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 date(s)||March 26, 1986|
|Running time||91 minutes|
The Money Pit is a 1986 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, Long Island, New York. The film is based on Eric Hodgins' 1946 novel Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House which was previously adapted in 1948 for a film with the same title.
The story begins with attorney Walter Fielding and his girlfriend Anna Crowley learning of his father Walter Sr.'s wedding in Rio de Janeiro, escaping the country after having embezzled millions of dollars from their musician clients. The next morning, the couple hears noises and are surprised to find workmen putting furnishings around their apartment and a man asking them, "you’re still here?!" It becomes clear that Walter and Anna do not own the apartment; it belongs to Anna's ex-husband Max Beissart (Alexander Godunov), a self-loving conductor who has returned unexpectedly early from a tour in Europe and intends to take up residence again.
Walter and Anna now need a place of their own. 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 the house 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. Walter and Anna decide to buy the house, but Anna insists on putting up half of the money needed for the repairs. She turns to Max for her half of the money by selling him back what she got in their divorce. Walter gets his half from his wealthiest client, a rock star named Benny, who happens to be a kid.
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 (this causes Walter to laugh maniacally), 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. This is because the original intent was to demolish the house. Still, the estimate of two weeks is a running gag throughout the movie. When asked how long a process will take, the answer is always "two weeks". Walter is increasingly frustrated by the 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. Max does not care about the artwork, but gives her the money anyway. He wines and dines her and she ends up in a compromising situation. The morning after he agrees to buy the paintings from Anna, Max allows her to believe her assumption — having woken up in Max's bed — that she has cheated on Walter, but in reality Max slept on the couch. Walter later asks Anna point-blank if she slept with Max, but Anna hastily denies it. Walter's suspicions push Anna to admit that she slept with Max, but the damage is done. Anna 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. Anna happily states that she did not sleep with Max and the two reconcile. In the end, they are married in front of their new 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
The Money Pit received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator website, reports that only 47% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The film was a success in the box office.
- "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House". Academy Chicago Publishers. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
- "The Money Pit Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
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- The Money Pit at the Internet Movie Database
- The Money Pit at AllRovi
- The Money Pit at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Money Pit at Box Office Mojo