34 user 19 critic

Houseboat (1958)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 19 November 1958 (USA)
A widower, his three young children, 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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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Mimi Gibson ...
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 <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It All Happens Happily on a Heaven of a Houseboat! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hausboot  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Mary Forbes. 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 Down Came a Blackbird (1995) See more »


Almost in Your Arms
Written by Jay Livingston,Ray Evans
Performed by Sophia Loren
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.

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