This film was the third and last pairing of Grant and Loy, who had shared a comfortable chemistry previously in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) and Wings in the Dark (1935).
The film was a box office hit upon its release. Warner Home Video released the film to DVD with restored and remastered audio and video in 2004. In 2007 a loose remake of the 1948 film was released under the title Are We Done Yet?.
The house built for the 1948 film still stands on the old Fox Ranch property in Malibu Creek State Park in the hills a few miles north of Malibu. It is used as an office for the Park.
Jim Blandings (Cary Grant), a bright account executive in the advertising business, lives with his wife Muriel (Myrna Loy) and two daughters, Betsy (Connie Marshall) and Joan (Sharyn Moffett), in a cramped New York apartment. Muriel secretly plans to remodel their apartment. After rejecting this idea, Jim Blandings comes across an ad for new homes in Connecticut and they get excited about moving. Planning to purchase and "fix up" an old home, the couple contact a real estate agent, who uses them to unload "The Old Hackett Place" in fictional Lansdale County, Connecticut. It is a dilapidated, two-hundred-year-old farmhouse. Blandings purchases the property for more than the going rate for land in the area, provoking his friend/lawyer Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) to chastise him for following his heart rather than his head.
The old house, dating from the Revolutionary War-era, turns out to be structurally unsound and has to be torn down. The Blandings hire architect Simms (Reginald Denny) to design and supervise the construction of the new home. From the original purchase to the new house's completion, a long litany of unforeseen troubles and setbacks beset the hapless Blandings and delay their moving-in date. On top of all this, at work Jim is assigned the task of coming up with a slogan for "WHAM" Brand Ham, an advertising account that has destroyed the careers of previous account executives assigned to it. Jim also suspects that Muriel is cheating on him with Bill Cole after Bill slept at the Blandings alone in the house with Muriel one night due to a violent thunderstorm.
With mounting pressure, skyrocketing expenses, and his new assignment, Jim starts to wonder why he wanted to live in the country. The Blandings maid Gussie provides Blandings with the perfect WHAM slogan, and he saves his job. As the film ends, Bill Cole says that he realizes that some things "you do buy with your heart."
According to Time magazine, "Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas have a highly experienced way with this sort of comedy, and director H. C. Potter is so much at home with it that he gets additional laughs out of the predatory rustics and even out of the avid gestures of a steam shovel. Blandings may turn out to be too citified for small-town audiences, and incomprehensible abroad; but among those millions of Americans who have tried to feather a country nest with city greenbacks, it ought to hit the jackpot."
While quite popular, according to one source the film actually recorded a loss of $225,000 during its initial theatrical release.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:2000: AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs – #72
As a promotion for the film, the studio built 73 "dream houses" in various locations in the United States, selling some of them by raffle; over 60 of the houses were equipped by General Electric, including the ones in the following cities:
Phoenix, AZ, Little Rock, AR, Bakersfield, CA, Fresno, CA, Oakland, CA, Sacramento, CA, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Denver, CO, Bridgeport, CT, Hartford, CT, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Indianapolis, IN, South Bend, IN, Terre Haute, IN, Des Moines, IA, Louisville, KY, Baltimore, MD, Worcester, MA, Detroit, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, St. Paul, MN, Kansas City, MO, St. Louis, MO, Omaha, NE, Tenafly, NJ, Albuquerque, NM, Albany, NY, Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY, Syracuse, NY, Tarrytown, NY, Utica, NY, Greensboro, NC, Rocky Mount, NC, Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, Toledo, OH, Oklahoma City, OK, Tulsa, OK, Cedar Hills, OR (near Portland), Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Providence, RI, Chattanooga, TN, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Amarillo, TX, Austin, TX, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Fort Worth, TX, Houston, TX, Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, WA, and Spokane, WA.
Locations included Bakersfield, California; Worcester and East Natick, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; and Ottawa Hills, Ohio. Thousands lined up in front of the house in Ottawa Hills, paying admission to view the house at its opening.
In Phoenix, Arizona, the dream house was a ranch house built by P.W. Womack Construction Company in a central city development called BelAir (now part of Encanto Village).
In Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the dream house that was built still stands at 1515 Lafayette Avenue.
Greensboro, North Carolina's dream house was built in the Starmount Forest community.
The story behind the film began as an April 1946 article written by Eric Hodgins for Fortune magazine; that article was reprinted in Reader's Digest and (in condensed form) in Life before being published as a novel.
A half-hour radio adaptation of the movie was broadcast on NBC's Screen Directors Playhouse on July 1, 1949. Grant reprised his role as Jim Blandings, and Frances Robinson played his wife Muriel. On October 10, 1949 CBS's Lux Radio Theatre presented a one-hour adaptation of the film, with Irene Dunne taking on the role of Muriel. Screen Directors Playhouse gave a second performance of its half-hour version on June 9, 1950, this time with Grant's wife Betsy Drake playing Muriel.
On January 21, 1951 a weekly radio series starring Cary Grant and Betsy Drake and titled Mr. and Mrs. Blandings premiered on NBC. The comedy series was sponsored by Trans-World Airlines and followed the adventures of the Blandings family after their move into their dream house.
An episode of the 1950s television anthology series Stage 7, titled "The Hayfield", aired on September 18, 1955, and was based on the Blandings characters. This episode was a television pilot produced by Four Star Productions for a planned, but ultimately unproduced, weekly series entitled Blandings' Way. Macdonald Carey and Phyllis Thaxter played the Blandings in this version. In the episode, Mr. Blandings attempts to clear a hayfield on his property by burning it off, with the predictably disastrous results.
In the late 1950s Screen Gems Productions also proposed a weekly television series featuring the Blandings family. Robert Rockwell was considered for the show but the television pilot for the planned series featured Steve Dunne instead, along with Maggie Hayes. The show would have been titled The Blandings, but a series was never produced. However the pilot ran on April 27, 1959 as an episode of Goodyear Theatre, under the title "A Light in the Fruit Closet."The Money Pit 1986 film starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.
Drömkåken 1993 Swedish film.
Are We Done Yet? (a sequel to the 2005 film Are We There Yet?) starring Ice Cube, was released on April 4, 2007.
George Washington Slept Here A 1942 film based on a 1940 play about a couple who refurbish a broken down old house of some possible historical significance.