Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
Directed by Henry Koster
Written by Nunnally Johnson from a novel by Edward Streeter
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
First viewing/Netflix rental

Roger Hobbs: There ought to be an un-Edison, an un-Thomas Alva Edison who un-invents things, and the first thing they ought to un-invent is that television.

Family vacation movies have been a comedy trend since the early days on cinema.  This is an OK one.

Banker Roger Hobbs (James Stewart) is needs a vacation from his hectic life in the busy city.  He is particularly anxious for some time away from his children with pretty wife Peggy (Maureen O’Hara).  Naturally, Peggy has other plans.  Her idea is to gather the whole clan, including a couple of married daughters and their families, for a month by the sea.  To this end she rents a vacation house.

Naturally, the house is a total disaster requiring the constant ministrations of Roger and the local plumber.  Both of the older daughters are having marriage problems, the teenager is going through a phase with new braces, and the all the youngest wants is to watch TV. Finally, all comes to a head when the family also has to entertain the weirdo prospective employer of one of the sons-in-law and his wife.  Will Roger ever get a break?  With Fabian as a teenager and John McGiver as the boss from hell.

If you have seen Mr. Blanding Builds a Dream House or any of a number of other old house vs. city slicker movies you will have a fair idea of the kind of thing that goes on here. There’s actually some pretty funny bits mixed in with the more predictible stuff.  I like that Stewart is playing an age appropriate role.  The Henry Mancini score is nice and perky.