality?
- There was a mortgage on that house.
- I assumed as much.
- What are you talking about?
- What did you do?
- I don't know. They won't tell me.
Certainly, but since you
were his lawyer, I assumed...
With a guy like this, don't assume.
Just a minute.
I'm entitled to know what I did.
This is America.
A man is guilty until proven innocent.
It's the other way around, Father.
- You go to bed.
Bill, would you mind telling me in clear,
...just what crime I've committed and why?
In clear, concise English,
you tore down a house...
...on which another man holds a mortgage
without getting his written permission.
Well, l... I did?
And in such case, the mortgagee
can demand full payment of said mortgage.
Mr. Ephemus Hackett so demands.
Six thousand clams.
And he wants them now.
- You've got days.
Ms. Stellwagon says the parents' problems
should be the children's problems.
Well, you keep that in mind, dear,
it'll help prepare you for motherhood.
- We'd better let the plans go for now.
- No, Simms. I'll work this out.
- Go ahead and let's see some estimates.
- Very well. You'll hear from me soon.
- Good night, Mr. Cole.
- Good night.
- Six thousand dollars.
- Good night, Mr. Simms.
What are you gonna do
about the collateral on your loan?
Turn in my insurance policies or something.
- Jim, you can't do that.
- Why not?
Why, if anything should happen,
the children would be left unprotected.
- I'm not dead yet.
- Well, of course you're not.
I'll see the boys at the bank. Maybe you
can put up your insurance as collateral.
...l'll sign a personal note.
Well, I gotta run along.
Jim, do me a little favor.
The next time you're gonna do anything
or say anything or buy anything...
...think it over very carefully.
When you're sure you're right,
forget the whole thing.
- Good night, Muriel.
- Good night, Bill.
What a wonderful friend.
What's with all this kissing
all of a sudden?
Just because a man helps in a business way
doesn't give him privileges with my wife.
That's a fine thing to say
about a friend of years.
Well, I just don't like it.
Every time he goes out of this house,
he shakes my hand and he kisses you.
Would you prefer it
the other way around?
Why is he always hanging around?
Why doesn't he ever get married?
Because he can't find another girl as pretty
and sweet and wholesome as I am.
Darling, let's not be silly about this.
It isn't Bill,
it's the house that's upsetting you.
I suppose so.
- Do you think it's worth all this?
- Of course it is.
It isn't a house we're building,
it's a home.
For ourselves and our children.
Maybe our children's children.
Each with two closets and a private bath.
Well, here are the estimates.
Before you look,
I think I better explain.
Don't bother, Mr. Simms. We're getting
to be old hands at this sort of thing.
Of course, these bids
are obviously way out of line.
That is, all except
John Retch & Son at .
- Twenty-one thousand!
- With some judicious cutting...
...I think we could pare that down to .
- We've asked for the barest necessities.
- Frankly, with all the extras...
- Never mind, Mr. Simms.
Send us a bill for your services.
I'll see it's taken care of.
- Goodbye, Mr. Simms.
- But one moment.
- In the first place...
- In the first place...
...I am going out to get my head examined.
If I don't jump off the Brooklyn Bridge...
...l'm going to find the owner of our
apartment building and sign a -year lease.
- Goodbye, sir.
- Goodbye, Mr. Simms.
- Goodbye, Mrs. Blandings.
Do you think you could keep
it down to ?
- Well, things are certainly humming.
I said, "humming."
Oh, there's my contractor, Mr. Retch.
I'll introduce you.
We ordered that a month ago.
- Hello, Mr. Retch.
- Hi. Put a tracer on it.
- We need that stuff.
- Got a lot on his mind.
Hey, get out of the way.
Wanna get killed?
- What's going on over there?
- That's Mr. Tesander. He's digging our well.
- How long does that go on?
- Three weeks now...
...at $ . a foot.
- Yeah, right.
I think I'd better have a little talk
with Mr. Tesander.
- How's it coming?
- What I meant was...
...how far down are you?
Oh, about feet.
- Isn't that pretty deep?
I mean, do you think perhaps
you ought to try another spot?
Up to you.
Haven't you hit anything yet at all?
Hit some limestone yesterday.
- That's good?
- That's bad.
Right now, looks like
we're coming into some shale.
- That's bad?
- That's good.
- But it might turn out to be sandstone.
- That's bad.
Might be good, might be bad.
One thing you know: You got plenty shale,
sandstone and limestone.
- I see.
- Mr. Tesander.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
Just for the record, of course,
what happened to water?
Oh, it's there, all right.
Just got to be patient.
- What's wrong with the steam shovel?
- I better go and take a look.
- Come here.
- What's the matter? Is something wrong?
- How do you like that?
I broke my bucket.
Two times this week, I broke my bucket.
- What did you do, hit a boulder?
- That's no boulder. That's a ledge.
- What does that mean?
- Means we gotta blast.
- Blast, with dynamite.
- What do you mean?
- What do you mean, "what do you mean"?
Mr. Zucca explained, he has to use
dynamite to blast to get rid of the rock.
That's no rock. That's a ledge.
What Mr. Blandings means is,
what precisely is a ledge?
A ledge is like a big stone,
only it's bigger.
- Like a boulder.
- No, like a ledge.
- Like a ledge.
- But you don't have to worry.
It only costs $ a cubic yard,
plus the dynamite and the fuse.
How far will you have to blast?
Hard to tell. Might be a little baby ledge,
might run the whole top of the mountain.
At $ a yard,
do you realize what that means?
It means we gotta blast.
With a few minor deviations,
I know exactly where every penny is going.
- Is that all?
- Yes, thanks.
- Hello, Bill. Come in.
I've been going over the Knapp contracts
with old man Dascomb.
While I was in there,
the conversation got around to you.
- Oh, what is it?
- Well, he didn't say in so many words...
...that since you started with that house
you haven't come up with one slogan.
- Where is it?
- It's there.
But since the Wham account
is the backbone of this agency...
...I kind of felt that he kind of felt...
...that if I kind of told you, you'd know that
he knew that you knew, or something...
What's he worrying about?
The deadline is six months off.
- Mrs. Blandings calling from Lansdale.
Yes, Muriel? What?
Tesander struck water?
Say, that's wonderful!
- Bill, we've got our well!
What do you mean,
we've got two wells?
I'll be right out.
Come on, Bill.
So you hit a spring, a bubbling spring,
right here in our cellar.
It has to be diverted
before Retch can pour cement.
May take a while.
Pumps are over in Jersey.
- Water, Mr. Tesander.
And just over there, you had to go down
feet to hit the same water.
- Now, how do you account for that?
Well, the way it appears to me,
...over here, the water
is down around feet.
And over there...
...it's down around feet.
- It's down around feet.
What's this, another closet?
- This happens to be our living room.
- This isn't it.
- Living room's across the hall.
- Then where's the dining room?
Well, I think it's...
- Maybe it's this little room.
- That's the breakfast room.
That isn't the breakfast room,
that's the powder room.
- Just where is the dining room?
- It was right here a minute ago.
- We couldn't just have lost it.
- Better put an ad in the paper.
I don't get this Blandings at all.
If you build on the windiest hill
in Connecticut, why pick the windiest side?
You know those New York millionaires.
Easy come, easy go.
- Now, here is the living room. Right?
- Yes. There's the fireplace.
- Come right in.
- After you, Rockefeller.
- Hey, mister. You the owner here?
Just the man I want to see.
I'll browse around upstairs.
The second-floor lintels between
the lally columns, should we rabbet them?
The second-floor lallies?
Second-floor lintels between the lallies.
Oh, the lintels between the lallies.
Yeah, from the blueprints you can't tell.
You want they should be rabbeted?
- No, no, I guess not.
- Okay, you're the doctor.
Hey, fellas! If you got any of them
rabbeted lintels set, rip them up!
It sounded less expensive to say no.
Stop it! Stop it!
Okay, fellas, let's quit!
Now look what you've done.
Mrs. Blandings didn't mean anything.
There's no point in walking off a job
because a woman makes a remark.
Look, mister, it's Saturday.
We quit at : .
Unless you want us to go on overtime.
No, no, no. Very kind of you, I'm sure.
See you Monday, fellas.
From the outside, this place
looks like a grain elevator.
On the inside, everything's miles too small.
- What's that?
- What's what?
That noise. It's upstairs.
- What happened?
- The door blew shut. I got locked in.
Impossible. I had this closet built
especially for myself.
- The lock opens from the inside.
- Maybe for Houdini, not for me.
Nothing to it, a child could do it.
Look, I'll show you.
See? It just takes some
good old Yankee know-how.
It's possible, darling, the lock works
for you and not for Bill.
- Ridiculous. Even you could do it.
- Thank you.
Come on, I'll show you. Get in.
Now go ahead, dear. Just open the door.
- I don't seem to be able to...
- Well, it's perfectly simple.
You just take the knob
and turn it clockwise.
Nothing like that
good old Yankee know-how.
Somebody let us out of here!
If I could just get over to that scaffolding.
Seems a shame, but I guess
it's the only way to do it.
- What are you gonna do?
- Don't get panicky. I'll get you out of here.
Stand up, Bill.
Hold that over the window.
Stand back, Muriel.
In case of emergency, break glass.
Come on, Bill.
That's funny. There's no reason
why that shouldn't work.
- Wham again.
- Yes, sir.
- Muriel, I thought we'd agreed...
- Gussie, no more Wham for Mr. Blandings.
- What about the rest of us?
- I'm sure there are other substitutes.
- Bacon, sausages...
- The children like Wham.
- There must be other...
- Mrs. Blandings likes it too.
- Just the same...
- And I consider it very tasty.
Gussie, I spend eight hours every day...
...trying to cram this stuff down
the throats of millions.
I know all about it.
Its succulent goodness.
- Its sugar-smoked tenderness. Its...
- You don't have to sell me. I like it.
Oh, thank you.
Darling, I'm going out
to the place this afternoon.
Bill's driving me up
to see about the landscaping.
That'll be nice.
- What do you mean, Bill's driving you?
- Why do you ask...
...when you know what I mean
and what you mean?
I mean, the moment I turn my back,
Bill Cole's driving you someplace.
- He's being helpful.
- I thought he was a lawyer.
- Why isn't he out suing somebody?
- Bicker, bicker, bicker.
- Well, we'll just see about that!
- What is it?
- What's the matter, Jim?
- Mr. William Cole, please.
They can't get away with this.
I know my rights as a citizen.
Why, this notice from
the owner of this building.
He wants our apartment.
He's ordering us to move in days.
How can I move into a house
that isn't even finished?
There are no windows, no plaster, no paint...
Listen to me.
I have no intention of moving in days.
This is not legal. I'll fight it and
I don't care if it takes every penny I've got.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
- All right.
We're moving in days.
So came days. And they moved.That is, we moved.Well, there she is, bright and shiny.And just about complete.The residence
of Mr. And Mrs. James Blandings."All right, everybody out."Guess you can't blame them
for feeling just a little bit proud.Even Theodore's proud."All right, men. Let's have a little action."
"Okay, Mac."The big moment.Look. He wants to carry her
across the threshold.Isn't that romantic?Watch that sacroiliac.Fifteen years since you've done
this sort of thing.Nice work, Tarzan. Now let's see
if you can make it into the living room.That's right. Go right in.
Don't pay attention to the sign."Look where you're going!
Can't you see I'm varnishing?""Stop painting that floor
and put some planks down in here!""Okay, Mac, but take it easy.
The Republicans ain't in yet, you know. ""There. I'll just see Simms about this.""Oh, Father! Wait till you see
what we found. ""Now what?Oh, fine. No windows.Well, we'll just see Simms
about that too. "
- Where's Simms?
- Around back, figuring out them windows.
- What's the problem? You put windows up.
- These don't fit.
Oh, they don't, don't they?
Mr. Blandings, you'd better
take a look at these bills.
- What about the windows?
- There's been a slip-up.
These windows belong
to a Mr. Landing in Fishkill.
- I spoke to him on the phone.
- Well, has he got mine?
No. He seems to have some windows that
belong to a Mr. Blandsworth in Peekskill.
