The Money Pit is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin 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, and was co-executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
In 2013, NBC announced they were developing a TV series based on the film, but the project was later put on hold.
Attorney Walter Fielding and his classical musician girlfriend, Anna Crowley, learn of Walter Sr.’s wedding to a woman named Florinda 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, 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, who claims she must sell it quickly because her husband, Carlos, has been arrested. 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.
From the moment Walter and Anna take possession of the house, it quickly begins to fall apart. Among 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 and Brad Shirk 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.
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.
Ultimately, Estelle and her husband/partner-in-crime, Carlos, resurface in Brazil where they try to persuade Walter’s father and his new bride to purchase an old house they claim to have lived in for several years … implying that the vicious cycle is about to start all over again.
- Tom Hanks as Walter Fielding, Jr.
- Shelley Long as Anna Crowley
- Alexander Godunov as Max Beissart
- Maureen Stapleton as Estelle
- Joe Mantegna as Art Shirk
- Philip Bosco as Curly
- Frankie Faison as James
- 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