Director(s): Melville Shavelson
IMDB Rating: 6.5
Tom Winston, a widower, is trying to understand and raise three precocious children alone. He gets a little unexpected help from Cinzia, when the children decide she is be the new maid. She is actually an Italian socialite who is trying to get away from her overprotective father.
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(16 May 2013)
Cute idea with great cast. The story line jumps around too much and leaves gaps that need filling. Liked it.
Martin Scribbs (16 May 2013)
The leads share so little chemistry I had to double-check the credits to make sure they were in the same movie.
(02 May 2013)
This review is from: Houseboat [VHS] (VHS Tape) Cary Grant and Sophia Loren - two of my favorites in a happy romp. Tender moments with the three kids.
TxMike (02 May 2013)
"Houseboat" is set in Washington, DC and nearby Virginia, including thehouseboat on the Potomac. Tom Winters (Cary Grant) works for thegovernment, his divorced wife was recently killed in a car wreck, andthe grandparents were set to get custody of the three young children,papers already to be signed by Tom. But Tom would have none of that,instead took them to his hotel apartment in DC. Getting a nanny surewould be nice, plus a bigger place.Enters Cinzia (Sophia Loren), well educated daughter traveling with herfamous conductor father, Tom's young son wanders away after the concertand ends up spending the evening with Cinzia. When she brings him home,both dirty, Tom thinks this "peasant" might make a good nanny. Nevermind that she was also gorgeous.The houseboat becomes the gimmick to set up the dynamics of the story.While a cottage is being moved for them, sold by Tom's sister in law(Martha Hyer), it stalls on the tracks and gets destroyed by the train.The truck driver just happens to have a houseboat on the Potomac torent them. But it is dilapidated, the roof leaks, and a host ofproblems crop up to keep the comedy flowing. In addition, Hyer isdivorcing her husband and has had an eye for Tom since she was 4, andwanted him now.Cary Grant and Sophia Loren are an odd pairing, and was no doubt doneto capitalize on their popularity. Grant was over 50, and was to makeonly a few more movies. Loren was 23 and while she was a seasonedactress in foreign films, was still relatively new to American cinema.Still, we the audience believe they can become romantically involved.It was nice to see a young Paul Petersen as Tom's son, David. Iremember Petersen mostly for his 8-year stint on the old Donna Reed TVshow, playing one of her sons. He is a real brat in "Houseboat."SPOILERS: In the end all gets sorted, Tom has to reject Hyer'sproposal, he isn't in love with her. Cinzia at first leaves to returnhome, but then comes back and she and Tom are married, and the kids arehappy. They also leave the houseboat.
laddie5 (02 May 2013)
Aside from his Hitchcock movies and "Charade," this is virtually theonly watchable movie Cary Grant made after 1944. It's really just onemore of the bland family-friendly sitcoms that blight his later career,but more interesting than most for a couple of reasons. One is thepassel of motherless kids, who for a change are convincingly sullen,bitter and unreachable until a brief last-minute conversion. The otheris the presence of Sophia Loren -- raw-boned, gauche, gorgeous, and inreal life determined not to become the fourth Mrs. Grant. The movie iscontrived and totally unconvincing, but the two stars' torturedfeelings for each other keep seeping through, giving many scenes anedgy tension you can't shake off. Loren's artless singing of the fineballad "Almost in Your Arms" is haunting; their subsequent dance has anemotional fierceness that practically burns a hole in the screen.
(01 May 2013)
This review is from: Houseboat (Region 2) (DVD) Totally bummed! My DVD doesn't work! I bought it as a gift but it was a waste of money since I'm in the US.
(24 April 2013)
Cary Grant as suave as ever, and Sophia is drop dead gorgeous. Great chemistry making for a true classic comedy.
(24 April 2013)
This review is from: Houseboat (DVD) The movie is a classic. Starring Cary Grant & Sophia Loren in a comedy where off screen their smoldering romance had ended bitterly when Sophia accepted Carlo Ponti's marriage proposal. Enjoy the interaction between Cary and Sophia. Martha Hyer is underutilized as the former sister-in-law and would-be suitor. Harry Guardino is great. Paul Peterson (later in The Donna Reed Show) is engaging. Thoroughly a very enjoyable movie.
(15 April 2013)
This review is from: Houseboat (DVD) These two stars together bring dynamite to the screen. It is humorous, romantic, family oriented and just wonderful. The kids add a great dimension.
bkoganbing (14 April 2013)
Cary Grant, prominent diplomat and widower, is trying to get acquaintedagain with his three kids, Paul Petersen, Mimi Gibson, and CharlesHerbert. He's also got a sister-in-law, Martha Hyer, crushing out onhim big time.But after the youngest kid, Herbert, wanders away after a concert, hemeets Sophia Loren who is also running away from her conductor father,Eduardo Ciannelli. They are soul mates Herbert and Loren and beforelong she's moved in on the Grant family.Which is forced by circumstance I won't reveal to live on a houseboatin the woods in Maryland. The Houseboat and its many problems lenditself to a whole lot of physical problems and one rather dramatic one,when one of the kids nearly drowns. Cary gets a lot of good mileage outof the comedy.This was Cary and Sophia's second film together and it was one bigimprovement on the overblown Pride and the Passion. No doubt that thetwo of them were still involved from The Pride and the Passion lends alot of truth in the scenes Grant and Loren play together.Also look for a nice performance by Harry Guardino who's the one who isresponsible for the group being on the Houseboat.Houseboat is a nice family comedy and hasn't aged a bit from theFifties when it was made.
