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4.7 4
Director: Melville Shavelson,

Cast: Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Martha Hyer


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Cary Grant scored still another box-office smash with his 1958 vehicle Houseboat. Grant plays a widowed father who packs himself and his spoiled kiddies off to a ramshackle houseboat. Enter Sophia Loren, who is attempting to break loose from her tyrannical father's (Eduardo Cianelli) iron grip. She hires on as Grant's housekeeper and his children's governess.


Cary Grant scored still another box-office smash with his 1958 vehicle Houseboat. Grant plays a widowed father who packs himself and his spoiled kiddies off to a ramshackle houseboat. Enter Sophia Loren, who is attempting to break loose from her tyrannical father's (Eduardo Cianelli) iron grip. She hires on as Grant's housekeeper and his children's governess. Though Grant struggles valiantly to maintain a "hands off" policy, he and Loren are billing and cooing by fadeout time--but not before plenty of reversals, recriminations and sitcom-style mishaps. As a bonus, the kids end up behaving like little angels (not surprising, since Loren has threatened from time to time to turn them into genuine angels if they don't toe the line). According to most sources, the on-screen romance between Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in Houseboat spilled over into their private lives as well, though Sophia put an end to this dalliance when she married Italian movie mogul Carlo Ponti.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Big Hollywood sparkle buoys this family-friendly comedy starring Cary Grant as Tom Winters, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and recent widower, struggling to raise three rather precocious children. Fortunately, he's not alone; he has the help of lovely Cinzia Zaccardi (Sophia Loren), the feisty daughter of a famous Italian orchestra conductor. If this all sounds unlikely, rest assured it really is, and it takes some pretty elaborate setting up -- including a house being hit by a train -- to get the scenario in place. Of course, the houseboat that becomes the story's locus is a dump at first, but Grant and company, through sheer enthusiasm and brio (and a touch of Technicolor enchantment), manage to somehow make it right. The moral is that a healthy dose of Grant's unrivalled charm and Loren's voluptuous magnetism goes a long way. Loren even sings a bit, bonds with the children, and with newly eligible bachelor Cary Grant around...need we say more? Colorful sets and postcard locations work beautifully here to create a D.C. metropolitan area that feels a bit like a Disney theme park. Why, Grant even commutes every day from the houseboat to his government office. Houseboat is fun and fantasy through and through, and perfect escapist entertainment.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Houseboat demonstrates exactly how important star power can be to some projects. Any number of actors could have made this frothy little romantic comedy, and the results would have been pleasant but instantly forgettable. Fortunately, Cary Grant and Sophia Loren were engaged for the parts, and so the otherwise mediocre Houseboat turns out to be a charming and engaging little piece of fluff. Forget the screenplay; its Oscar nomination notwithstanding, Houseboat's script is well structured and has some good dialogue, but is basically nothing more than standard sitcom fare. Likewise, Melville Shavelson's direction is neat and efficient, but uninspired. And while the kids in the cast -- especially Paul Peterson -- are good, they're not enough to make Houseboat stand out. Ah, but Grant and Loren, whether together or separate onscreen, provide some magic. The chemistry between the two is palpable and invaluable, but each is just as powerful even when the other is absent. Grant could walk through this kind of part with his eyes closed; that he puts so much into the part (yet still makes it looks so utterly effortless) is an example of why Grant was such an irreplaceable star. Loren, looking sensational, is a sensual tornado with a wonderful flair for light comedy. The difference in age between the two stars is a bit disconcerting, but there's nothing else to criticize about them. They make Houseboat worth watching -- and watching again.

Product Details

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Paramount Catalog
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Tom Winston
Sophia Loren Cinzia Zaccardi
Martha Hyer Caroline Gibson
Harry Guardino Angelo
Eduardo Ciannelli Arturo Zaccardi
Mimi Gibson Elizabeth Winston
Murray Hamilton Alan Wilson
Charles Herbert Robert Winston
Madge Kennedy Mrs. Farnsworth
John Litel Mr. Farnsworth
Werner Klemperer Harold Messner
Brooks Benedict Actor
Helen Brown Women in Laundromat
Mary Forbes British Society Woman
Kathleen Freeman Actor
Bill Hickman Handsome Man
Joe McTurk Pitchman
Pat Moran Clown
Gilda Oliva Pitch Saleswoman
Julian Rivero Spanish Diplomat
Wally Walker Actor
Marc Wilder Specialty Dancer
Paul Peterson David Winston

Technical Credits
Melville Shavelson Director,Screenwriter
Frank Bracht Editor
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
George Duning Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ray Evans Score Composer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
John B. Goodman Art Director
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Charles Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Ray June Cinematographer
Jay Livingstone Songwriter
Michael D. Moore Asst. Director
Hal Pereira Art Director
Jack Rose Producer,Screenwriter
Wally Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Taking the Children
2. Tour of Washington DC
3. Two Runaways
4. Robert Comes Back
5. Moving to the Country
6. New Home
7. Distant Family
8. Sharing the Chores
9. David Goes Overboard
10. Tom's Philosophy of Life
11. Learning English
12. A Date for Cinzia
13. Country Club Dance
14. Disappointment
15. Everything Goes


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Houseboat 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was wonderful. It is suitable for all ages.It is romantic. It is funny. I fell in love with Cary Grant when I first saw this movie. Sophia Loren is a gem.
Maroonbell More than 1 year ago
What's not to like about Cary Grant, no matter what movie it is?! In keeping with that sentiment, this movie does not disappoint. Cary is his handsome, debonair self ... a likeble sort, a fatherly figure and romantic gentleman. It is a cute story of a family finding themselves, the challenges they face and the fun the have together. Entertaining, humorous and touching story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the pairing of Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in this film! It is a wonderful story of how a widower finds love again through his Italian housekeeper. There is romance, comedy, singing, and a broken down houseboat that becomes the home of Cary Grant and his children. A must have for any classic film fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband is a cowboy, sci-fi, hie-yah-type move watcher, but he loves Houseboat. Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors, and he does well in his role as a single dad trying to make things work with his kids. Sophia Loren's interaction with the children has been done well.