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The Money Pit is a 1986 comedy film, and a remake of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Directed by Richard Benjamin and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Tom Hanks as Walter Fielding Jr., an entertainment industry lawyer, Shelley Long as Anna Crowley, a violist, and Alexander Godunov, who plays Max Beissart ("the Maestro"), Anna's ex-husband


Plot


The story begins with Walter and Anna learning of his father’s escape from the country after having embezzled millions of dollars. Walter and Anna hear noises and are surprised to find workmen putting furnishings around their apartment and Shatov (Yakov Smirnoff), Max’s assistant, 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 (Alexander Godunov), who has returned unexpectedly early from a tour abroad 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 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.

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 she has not). 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 anyway, 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 to Rio De Janeiro, where Estelle and Carlos (John van Dreelen) — now revealed to be con artists — are taking a cash-filled briefcase from Walter's father, who is thrilled to be getting such a great deal for a house.

Cast
Actor - Role
Tom Hanks - Walter Fielding, Jr.
Shelley Long - Anna Crowley Beissart / Anna Fielding
Alexander Godunov - Max Beissart, the Maestro
Maureen Stapleton - Estelle
Joe Mantegna - Art Shirk
Philip Bosco - Curly
Josh Mostel - Jack Schnittman
Yakov Smirnoff - Shatov
Carmine Caridi - Brad Shirk
Brian Backer - Ethan
Billy Lombardo - Benny
Mia Dillon - Marika
John Van Dreelen - Carlos
Douglass Watson - Walter Fielding, Sr.
Lucille Dobrin - Macumba Lady
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Details

CastTom Hanks, Maureen Stapleton, Joe Mantegna, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
DirectorRichard Benjamin
Genre:  Comedy
Screen WriterDavid Giler
DVD Release Date:  February 4, 2003
Runtime:  91 minutes
Studio:  Universal Studios
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review by . October 08, 2009
They used to play this movie CONSTANTLY on Comedy Central during the late 1990s, along with movies like "She Devil" and "Top Secret". Unlike the latter movies, "The Money Pit" is actually hilarious. The film follows the lives of Walter Fielding and his wife Anna, played by Tom Hanks and Shelly Long after they are kicked out of a friends New York City apartment they had been staying in. Forced to find a house, the couple move out to middle-of-nowhere Long Island. …
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