The Money Pit
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|The Money Pit|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Benjamin|
|Produced by||Kathleen Kennedy
|Written by||David Giler|
|Music by||Michel Colombier|
|Editing by||Jacqueline Cambas|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||March 26, 1986|
|Running time||91 minutes|
The Money Pit is a 1986 American comedy film, directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a couple who attempt to renovate a recently purchased house. It was filmed in New York City and Lattingtown, New York. It is a remake of the 1948 film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. The film was co-executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
Attorney Walter Fielding (Tom Hanks) and his girlfriend Anna Crowley (Shelley Long) learn of Walter Sr.'s wedding in Rio de Janeiro, escaping the country after having embezzled millions of dollars from their musician clients. The next morning, they are told they need to vacate the apartment they were subletting from Anna's ex-husband Max Beissart (Alexander Godunov), a self-loving conductor who has returned early from Europe.
Through an unscrupulous real estate agent friend, Walter learns about a million dollar distress sale mansion. He and Anna meet the owner, Estelle (Maureen Stapleton), who claims she must sell it quickly because her husband Carlos (John van Dreelen) has been arrested by the Israelis, having been accused of being Adolf Hitler's pool boy. Her sob story and insistence of keeping the place in candlelight in order to save money "for the goddamn, bloodsucking lawyers" distracts Walter and enchants Anna, who finds it romantic. They decide to buy it, but Anna insists on putting up half of the money needed for the repairs. She turns to Max for her half by selling him back what she got in their divorce. Walter gets his half from his wealthiest client.
From the moment Walter and Anna take possession of the house, it quickly begins to fall apart. The entire front door frame rips out of the wall, the main staircase collapses, the plumbing is found to be full of gunk, the electrical system catches fire, the bathtub crashes through the floor, the chimney collapses, and a raccoon has invaded the dumbwaiter.
Contractors Art (Joe Mantegna) and Brad Shirk (Carmine Caridi) are called in, work permits are issued, and the job is originally estimated to take two weeks. Walter is increasingly frustrated by the ongoing delays and increasing cost and dubs the house "the Money Pit".
The repair work ends up taking four months. Anna attempts to secure more funds from Max by selling him some artwork she received in their divorce. He does not care about it, but agrees to the purchase. He wines and dines her and the next morning allows her to believe her assumption, as she assumes she has woken up in his bed - that she has cheated on Walter, but in reality Max slept on the couch. Walter later asks her point-blank if she slept with Max, but she hastily denies it. Walter's suspicions push her to admit that she did so, but the damage is done. She later confides in Max that, "He (Walter) can't forgive me and I can't forgive him for that."
Due to Walter and Anna's stubbornness, their relationship becomes more and more hostile and in a rare moment of agreement, vow to sell the house once it is restored and split the proceeds. This nearly happens, but Walter misses Anna and says he loves her even if she did sleep with Max. She happily states that she did not do so and they reconcile. In the end, they are married in front of their newly repaired house.
The movie ends with a cutaway back to Rio de Janeiro, where Estelle and Carlos — now revealed to be con artists — are taking a cash-filled briefcase from Walter Sr. and his new bride, who is thrilled to be getting such a great deal for a house.
- Tom Hanks as Walter Fielding, Jr.
- Shelley Long as Anna Crowley
- Alexander Godunov as Max Beissart, the Maestro
- Maureen Stapleton as Estelle
- Joe Mantegna as Art Shirk
- Philip Bosco as Curly
- Josh Mostel as Jack Schnittman
- Yakov Smirnoff as Shatov
- Carmine Caridi as Brad Shirk
- Brian Backer as Ethan
- Mia Dillon as Marika
- John van Dreelen as Carlos
- Douglass Watson as Walter Fielding Sr.
- Tetchie Agbayani as Florinda Fielding
- Michael Jeter as Arnie
The film received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator website, reports that 47% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10.
Home media release
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- The Money Pit at the Internet Movie Database
- The Money Pit at AllMovie
- The Money Pit at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Money Pit at Box Office Mojo