- Where are my windows?
- As near as we can find out...
...they've been sent
to a Mr. Banning in Danbury...
...or a Mr. Bamberger in Waterbury.
Shall we spend the rest of our lives
in a house without windows?
It will only be a few days.
- What's a "Zuz-zuz water softener"?
- How should I know?
You've got one.
"Furnishing and installing
one Zuz-zuz water softener, $ ..."
- I didn't order that!
- I authorized that, Mr. Blandings.
- To save your boiler and water pipes.
Rust. The plumber says
the water in your well...
...is the most corrosive
in his entire experience.
- Another first.
- Well, if it's necessary, put it in.
- We're moving in today...
- It's in.
- Then get me the bill for it.
- You've got it.
Well, all right, then.
- That's right, upstairs in the bedroom.
- The moving vans just left...
- Never mind. Help Gussie in the kitchen.
- Now, Mr. PeDelford, we'll discuss painting.
I had some samples.
Here we are.
Now, first, the living room.
I want it to be a soft green.
- Not as blue-green as a robin's egg.
But not as yellow-green as daffodil buds.
Now, the only sample I could get
is a little too yellow.
But don't let whoever does it
get it too blue.
- It should be a sort of grayish yellow-green.
Now the dining room. I'd like yellow.
Not just yellow. A very gay yellow.
Something bright and sunshiny.
I tell you, if you'll send one of
your workmen to the grocer...
...for a pound of their best butter and
match that exactly, you can't go wrong.
This is the paper we'll use in the hall.
But I don't want the ceiling
to match any colors of the flowers.
There are some little dots
in the background.
And it's these dots I want you to match.
Not the little greenish dot
near the hollyhock leaf.
But the little bluish dot between
the rosebud and the delphinium blossom.
Is that clear?
Now, the kitchen's to be white.
- Not a cold, antiseptic, hospital white.
A little warmer, but still, not to
suggest any other color but white.
Now, for the powder room in here,
I want you to match this thread.
And don't lose it. It's the only spool
I have and I had an awful time finding it.
As you can see,
it's practically an apple red.
Somewhere between a healthy Winesap
and an unripened Jonathan.
Oh, excuse me.
- You got that, Charlie?
- Red, green, blue, yellow, white.
I'm awful sorry.
You knew Father was supposed
to carry the heavy things.
I haven't seen him for an hour.
Where's Uncle Bill, Mother?
He'll miss his train!
If they've run off somewhere,
it certainly isn't very...
- I thought you were going to take care of it.
- I thought you were.
You're gonna miss your train, Uncle Bill.
It leaves Lansdale in minutes.
I hate to leave this little place.
Just four walls and a couple of nail kegs,
but to me it'll always be home.
- Isn't there a later one?
- Not till tomorrow morning at : .
- You mean : .
- No, Dad, : .
What about the :
I'm supposed to take to the office?
There's a little asterisk. The : runs
only Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
What? Bill, let me see that.
- Oh, dear, don't tell me I read it wrong.
That's fine. I'll have to get up
at in the morning to catch the : ...
...to get to my office at . It opens at
and I never get there until .
Maybe if you start earlier
you can leave earlier.
To get home earlier to get to bed earlier
to get up earlier?
Maybe you can get it pushed to : .
Then you won't have to go to bed.
- You'll miss your train.
- I'll drive you to the station.
I can drive him!
No, dear. You'd better save your strength.
You have to get up at .
It would be nice if you could
spend your vacation up here, Bill.
We'll see how things work out
at the office.
I tell you, I'll scour around and see
if I can find you a cottage in Lansdale.
If you can't find me a cottage,
I can always move back into that closet.
- Now look what you've done.
Father, the first principle of lighting a fire
is to see if the flue is open.
- A -year-old child knows that.
- Next time we want a fire...
...l'll send out for a -year-old child.
Get that stuff cleaned up...
...then help Gussie set the table.
It's getting late.
- Look, Dad. Your fraternity pins.
- Pins? I only had one.
- There are two of them here.
- All right, just put them away.
Funny. This one says
"W.C." on the back of it.
W.C.? William Cole!
It must be Uncle Bill's.