(13 April 2013)
What more could you ask for in a movie? Are you delighted by Cary Grant's charm or Sophia Loren's beauty? Do you want to laugh, see gorgeous outfits, hear Loren sing, or root for the under[over]dog? Would you like a romantic comedy that teaches lessons in responsibility for children and parents? Move right in to HOUSEBOAT.I am always amazed when I see a film with a plot that casts Sophia Loren as the overlooked lover vying for a man's affection. (IT STARTED IN NAPLES; THE MILLIONAIRESS). But the notion of seeing what isn't in the eye of the beholder draws you to each film as you impatiently await the leading man to "discover" her.Cinzia Zaccardi (Loren) is the wealthy daughter of orchestra conductor Arturo Zaccardi (Eduard Ciannelli). As such, she is lavished in opulent dwellings and dinners with international nobles. What's missing from this overprotected woman's life is a MAN. Tom Winters (Grant) is a diplomat who neglected his parental responsibilities for the sake of his career. After his wife dies he gets the urge to do the right thing. The problem is, he is evidently clueless about what that is. He quickly learns that raising children is a joint responsibility. Though he hires an unlikely nanny, he feels the logical matrimonial choice is a woman who helped care for his three children before he came on the scene. His current nanny, who neither cooks nor cleans well, is good at eventually obtaining whatever she wants. After all, she's the spoiled runaway daughter of Arturo, the orchestra conductor.Despite the too-often sung bing-bang-bong song, HOUSEBOAT is a repeat-watch movie. My only problem is that I've seen it so many times on VHS that I would only purchase it used on DVD at a heavily discounted price just to complete my collection. (Update 9/29/06: I bought the DVD.) The movie may have a corny moment or two but it includes far more hearty laughs and great actors so I recommend it to others.
edwagreen (13 April 2013)
Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in a romantic comedy about a man who was tobe divorced only to lose his wife in a car accident. She has left himwith 3 precocious children. He has neglected them as he is a governmentofficial.The children are filled with love but despair. In the midst of this isMartha Hyer, Grant's sister-in-law, who has recently separated from herhusband and has confessed openly that she wants Grant.In the interim, we have a lovely Sophia Loren, who wishes to break awayfrom her conductor father. Meeting Loren by chance, the film focuseshow they fall in love.Everything seems to be going on track until the children, who at firstloved Cinzia, (Loren) are upset that they may be losing their dad tothis marriage. Of course, we still have Hyer who nearly marries herbrother-in-law.Hyer captures the same upper-class figure that she expressed so well in"Some Came Running." She received a supporting nomination the same yearfor the latter film.There is also a nice supporting performance by Harry Guardino as agigolo. It is his incompetence that leads all to the houseboat.The film belongs to Grant and Miss Loren. They truly capture thefeeling of a daring government employee who tries to redeem himselfamong his children and a woman who seeks love desperately.The film is also memorable as it depicts class status.
(25 March 2013)
I love Cary Grant films and who wouldn't love Sophia Loren? So I bought this film sight unseen and was I disappointed. The problem is, the film is trying too hard to be "relevant" (or whatever the term was at the time). The writers are making a point (Father Doesn't Always Know Best), but they go so far overboard, turning Grant's children into spoiled brats who treat their father with disrespect he doesn't deserve. You wonder why Grant doesn't just leave them with the sister-in-law who wants to raise them.I'm sure Grant and Loren did the best they could with the material, but unfortunately this was another case of Message Overpowering Movie.
Nell Minow (24 March 2013)
This is a warm romantic comedy that is exceptionally perceptive and sensitive about the feelings of the children.
(15 March 2013)
What's not to like? It has Cary Grant and Sophia Loren (both looking as gorgeous as ever), and even some child actors who can actually act. There's a charming plot, plenty of subtle romance, and lots of genuine emotion. You may even end up humming a ditty or two afterward.Buy it, watch it, and be glad that you don't have to wonder if it's suitable for your entire family.
(14 March 2013)
'Houseboat' is a throwback to the kind of sweet, happy comedies Cary Grant did in the late '40s-early '50s, and it foreshadows the domestic comedies James Stewart and Henry Fonda would do in the sixties. Granted, there is more romance (and with Sophia Loren as the objection of affection, Cary has it all OVER Jimmy and Hank!) but ultimately, it scores as a terrific family movie, as Loren, playing an inept but adorable housekeeper/nanny, wins the affection of widower Grant's kids, and awakens in him a more complete love than he was experiencing with his society girlfriend (played effectively by the beautiful Martha Hyer).Living in a rundown houseboat to save on expenses, Grant and family lives had become a boring routine, until the arrival of Hurricane Loren, with her Italian philosophy, her singing, and her unmistakable femininity and sex appeal (which introduces oldest son Paul Peterson to the joys of puberty, and to daughter Mimi Gibson and younger son Charles Herbert a mother-figure they both needed). Grant is at first oblivious to her charms, but she is hard to ignore for long! The question then becomes, when will Cary 'wake up', and realize everything he needs is right on the houseboat?Filmed after Grant and Loren's whirlwind affair during the filming of 'The Pride and the Passion', the film was a bittersweet experience for both stars, particularly shooting the wedding scene, as Grant still desperately wanted to marry Loren, but she had already decided to remain with longtime love Carlo Ponti. Viewers aware of the 'behind-the-scenes' story will appreciate the performances of the two leads even more!After you watch 'Houseboat', catch the flipside of this story in Grant's later 'Father Goose', as a drunken reprobate with a boat who must deal with governess Leslie Caron and her charges! The two films make a fascinating double-feature, and showcases Cary Grant's amazing versatility!Seen either way, 'Houseboat' is a delight!
(13 March 2013)
This is one of those movies I first saw as a child with my grandmother. I absolutely loved it then, and even more as an adult! Yes, the children are whiney and it is not perfectly realistic, but it is a great family movie that gives everyone the warm fuzzy feeling! Very true to it's time and a classic!
planktonrules (13 March 2013)
This is a very cute and inconsequential family film starring Cary Grantand the very young Sophia Loren. While it is not a movie that willchange your life or make a huge impression, it's still an awful lot offun. Cary is a widower who lives on a houseboat with his kids. Thetrouble is that he needs a combination housekeeper and mom for thekids, so he goes about trying to hire one. He picks Ms. Loren and aftera while everyone in the family succumbs to her very ample charms.Considering she was a great housekeeper (though she couldn't cook),loved the kids and was built like,....Sophia Loren, it certainly isn'tsurprising that by the end of the film Cary has also recognized her asprime wife material. Predictable,...yes. But who cares, as it's a lotof fun and yet another nice outing from Grant. Plus, the romance thatpredictably develops between them and the way the film ends is highlyentertaining. While I give this movie only a 7, it is well worthseeing--deep no--but lots of fun. About the only serious negative isthe REALLY annoying song that Loren sings throughout the movie. But,once again, being Sophia Loren, most audiences of the day probablyweren't there to hear her singing.
waverlyring (06 March 2013)
This is not so much a review of the film as it's more a clarification.Grant and Loren were NOT in a hot and heavy affair when this picturewas made. Their affair was more or less over before this film wasstarted. They had previously co-starred in "The Pride And The Passion"with Frank Sinatra. Cary Grant was in love with Sophia Loren (whowouldn't be) when that film began. By the time, 'Passion' wascompleted, Loren was no longer interested in Grant. Cary Grant wascontractually obligated to do "Houseboat" with Miss Loren. He agreedto, with the chance he could still win over his co-star. As a previousreviewer mentioned, Miss Loren was determined to NOT be the next Mrs.Grant. This, of course, makes their romance scenes all the more tenseand interesting. Good acting? Who knows?
Ben Burgraff (06 March 2013)
'Houseboat' is a throwback to the kind of sweet, happy comedies CaryGrant did in the late '40s-early 50s, and it foreshadows the domesticcomedies James Stewart and Henry Fonda would do in the sixties.Granted, there is more romance (and with Sophia Loren as the objectionof affection, Cary has it all OVER Jimmy and Hank!) but ultimately, itscores as a terrific family movie, as Loren, playing an inept butadorable housekeeper/nanny, wins the affection of widower Grant's kids,and awakens in him a more complete love than he was experiencing withhis society girlfriend (played effectively by the beautiful MarthaHyer).Living in a rundown houseboat to save on expenses, Grant and hisfamily's lives had become a boring routine, until the arrival ofHurricane Loren, with her Italian philosophy, her singing, and herunmistakable femininity and sex appeal (which introduces oldest sonPaul Peterson to the joys of puberty, and to daughter Mimi Gibson andyounger son Charles Herbert a mother-figure they both needed). Grant isat first oblivious to her charms, but she is hard to ignore for long!The question then becomes, when will Cary 'wake up', and realizeeverything he needs is right on the houseboat?Filmed after Grant and Loren's whirlwind affair during the filming of'The Pride and the Passion', the film was a bittersweet experience forboth stars, particularly shooting the wedding scene, as Grant stilldesperately wanted to marry Loren, but she had already decided toremain with longtime love Carlo Ponti. Viewers aware of the'behind-the-scenes' story will appreciate the performances of the twoleads even more!After you watch 'Houseboat', catch the flipside of this story inGrant's later 'Father Goose', as a drunken reprobate with a boat whomust deal with governess Leslie Caron and her charges! The two filmsmake a fascinating double-feature, and showcases Cary Grant's amazingversatility!Seen either way, 'Houseboat' is a delight!
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