In 1939 a Time, Inc. vice-president named Eric Hodgins built his dream house in New Milford, Connecticut. He intended to spend $11,000, but ended up paying $56,000 for its completion. Two years after moving in, he went bankrupt and was forced to sell the property. In 1946 he wrote an article for Fortune telling this story called "Mr. Blandings Builds His Castle", and later that year wrote a novel, called Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.
The story was the first one acquired by Dore Schary after he was named to head RKO. RKO paid Hodgins $200,000 for the rights to film the story. The film was shot from October to December, 1947, and was released in June, 1948. Sets for it were built in Girard, California. The finished house set is now used as a building in the Malibu Creek State Park in that town. The architectural plans used as props in the film were sold to a charity. Seventy-three Blandings houses, using those plans, were built across the country. And Eric Hodgins, who had lost the original house on which the novel was based, tried to buy back his original house with the money he made selling the story to RKO, but he was unsuccessful.