Let me see that.
- What's that?
- It's Mother's diary from college.
- It's slightly torrid.
- Let's see.
That's none of your business.
I'd say Mother and Uncle Bill
were somewhat of an item.
People do not read other people's diaries.
That's not a very nice thing to do.
Now, go help Gussie.
- What about...?
- I'll take care of that.
Muriel, do you have to do that now?
There's no need to be irritable
because you have to shave at night.
- I'm not irritable.
- You haven't said a civil word all evening.
Sometimes a man doesn't feel like talking.
- What is it, dear? Something at the office?
- You got the new slogan for Wham?
- It's not due yet.
You're certainly upset about something.
I can always tell.
I'm not upset.
It's just that I don't approve of falsehood
and deception, particularly in my own wife.
- What are you talking about?
- Oh, nothing.
I distinctly remember you saying you gave
Bill back his fraternity pin years ago.
- Did you or didn't you?
- Did I or didn't I what?
- Give it back to him.
Well, of course I did.
If I said I did, I did.
Then perhaps you'll have the goodness to
explain how this fell out of your jewel box.
- What's so funny?
If you were so crazy for him,
why didn't you marry him?
- Because I wasn't in love with him.
- That's not what you said in your diary.
Now you've been reading my diary!
It just happened to fall open.
And I happened to look at it.
- It just happened.
- I'll just bet.
- It's all over the book!
- The children.
Then why don't you admit it.
You were in love with Bill Cole.
Of course I was in love with Bill. Those days,
I was in love with a new man every week.
- Then why did you marry me?
- I'm beginning to wonder.
Maybe it was those big cow eyes
or that ridiculous hole in your chin.
Maybe I knew you were gonna bring
me out to this $ icebox...
...with a dried-up stream and no windows.
Maybe I happened to fall in love with you...
...but for heaven's sakes,
don't ask me why!
What time is it?
- : .
- Thank you.
Muriel, would it do any good
to say I'm sorry?
- I don't know.
- Well, I am.
I've behaved like a schoolboy
and I'm sorry.
Why don't you take the soap
out of your ears.
Why do I love you so much?
Darling, it's awfully late.
Maybe you ought to go down
and lock the doors.
What for? The windows
are all open anyway.
You have to get up at : .
Yeah, I guess so.
So the days sped by.
And the bills and the extras.And as autumn reared its lovely head...... so did the deadline for Jim's slogan.It was practically a photo finish.
Send out for sandwiches and coffee.
Looks like an all-night session.
- What did Mr. Dascomb say?
- He said, "Blandings...
"...I want that slogan on my desk
by in the morning. Check?"
- I said, "Check."
- You'll have to dream something up...
...good or bad.
- I got the impression that it better be good.
Funny how you look forward
to the little things.
Rain, for instance.
For a month now I've been looking forward
to the first rainy night at the house.
Big, blazing fire.
Muriel pouring coffee.
Me in my new smoking jacket.
With my pipe and slippers,
reading my newspaper.
Do you suppose my clothes are dry yet?
Thank heavens. The children.
Sit still. You look too comfortable.
What a night!
I'm Harry Selby from down the road.
- Won't you come in?
- Thank you.
I'm afraid I'm gonna get your place all wet.
I just came in to tell you that
the kids are safe, Mr. Blandings.
Oh, I'm not Mr. Blandings.
Cole's the name. Bill Cole.
Friend of the family.
Just came in out of the rain.
- I'm Mrs. Blandings.
- Oh, how do?
Mrs. Williams called and says
your phone is out of order.
She wanted me to tell you the water's
rising. They've got the bridge roped off.
- Your girls will spend the night at her place.
- Thank you. I was beginning to worry.
- She'll take good care of them.
- May I get you some coffee?
No, thank you. I'd better get back
before I have to swim for it.
- Night, Mrs. Blandings.
- I'm very grateful.
- Not at all. Night, Mr. Bland...
- Cole. Bill Cole. Friend of the family.
Just came in out of the rain.
- Well, good night.
- Good night. And thank you.
No bridge. That's fine.
- How do I get back to Lansdale?
- You'll just have to spend the night here.
