The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

A swinging sixties marital comedy with the charming Shirley MacLaine and the prim and proper Richard Attenborough? Sure! Why not?

It’s an innocent request from the workaholic brasserie manufacturer Robert Blossom (Attenborough) when he asks one of the factory’s repairmen, Ambrose Tuttle (James Booth), to go pay Mrs. Blossom (MacLaine) a visit to help fix her sewing machine. But when Mr. Tuttle makes Harriett’s acquaintance, her boredom and loneliness cannot be hidden underneath the quirks and colorfulness of her outfit and personality. Mr. Tuttle comes in, but after the seduction of Mrs. Blossom, he never leaves. Literally…he doesn’t leave…like…ever. And despite her insistence for him to vacate, Mr. Tuttle sets up a rather cozy camp (thanks to a countless number of how-to books) in the attic. And the affair continues for years, right under Mr. Blossom’s nose…or rather right over his head (you’re welcome).

"quirky but surprisingly sharp"

Well…what can I say? It’s a rather silly movie, but that doesn’t mean its without its fair share of impressive qualities. The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom, like its colorful and oddball Harriet, is quirky but surprisingly sharp in not only its dialogue that has a face-paced rhythm decorated with a comedic cleverness that garners a few chuckles easily, but its exceptionally sharp in its comedic visuals. With well-timed character actions, rather enchanting fairytale cutaways, and editing that is arguably ahead of its 1968 time, it is extraordinarily visually exciting.

As the story goes on, we only see the whole situation grow to ridiculous heights. The love affair gets more elaborate just as Mr. Tuttle’s attic does in design. But hiding Mr. Tuttle is no easy feat. Harriett insists the noises in the night created by Tuttle are nonexistent, and Mr. Blossom admits himself into the care of an eccentric psychiatrist. There’s also a number of characters that Mr. Tuttle takes on over the years (yes, years!) of the affairs. Probably the most memorable is posing as Harriet’s “cousin” from Mexico when a snoopy and posh detective (Freddie Jones) comes poking around searching for an answer to Mr. Tuttle’s sudden disappearance three years earlier. Little does he know that he is interrogating just the man he is looking for! The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

And even when the characters do run into issues, like when Mr. Blossom’s business starts failing, the movie doesn’t harp on any sad moment for too long. There is nothing…and I mean nothing… in this movie that cannot be fixed with a simply said solution. Even when the whole love affair inevitably comes crashing down in the end, the resolution gives a simple, full-circle happy ending for all involved. And why not? There are no rules here!

Also starring Bob Monkhouse, Willie Rushton, and a young John Cleese in a cameo role, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom offers a delightful and light-hearted time under the fun and clever direction of Joseph McGrath. Other than dragging a bit in the third act, the film is nothing short of amusing, and I would say that as far as stage to screen adaptions go, this one translates quite well.

The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom is now available on Blu Ray courtesy of the fine folks at Kino Lorber.

3/5 stars

The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- February 28, 2023
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH

Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Harriet Blossom (Shirley MacLaine, The Apartment) isn’t happy with her marriage to priggish bra manufacturer Robert (Richard Attenborough, The Great Escape), but there’s no reason for concern. Harriet gets by with a little help from above—she keeps a lover in the attic! And years later, when hubby finally notices, the end result of her secret tryst may not be what you expect at all. The marital/extramarital comedy The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom blooms with tongue-in-cheek fun, brilliantly bent performances (including Monty Python trouper John Cleese’s cameo portrayal of an exasperated postal clerk) and a colorful splash of paisleyed ’60s—London style. Based on the play by Alec Coppel (Vertigo), directed by Joseph McGrath (Casino Royale) and co-starring James Booth (Robbery), it’s “something a little different, even original…with a neat climactic twist” (The New York Times).


Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this HD remaster undertaken by Paramount from the 4K scan of the original 35 mm camera negative is more or less disappointing. For the most part the definition is okay with some finer details being visible. However, one of the biggest issues from the start of the film is that the print is quite dirty with various specks of dirt and small scratches consistent throughout the entirety of the picture. There are also inconsistencies with the color grading that are very apparent in outdoor scenes. However, I will say that the colorful and eccentric interiors of the Blossom household are wonderfully vibrant. It’s not the worst restoration, but it is certainly not the greatest.


The accompanying 2.0 monoaural soundtrack offers a crisp and clear soundtrack that seems relatively healthy. The only issue I found was that the track did seem a bit quiet for some reason, so I’d suggest turning up the dial a bit on this one.


There’s not much to show for special features, but the accompanying commentary is a educational delight for any film nerd to enjoy.


  • Audio Commentary by Film Historian/Filmmaker Daniel Kremer

Special Features:

  • Trailers

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
93 mins
: Joseph McGrath
Denis Norden
Shirley MacLaine; Richard Attenborough; James Booth
: Comedy
The Years Big Put-On...And Take-Off Too!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 11, 1968
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 28, 2023
Synopsis: Harriet Blossom, the lonely wife of a workaholic brassiere manufacturer, breaks her sewing machine and ends up in bed with the repairman, a mechanic from one of her husband's factories. The man, Ambrose, is supposed to leave during the night but Harriet finds him the next day still hiding in the attic. Harriet lets her new lover stay in the attic for years, managing to keep it all secret from her husband and from the detectives investigating the sudden disappearance of a certain Mr. Ambrose Tuttle.


The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)