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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Hodgins

“All they had to do was put my name on a marquee and watch the money roll in”*…


From a Tumblr teeming with treasures…

Movie Marquees

* Gloria Swanson


As we peruse the posters, we might recall that it was on this date in 1948 that David O. Selznick and RKO Pictures released Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House.

The film was adapted from Eric Hodgins’ 1946 novel of the same name [illustrated by Shrek! author William Steig], a comic yarn for the public, and pure therapy for Hodgins. In 1939, to cap his professional success as the publisher of the newly formed Fortune magazine, Hodgins and his wife found a lovely plot of land in Connecticut and went to work. By the end their $11,000 dream house turned into a $56,000 nightmare, nearly bankrupting them. Only writing about it saved him, as the book became a bestseller and the movie rights sold for $200,000. The film also turned hardship into triumph by translating a national anxiety into box-office gold. As Bosley Crowther wrote in his New York Times review, “If the much-talked-about housing problem could be as happily resolved for all as it is for those fortunate people who watch Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.” The waves of soldiers returning after the war found no place to live, and the film happily demonstrated the perils of home ownership as well. As our preoccupation with real estate continues, so has the lure of the Hodgins novel, being updated in updated in 1986 as The Money Pit and in 2007 as Are We Done Yet?. And in the midst of rising foreclosures and a slumping real estate market, that 1948 movie seems more prescient than ever.

Focus Features Flashback



Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 4, 2015 at 1:01 am

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