Muriel, really? With your husband
in New York and your children away?
- Think of my reputation.
- Don't worry, Snow White.
You'll be as just pure and unsullied in the
morning as you were the night before.
That's the story of my life.
Compare the price
Compare the sliceTake our advice
Buy Wham!If you'd buy better ham
You'd better buy Wham
It's Boyle Petroleum.
If you'd buy better oil
You'd better buy Boyle
This little piggy went to market
As meek and as mild as a lambHe smiled in his tracks
When they slipped him the axHe knew he'd turn out to be Wham
"He knew he'd turn out to be Wham."
It's gone! I've lost my touch.
Oh, well. Maybe I never had a touch.
Who knows? I can't think anymore.
All I've got on my mind is a house
with an $ mortgage.
And bills and extras
and antiques and, and...
Oh, I don't know. I don't know.
- Where are you going?
- Home to get some sleep. You do the same.
- But you haven't...
- Suppose I haven't.
- This isn't the only job in town.
- What'll I tell Mr. Dascomb?
Oh, just tell him to...!
Just tell him.
- I'm sorry Jim isn't here.
- I was on my way to town anyway.
- Thought I might catch Jim.
- Sure you won't stay to breakfast?
- No, thanks very much all the same.
- Good morning, dear.
- You must be exhausted.
- How did it go?
- Fine, fine.
- Everything all right?
- Everything's fine.
Oh, hello, Henry. What are you doing up
with the morning dew?
Came to check the blueprints.
Some extras came in from Retch.
There are a couple things
we should go over.
- Really? What are they?
- Well, let's see.
A few things here that are all right, I guess.
- "Mortising five butts, $ . ."
- Let's not quibble about it.
A man's entitled to mortise
a few butts now and then.
- "Extra hardware, $ . ."
- Petty larceny, but let them get away with it.
Now, there's one here that, frankly,
I don't understand. Here we are.
"Changes in closet, $ ."
Did you authorize that?
Well, we probably told him to...
- Twelve hundred and what?
- $ . "Changes in closet."
That's the end!
What's this notation?
"Refer to detail sheet ."
Near as I can remember, that's something
in back of the house. Let's take a look.
Here we are.
It isn't a closet at all.
It's off the back pantry.
Mrs. Blandings' little flower sink.
Oh, Mrs. Blandings' little flower sink.
You didn't authorize any changes, did you?
Well, they certainly weren't changes.
- What have you done?
- I haven't done anything.
All I did was... Just nothing at all.
What have you done?
All I did was, one day I saw four pieces
of flagstone left over from the porch...
...that were just going to be thrown away.
And I asked Mr. Retch...
...if he wouldn't put them
on the flower room floor...
...and poke a little cement between
the cracks and make a stone floor...
...where it might be wet
with flowers and things.
That's absolutely all I did.
- That's all you did.
Just four little pieces of flagstone.
- Did you, by any chance, authorize a drain?
- Of course I didn't.
All I said was that I wanted
a nice, dry stone floor...
...and Mr. Retch was just as nice
as he could be and said:
"Well, you're the doctor."
And that was all that anybody said
to anybody about anything.
- I think I can tell you what happened.
First, the carpenters had
to rip out the flooring.
Those planks run under the width of the
pantry, so Retch had to knock out the wall.
Then he had to chop off the top of
the joists to make room for the cradle.
I guess he got some iron straps and fastened
them to a large pan to hold the cement.
With that load on the weakened joists...
...I bet he had to put a lally column
down there for support.
- I'll bet.
- It was just four little flagstones...
- The main soil pipe runs under there.
So Retch had to get the plumber back,
take out a section to get the cradle set.
And I'll bet he had to change
the pitch of the soil pipe.
- Good morning, Mr. Cole.
- Morning. Morning, Jim.
And there are hot and cold water pipes
right under the pantry.
They'd run to the bathroom
on the second floor...
The bridge was roped off.
Bill had to stay here.
- Slept like a rock.
...about feet of armored cable...
...between the main panel
and junction box.
Including the -volt cable
to the stove.
Morning, everybody. What a night!
I never seen so much rain
in all my natural life!
