Half a House (1976)

PG | 95 mins | Comedy | 17 December 1976

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HISTORY

The Summary for this unviewed film is based on the memories of producer Lenke Romanszky.
       The 26 May 1975 LAHExam and 16 Jun 1975 Box noted that the film, currently in production, had the working title of House Divided. The 21 Sep 1977 DV suggested that the budget was in the neighborhood of $500,000.
       Documents in AMPAS library files show that Rampart Releasing, a distributor, opened the film at a Beverly Hills, CA, theater on 17 Dec 1976 to qualify for Academy Awards consideration. Producer Lenke Romanszky, in a Jan 2014 interview, told the AFI Catalog that the main reason for the preview booking was the film’s theme song, “A World That Never Was,” written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, who had already won two Academy Awards for “Secret Love” from Annie Get Your Gun (1953, see entry) and the theme song from Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955, see entry). Taking full-page advertisements in the 25 Feb 1977 and 15 Mar 1977 issues of DV, Fain and Webster “cordially invited” AMPAS members to “Dial-a-Song” and hear Fain sing “A World That Never Was.” “It would be nice if we had a commercial record, but we don’t,” they wrote. “It would also be nice if we were in a widely seen motion picture, but we don’t have that either.” Susie Brabeau recorded “A World That Never Was” for the film's soundtrack; however, actor Eddie Albert performed the song live at the 49th Academy Awards presentation, where it was a nominee for “Music (Original Song),” the 23 Mar 1977 Var ... More Less

The Summary for this unviewed film is based on the memories of producer Lenke Romanszky.
       The 26 May 1975 LAHExam and 16 Jun 1975 Box noted that the film, currently in production, had the working title of House Divided. The 21 Sep 1977 DV suggested that the budget was in the neighborhood of $500,000.
       Documents in AMPAS library files show that Rampart Releasing, a distributor, opened the film at a Beverly Hills, CA, theater on 17 Dec 1976 to qualify for Academy Awards consideration. Producer Lenke Romanszky, in a Jan 2014 interview, told the AFI Catalog that the main reason for the preview booking was the film’s theme song, “A World That Never Was,” written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, who had already won two Academy Awards for “Secret Love” from Annie Get Your Gun (1953, see entry) and the theme song from Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955, see entry). Taking full-page advertisements in the 25 Feb 1977 and 15 Mar 1977 issues of DV, Fain and Webster “cordially invited” AMPAS members to “Dial-a-Song” and hear Fain sing “A World That Never Was.” “It would be nice if we had a commercial record, but we don’t,” they wrote. “It would also be nice if we were in a widely seen motion picture, but we don’t have that either.” Susie Brabeau recorded “A World That Never Was” for the film's soundtrack; however, actor Eddie Albert performed the song live at the 49th Academy Awards presentation, where it was a nominee for “Music (Original Song),” the 23 Mar 1977 Var reported.
       The 1976 release of Half a House was ninety-five minutes long. The film was edited to eighty-four minutes for a 1978 reissue.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Jun 1975.
---
Daily Variety
25 Feb 1977
p. 23.
Daily Variety
15 Mar 1977
p. 19.
Daily Variety
21 Sep 1977
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 1975.
---
LAHExam
26 May 1975
Section A, p. 10.
Variety
23 Mar 1977.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A John B. Kelley Presentation
A Lenro Production
A First American Films Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Make-up
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
SONGS
"A World That Never Was," music by Sammy Fain, words by Paul Francis Webster, sung by Susie Brabeau.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
House Divided
Release Date:
17 December 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 December 1976
Production Date:
Spring 1975 in Los Angeles
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After ten years of marriage, Jordan and Bitsy Blake design and build a dream house. Reflecting their respective professional careers, the house includes an architect’s office for Jordan on one side and an interior design studio for Bitsy on the other. During a wild housewarming party, however, the couple argue and Bitsy locks Jordan out of the house without any clothes on. Bitsy sues for divorce, but since neither she nor Jordan wants to move out, a judge rules that they both need the house for business and must share it until they reach a settlement. Complications arise when Jordan and Bitsy separately want to use the common living room to entertain dates and clients. Another problem is how to call the police to report a burglary on the other side of the house. Jessica, Bitsy’s best friend, eagerly consoles Jordan, while Jordan’s best friend, Artie, tries to ease Bitsy’s loneliness. The only person who remains neutral is Thelma, the Blakes’ maid. When Jordan arrives at a surprise party with a naked go-go dancer, Bitzy realizes she still cares for him. Also, she fears that if she and Jordan do not get back together, they will have to sell the house to someone who does not love it as much as they do. For the sake of the house, and each other, Jordan and Bitsy reconcile. ... +


After ten years of marriage, Jordan and Bitsy Blake design and build a dream house. Reflecting their respective professional careers, the house includes an architect’s office for Jordan on one side and an interior design studio for Bitsy on the other. During a wild housewarming party, however, the couple argue and Bitsy locks Jordan out of the house without any clothes on. Bitsy sues for divorce, but since neither she nor Jordan wants to move out, a judge rules that they both need the house for business and must share it until they reach a settlement. Complications arise when Jordan and Bitsy separately want to use the common living room to entertain dates and clients. Another problem is how to call the police to report a burglary on the other side of the house. Jessica, Bitsy’s best friend, eagerly consoles Jordan, while Jordan’s best friend, Artie, tries to ease Bitsy’s loneliness. The only person who remains neutral is Thelma, the Blakes’ maid. When Jordan arrives at a surprise party with a naked go-go dancer, Bitzy realizes she still cares for him. Also, she fears that if she and Jordan do not get back together, they will have to sell the house to someone who does not love it as much as they do. For the sake of the house, and each other, Jordan and Bitsy reconcile.

+

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Domestic


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.