Houseboat (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  19 November 1958 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,547 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

A widower, his three young kids and a bombshell nanny get to know each other better when circumstances have them living together aboard a badly neglected houseboat.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mr. Hobbs wants to spend a quiet holiday at the beach, but his wife has invited all their family to stay with them.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Fabian
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Drama critic Larry McKay, his wife Kay, and their four sons move from their crowded Manhattan apartment to an old house in the country. While housewife Kay settles into suburban life, Larry... See full summary »

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a popular daredevil proposes an automobile race across three continents, his arch rival vows to beat him, while an ambitious female reporter has her own plans for victory.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

"Cheaper By the Dozen", based on the real-life story of the Gilbreth family, follows them from Providence, Rhode Island to Montclair, New Jersey, and details the amusing anecdotes found in ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Clifton Webb, Myrna Loy, Jeanne Crain
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Abby McClure, a widow with three sons, and Jake Iverson, a widower with a teen-age daughter, get fixed up. They start dating and decide to get married. They're not prepared for the hostile ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Morris
Stars: Doris Day, Brian Keith, Pat Carroll
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a widower with 10 children marries a widow with 8, can the 20 of them ever come together as one big happy family? From finding a house big enough for all of them and learning to make ... See full summary »

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, Van Johnson
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers
Comedy | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The trials and tribulations of the Winfield family in small town Indiana as Marjorie Winfield's boyfriend, William Sherman, returns from the Army after W.W.I. Bill & Marjorie's on-again, ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Leon Ames
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young and inexperienced Sister Ann has just arrived at her next posting at Samaritan House, a Dominican order located in a disreputable neighborhood of Ghent, Belgium. Sister Ann is ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban, Greer Garson
Gentle Ben (1967–1969)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The adventures in the Florida Everglades of a game warden, Tom Wedloe, his wife Ellen, their son Mark, and Mark's tame bear Ben.

Stars: Dennis Weaver, Clint Howard, Beth Brickell
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer against a background of circus spectacle.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king.

Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Stars: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone


Complete credited cast:
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Mimi Gibson ...
Charles Herbert ...
Madge Kennedy ...
Mr. William Farnsworth
Harold Messner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peggy Connelly ...
Elizabeth Wilson (scenes deleted)


Tom Winters, 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. Written by Brian W Martz <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hausboot  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Carlo Ponti obtained a Mexican divorce from his first wife and married Sophia Loren by proxy, while she was in Hollywood, filming Houseboat (1958) - and dating co-star Cary Grant (17 September 1957). See more »


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. See more »


Tom Winters: [after punishing his son] Well, now where were we?
Cinzia Zaccardi: [She turns on the spray paint and sprays him in the face on purpose] Oops.
Tom Winters: Thank you, Michelangelo. Thank you.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »


Symphony No. 4 in A-Major op. 90 (Italian Symphony)
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Warm, with a witty Cary Grant and stiff Sofia Loren...and a forced plot
2 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Houseboat (1958)

It's crazy to write a review of a movie this old, with two legends, as if I have anything new to say. But that's exactly why it's worth my while. I watched it as a "Cary Grant movie" which is a category like a "Greta Garbo movie." And he's good, though there are no real sparks on screen between him and Sofia Loren, a substitute for Grant's wife of the moment, who wrote the original script. I think it ends up just a match of two screen beauties. The 1958 public liked it, at least.

It's weird how old Loren looks here—she's playing a 22 year old (she's 24 during the shoot), but her whole demeanor and hairstyle scream 30 or 40. Weird, because she's supposed to be a wild kid that her dad can't control. This matters because Grant plays an older man—an older father of three whose wife has died and who really needs a nanny. Loren's character becomes the nanny even though she's from a privileged family, mostly as an escape. Famously, Grant had been trying to woo Loren for months during their previous film, and he may or may not have gotten anywhere, but by this filming she made clear she wasn't interested, and even got married (to Carlo Ponti) while this one was being shot.

The plot is fun but the film is a bit plasticky. It's not as funny or clever as the old screwball days. Or as fast. The three kids are fine but barely—no great acting here, and no great direction either. Oh yeah, the director—Melville Shavelson—is not making the most of his material. He's more of a screenwriter (he co-wrote this) and there are some great lines. The direction is routine, however, which is a shame, because some scenes are clunky and others play out as if the script would do all the work.

Even the cinematography is merely adequate, though the sets and setting are great so you might not notice. The idea of using a houseboat (a real one in Maryland) is a great money saving device, no doubt, and it gives everything an offbeat air.

So it's all enjoyable if nothing remarkable, more or less typical of this low point in Hollywood movie-making. The best here is Grant, who still throws his classic one-liners off as if they were his. Too bad they echo out of sync with the rest of the cast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not very good dvbar1
The song that Sophia sings smileyjenny
Houseboat condition hawkeye_74
Remake JuniusLord
Peggy Connelly? nlathy
Discuss Houseboat (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: