Friday, November 19, 2021

On This Day... Houseboat (1958)

 Released today back in 1958, Houseboat was Cary Grant's 65th full length feature film.


Tom Winters (Cary Grant), a widower and previously absent father, is trying to understand and raise three precocious children alone. He gets a little unexpected help from Cinzia (Sophia Loren), when the children decide she is be the new maid. She is actually a spoiled brat Italian socialite who is trying to get away from her overprotective father.


Cary Grant...Tom Winters
Sophia Loren...Cinzia Zaccardi
Martha Hyer...Carolyn Gibson
Harry Guardino...Angelo Donatello
Eduardo Ciannelli...Arturo Zaccardi
Murray Hamilton...Capt. Alan Wilson
Mimi Gibson...Elizabeth Winters
Paul Petersen...David Winters
Charles Herbert...Robert Winters
Madge Kennedy...Mrs. Farnsworth
John Litel...Mr. William Farnsworth
Werner Klemperer...Harold Messner

Did You Know? Goofs:

Tom's apartment is in Washington, D.C., but when he's shown driving his kids to the concert at the Watergate, he approaches the area from the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge, the opposite direction from which he should logically have been coming.

The harmonica that Cinzia wins for Robert is labeled "ECHO". An echo harmonica has 2 reeds for each note, each reed slightly detuned sharp and flat to provide a tremolo effect. The sound when Robert is playing this instrument is of a normal harmonica.

During Cinzia's first visit to Tom's apartment, at one point he is adjusting the sofa bed; as the two converse the camera moves closer to them and the shadow of the moving camera can be seen on Cinzia's dress.

When driving in the open convertible there is no wind in their faces, hair or clothes.  

When driving to the house, singing in the car, they are pulling a small trailer with their belongings. However the shots from the front angle (with the rear screen process) show no trailer behind them.

When the house is stuck on the railroad track, we first hear the whistle of an approaching steam engine; when the train actually arrives and crashes through the house, however, it is a diesel engine.

When Tom comes outside after hurriedly dressing to discover the houseboat has broken loose, his shirt is unbuttoned to his waist. In the following shot a split-second later his shirt is completely buttoned all the way up to his collar.

The water does not move in any shot in the galley or other room in which there is a view out the windows.


Directed by Melville Shavelson.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Running time: 112 minutes.

Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36.

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