- Gussie spent the night in Lansdale.
- I passed the girls at the Williams'.
- They'll be on any minute.
- Thank you. You better start breakfast.
Where were we?
We were at the -volt cable
that goes to the stove.
And there are water pipes
hooked to the...
Just a minute. You mean the children
weren't here last night either?
- How could they? The bridge was closed.
- I just came across.
- It was closed last night!
- It's open now.
Well, if you'll all excuse me,
I think I'll just go upstairs...
...and slip into something
a little more comfortable.
I guess that's about the size of it.
Except that Retch had to repair
the pantry wall. And he couldn't possibly...
...have broken through it without...
- All right, we'll take care of it.
I'll admit, it's a little steep, but I'll try
and get Retch to knock $ off the bill.
- Lf I can't get that, I'll certainly try for .
- Lf not I'll make a stab at .
- You do that.
Anyhow, I'm almost sure we can get .
- Good day.
- Good day.
You've got a lot of things on your mind.
Muriel, there's only
one thing I've got on my mind:
This house and how soon
we can get rid of it!
- That's not what you're thinking.
Maybe I'm thinking
I was once a happy man.
I didn't have a closet or three bathrooms,
but I did have my sanity...
...a few dollars, two children
and a wife I could trust!
- That's a fine thing to say.
- I also had a job at Dascomb and Banton.
- Something I don't have at the moment.
That's right, I've resigned.
We're starting all over from scratch.
- And without this house!
- You love this house.
I hate it. From its rabbeted lintels
to its Zuz-zuz water softener.
- You know you don't mean that.
- Every word of it.
Anybody who builds
a house today is crazy!
The minute you start, they put you
on the all-American sucker list.
You start out to build a home
and wind up in the poorhouse!
If it can happen to me, what about
those who aren't making $ ?
What about the newlyweds
who want a home of their own?
It's a conspiracy, I tell you, against every
boy and girl who were ever in love!
What do you want?
there's a matter of $ . .
Twelve dollars and thirty-six cents.
Why be a piker, Mr. Tesander?
Here, take everything I've got.
Spread it out amongst your pals!
would like a little something.
Maybe Zucca could use my new smoking
jacket! It's open house! Help yourself!
Now, hold on, Mr. Blandings.
This $ . you don't owe me.
I owe you.
- What was that?
Found I overcharged you,
almost three feet.
Better count it. I think it's all there.
Thank you very much, Mr. Tesander.
...I guess I better be going.
You sure got a pretty place here.
Take good care of it.
I'll tell Mr. Zucca
about the smoking jacket.
Darling, what did you mean?
Are we really going to
have to sell this house?
I don't know, dear.
I don't know anything anymore.
In case anyone's interested,
I'm leaving for town.
Oh, Mr. Tesander!
Could you give me a lift into Lansdale?
- Fine, I'll be right with you.
If you wanna count
the silverware, I'll wait.
Be patient with me, Bill.
Maybe one of these days
I'll grow up.
- What happened to him?
- $ . .
You mind if I say something?
Ever since this thing started, I've been
the voice of doom about the project.
Every step of the way, I've been convinced
you were getting fleeced, bilked...
and generally taken to the cleaners.
Maybe you were. Maybe it cost you
a lot more than you thought it would.
Maybe there were times
when you wish you'd never started.
But when I look at what
you two have got here...
Well, I don't know.
Maybe there are some things you should
buy with your heart, not your head.
Maybe those are the things
that really count.
Well, see you around.
- Oh, oh, Uncle Bill!
- Well, hi!
I heard all about it, you had a wonderful
night. Your mother's in there. Goodbye!
Bye! Morning, everybody.
Dad, why aren't you at the office?
- Well, I'm on a kind of vacation.
- You mean you got fired?
- We'll discuss it later.
- Come and get it, everybody!
- Breakfast is ready!
- Good, I'm starving! What are we having?
Orange juice, scrambled eggs
- Not ham, Wham!
If you ain't eating Wham,
you ain't eating ham!
Now, you kids go wash your hands.
Give Gussie a $10 raise!
Drop in and see us sometime.
Yeah, do that.