The Money Pit

The Money Pit
For the location known as "The Money Pit", see Oak Island.
The Money Pit

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Benjamin
Produced by Steven Spielberg (exec.)
Kathleen Kennedy
Art Levinson
Frank Marshall
Written by David Giler
Starring Tom Hanks
Shelley Long
Alexander Godunov
Maureen Stapleton
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) March 26, 1986
Running time 91 minutes
Language English
Budget $24 million
Box office $54,999,651 (worldwide)

The Money Pit is a 1986 comedy film and remake of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Directed by Richard Benjamin and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a couple who attempt to renovate a recently purchased house. The Money Pit was filmed in New York City and Lattingtown, Long Island, New York. Villa Vizcaya in Miami, Florida was used for the epilogue scene set in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.



The story begins with attorney Walter Fielding and his girlfriend Anna Crowley learning of his father Walter Sr.’s wedding in Rio de Janiero, after 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?!" We learn 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 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 vehemently), 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 doesn't 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 didn't 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 Janiero, where Estelle and Carlos (John van Dreelen) — 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.



The Money Pit received mixed to negative 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. Even with negative reviews, the film had a modest success in the box office. [1]


See also


  1. ^ "The Money Pit Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 

External links

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