The Spring of Cary Grant: Houseboat

So when Lisa at Boondock Ramblings told me she was going to do a Spring of Cary Grant, I knew I wanted in on it. She introduced me to the legend that is Grant last fall, and I am woefully behind on his films. So I am tagging along on her journey, posting along with her as well.

The first movie up was Houseboat, starring Cary Grant (obviously), and Sophia Loren. I was absolutely enchanted by this movie. I loved it completely!

In Houseboat, Grant plays a father who has been somewhat estranged from his children and wife (that he was divorcing). When his wife dies, he realizes he needs to become a better father – which first starts with being a present father, one that is actually in their lives. The children are not too happy about this; they miss their mother, don’t really seem to know their dad, and want to stay with their grandparents and aunt. However, Grant swoops them off to Washington, D.C. and his small flat.

Grant, whose character is named Tom Winters, loses Robert, his youngest son, at a concert they are all attending. Robert has run away, just like Sophia Loren’s character, Cinzia. Cinzia is of course much older, but is avoiding her father as well. The unlikely pair, Robert and Cinzia, find themselves sharing a rowboat, and Cinzia eventually returns Robert to his family. Robert wants his dad to hire Cinzia as their maid, and after some shenanigans, she eventually signs on.

Tom realizes he has to move his family out of his small flat in the city, and makes arrangements for a guesthouse. However, that plan is derailed, and they end up moving onto a very dilapidated houseboat, all five of them. Tom, his three children, and Cinzia.

The houseboat is falling apart, Cinzia has absolutely no domestic skills at all as she was not raised to need them, the kids and Tom are still finding their footing, and Tom’s late wife’s sister has set her cap for Tom. There is a lot going on, including a budding romance between the feisty, temperamental, fun loving Cinzia and sort of conventional Tom.

I don’t want to tell you the whole movie though! This movie was so wholesome and cozy and I just loved it. It made me want to move to a beautiful houseboat, because after what seems like one night on a ramshackle boat, it is fixed up to like brand new practically overnight. And it is gorgeous!

I loved the family, how Tom tried to relate to his children and often failed, and how he did eventually reach them and make connections with them with the help of Cinzia. Two scenes really stand out for me – in one scene Tom is speaking to his oldest son about death and how when things die they are never really completely gone or disappear, they just become a part of everything else, which I loved, and then another scene with a completely sexist tone. Cinzia is being made to serve Tom and his guests, which included his sister-in-law Carolyn whom he is dating, and another couple. Well they are completely snobbish and rude and rude, all of them, but then things really hit the fan when the other man slaps Cinzia on the behind. She handles herself well, throwing a drink in his face and walking off, and I thought to myself, please let Tom do something because that was out of line. And he did. He ended up asking all of them, including Carolyn, to leave his boat.

I loved this first movie in the lineup! My only complaint was the song that Cinzia keeps singing throughout the movie – it is total earworm!

Next up is The Awful Truth!

You can find Lisa’s post here! If you want to join in that would be awesome too!


13 thoughts on “The Spring of Cary Grant: Houseboat

  1. The thing about Cary Grant is that he’s so good in his dashing roles and things like the Hitchcock mysteries where he is suave, dapper, elegant. But then you put him in a comedy and he just sparkles and shines. This one is a gem. I hope this month you’ll also be watching “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Holiday” and “Bringing Up Baby,” along with some of the mysteries. Such versatility. Thanks for reminding me of this one — I’ll have to see this one out. It has been too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holiday is on the list but not the others because I was making a list of Cary movies I had not seen and I had already seen those two and liked them. If I had known Erin was going to join me for all of them (and I am so excited she is!) I would have picked a couple I wanted her to see since I loved them so much! I already made her watch one or two last year. πŸ˜‚

      I loved Bringing Up Baby actually. I just liked Arsenic and Old Lace. πŸ˜‚ seriously- both were very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Spring of Cary: Houseboat (1958) | Boondock Ramblings

  3. Oh that scene with the guy slapping her butt made me so mad! I was glad Tom said something and did something!

    I loved the scenes with the kids too. Boy did those actors do such a good job! They sort of outshined the main actors to be honest!

    Liked by 1 person

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