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 Kathleen Kennedy
Art Levinson
Frank Marshall
Written by David Giler
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Edited by Jacqueline Cambas
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • March 26, 1986 (1986-03-26)
Running time
91 minutes
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $54,999,651

The Money Pit is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin and starred 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, and was co-executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

In 2013, NBC announced they were developing a TV series based on the film,[1] but the project was later put on hold.[2]


Attorney Walter Fielding (Tom Hanks) and his classical musician girlfriend, Anna Crowley (Shelley Long), learn of Walter Sr.'s wedding to a beautiful young woman named Florinda (Tetchie Agbayani) in Rio de Janeiro shortly after fleeing the country for embezzling millions of dollars from their musician clients. The next morning, they are told they need to vacate the apartment they are subletting from Anna's ex-husband, Max Beissart (Alexander Godunov), a self-absorbed conductor who has returned early from Europe.

Through an unscrupulous realtor friend, Walter learns about a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000. 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 man. Her sob story and insistence at 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. Amongst other problems, the entire front door frame rips out of the wall, the main staircase collapses, the plumbing is full of gunk, the electrical system catches fire, the bathtub crashes through the floor, the chimney collapses, and a raccoon is living in the dumbwaiter.

Contractors Art (Joe Mantegna) and Brad Shirk (Carmine Caridi) are called in (the only construction company who is willing to take on the work), who summarily tear the house to pieces using Walter's $5,000 down payment, leaving him and Anna embroiled in bureaucracy to secure the necessary building permits to complete the work. His continuing frustration at the escalating costs of restoring the house leads him to brand it a "money pit", whilst the Shirks continue to assure him that the work will take "two weeks".

The repair work continues for a grueling four months and Walter and Anna realize they need more money to complete the renovations. She attempts to secure additional funds from Max by selling him some artwork she received in their divorce. Although he does not care for it, he agrees to its purchase. He wines and dines her, and the next morning, when she wakes up in his bed, he allows her to believe that she has cheated on Walter; in reality, Max slept on the couch. Walter later asks her point-blank if she slept with Max, but she hastily denies it. His 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, they vow to sell the house once it is restored and split the proceeds. This nearly happens, but he misses her and says he loves her even if she did sleep with Max. She happily tells him that she didn't and they reconcile. In the end, they are married in front of the newly repaired house.

The film ends with a scene back in Rio de Janeiro, where Estelle and Carlos are taking a cash-filled briefcase from Walter Sr. and Florinda, for another mansion which is presumably also in a state of severe disrepair, revealing that they were con-artists the whole time.



The film received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator website, reports that 47% of critics have given it a positive review, based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10.[3]

Home media release

The film was released on DVD by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as part of a three-film set, the Tom Hanks Comedy Favorites Collection, along with The 'Burbs and Dragnet.


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (2013-10-04). "NBC Developing Comedy Based On Movie 'The Money Pit' With Justin Spitzer, Amblin". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  2. Andreeva, Nellie (2014-03-11). "NBC Comedy Pilot 'Money Pit' Pushed". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  3. "The Money Pit Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Money Pit
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.