Houseboat (1958) C+
Cary Grant met and fell in love with Sophia Loren on the set of the romantic comedy “Houseboat,” co-scripted and helmed by Melville Shavelson.
You can’t blame him. Loren is gorgeously sexy and likeable. But the comedy is another story. Though a box-office smash, Houseboat is slight, conventionally formualic, and only mildly entertaining.
Grant plays Tom Winston, a widowed father who packs himself and his spoiled kiddies off to a ramshackle houseboat.
Meanhwile Sophia Loren’s Cinzia Zaccardi is attempting to break loose from the suffocating clutches of her tyrannical father’s (Eduardo Cianelli).
Cinzia thereupon gets hired as Grant’s housekeeper and his children’s governess. Though Tom struggles valiantly to maintain a “hands off” policy, he and Cinzia are in love by fadeout time, but not before plenty of reversals, recriminations and sitcom-style mishaps.
The kids end up behaving like little angels; Cinzia has threatened them into genuine angels if they don’t toe the line.
The on-screen romance between Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in Houseboat spilled over into their private lives as well, though Loren put an end to this dalliance when she married Italian movie mogul Carlo Ponti.
Running time: 110 Minutes.
Directed by Melville Shavelson
Written by Jack Rose, Melville Shavelson
Cary Grant as Tom Winston
Sophia Loren as Cinzia Zaccardi
Martha Hyer as Caroline Gibson
Harry Guardino as Angelo
Eduardo Ciannelli as Arturo Zaccardi
Murray Hamilton as Alan Wilson
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