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Houseboat (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  19 November 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,234 users  
Reviews: 30 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.


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Title: Houseboat (1958)

Houseboat (1958) on IMDb 6.7/10

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





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?


Original screenplay was written by Betsy Drake, Cary Grant's wife. Grant originally wanted it to star her but his extra-marital affair with Sophia Loren complicated the project. Drake's script was drastically re-written by two other writers to accommodate Loren and bears little resemblance to Drake's concept. See more »


During Cinzia's first visit to Tom's apartment, at one point he is adjusting the sofa bed; as the two converse the camera moves closer to them and the shadow of the moving camera can be seen on Cinzia's dress. See more »


Robert Winters: That's you, Sir.
Tom Winters: Who, Sir? Me, Sir?
Cinzia Zaccardi: Yes, Sir. You, Sir.
See more »


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


Love Song from Houseboat (Almost in Your Arms)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Sung by Sam Cooke
See more »

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User Reviews

Cary Grant / Sophia Loren - WOW!
23 January 2003 | by (Casablanca) – See all my reviews

Houseboat has very clearly survived the test of time and is today a pleasure to watch.

Everything that could go wrong in this movie, fortunately goes right and the result is a funny, family comedy. A gem.

Cary Grant plays a lawyer, who's about to finalize his divorce when his wife dies in an automobile accident. To prevent his three children, to whom he's had very few contact in the last years, to be separated, by their aunt and grandfather, he decides to take them to his small house in Washington, but by a series of circumstances ends up living in a houseboat in the country, that will change him forever. Sophia Loren is Cinzia a spoiled rebel girl, who lives in the shadow of her father, a famous maestro. To escape her dull live she poses as a poor italian girl, abandoned by her fiancée in order to go to work as a house keeper for Cary. What comes next, everybody knows. Love.

The story is not completely original, but it works. The script is very funny, the dialogue interesting and well written. Even if it might follow a formula, it still accomplishes what the audience asks, and maybe more. Behind all the comedy and laughs, there is undoubtedly the purpose to give a better image of what being a father is, the problems that occur when raising children, and how to solve them without violence. We all know what violence can do, the traumas it causes and how it haunts a person all through her live. If all the parents followed Cinzia´s advice and tried to understand their children instead of beating them, maybe the world would be a better place.

The direction is not perfect, but Melville Shavelson delivers a nice solid performance, with some bright moments. The best part of `Houseboat' is the cast. Cary Grant… well what can be said? Its not his talent, but more his personality that captivates us. Who wouldn't like to be Cary Grant? In here he follows other great performances, bringing us a true gentleman, polite, smart and funny. He puts his heart in his work, and is as always a pleasure to watch.

Sophia Loren. The diva, the symbol, the woman. Her beauty, in a wild, sexy way, lights up the screen. Every frame is a masterpiece. The movie is worth for her alone. All the rest is bonus.

Its also interesting to see Cary and Sophia act together knowing they were involved romantically in real life and how it ended. Priceless.

The children are sweet, and work hard to do their job the best they can.

Houseboat is sweet, light, and recommended to anyone who needs to focus on the beautiful things of life. It's sure to make you feel good.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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