Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Very few issues materialized in this satisfying transfer.
For the most part, sharpness seemed positive. I noticed slight softness in a few shots, as some elements appeared slightly ill-defined. Those instances were exceptions, though, as the majority of the flick was pretty tight and nicely delineated.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering marred the presentation. Edge haloes failed to appear, and the film came with a nice layer of grain.
Source flaws were totally absent. This became a clean image, and with natural grain, I saw no signs of egregious noise reduction.
Contrast succeeded, blacks were dark and firm, and shadows seemed fairly good. I felt pleased with this appealing image.
We got a perfectly adequate DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack for Dream. Like most films of the era, speech sounded somewhat thin, but the lines always remained easily intelligible, and they lacked edginess.
Effects were also a bit trebly and without much range, but they seemed fairly concise and didn’t suffer from significant distortion. The score fit in with the rest of the audio, as the music felt reasonably lively. This turned into a more than acceptable mix for a 73-year-old movie.
We can a mix of extras here, and we find two separate radio shows. The disc includes a “Lux Radio Theater” version from October 10, 1949 (57:27) as well as a “Screen Directors Playhouse” rendition from June 9, 1950 (29:34).
For the Lux show, Cary Grant reprises his lead role and Irene Dunne substitutes for Myrna Loy. With the Screen Directors broadcast, Grant returns but this time Betsy Drake takes over the Loy part.
Given it runs nearly twice as long, obviously the Lux version brings the more “complete” reproduction of the story. The Screen Directors leaves out enormous chunks, so it rushes through the tale.
Both seem fun to hear, though. Grant tends to overact – perhaps due to his inability to use facial gestures – but the audio shows become an enjoyable way to hear the story.
In addition to the film’s re-issue trailer, the disc ends with a “classic cartoon” called The House of Tomorrow. From 1949, it runs six minutes, 51 seconds and offers Tex Avery’s take on modern homes. It’s not especially PC but it seems clever.
Though not a movie that breaks fresh ground, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House offers such a witty and charming affair that its predictable elements don’t matter. We get a bright, funny take on the subject matter in this winning affair. The Blu-ray brings solid picture and audio as well as a decent set of supplements. This becomes a good release for a delightful film.