The 1986 comedy The Money Pit stars Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a young couple that impulsively buys a grand Federal-style house that they think is a bargain. As you can probably guess from the title, it’s not. But they don’t figure that out until they move in and the house starts falling down around them–literally.
Here’s how the house looks when they drive up to see it for the first time:
Maureen Stapleton plays the homeowner-slash-con artist Estelle, who gives them a tour of the place and tells them that she has to sell right away. There’s no time to think about it–or to get an inspection or anything like that.
Estelle tells them she’s keeping the lights off because she can’t afford the electric bill. They later find out the wiring is faulty.
The upstairs bedroom:
They buy the big bed with the house. When Anna (Shelley Long) stretches out on the mattress on moving day, she slowly sinks through it…
The fireplace in the bedroom:
Walter checks out the powder room:
The kitchen–before the electrical fire destroys it:
It has an old stove and fridge that look original to the house:
Anna practices her violin in the parlor soon after moving in (before the renovation starts):
When she turns the water on in the master bathroom, a brown sludge oozes out:
Without running water, they’re reduced to filling the tub the old-fashioned way:
But after pouring only two buckets of water go into it, the entire tub falls through the floor and into the room below:
Walter says, “You hear about that guy up in the Bronx, went crazy, thought he was a pigeon? They found him in the park, throwing bread crumbs at himself. And he was only putting in a guest bathroom!”
The staircase fiasco starts with one loose floorboard that Walter innocently tries to fix.
Next thing he knows, the entire thing is falling apart.
A close-up of the front of the house with the old car that came with the house:
When Walter realizes he has locked himself out of the house, he knocks on the door…and the entire thing falls down:
The workers arrive, and they look like a pretty scary bunch, but they’re the only ones who would work for an amount of money Walter could afford.Anna: “Who are they?” Walter: “The plumbers.” Anna: “Are you sure?” Walter: “Not really, but I don’t care. I’m just thrilled to see somebody actually working!” ~
When Walter returns home from work at the end of the day, the workers are gone and this is what’s left of his house:
In the DVD Special Features, Director Richard Benjamin shows the model of the house that they used when planning stunts. This is the back of the house on the model:
And the back of the actual house:
Working on the entry hall:
And finally, it’s finished:
We get to see the new staircase. The entry hall. A peek into the parlor where Shelley Long is standing:
A peek inside the living room, where Tom Hanks is standing:
And that’s it. We don’t get to see how the kitchen, the bedroom, or the bathroom turned out. Nope. Just a quick view of the main rooms in front, and then it’s over. It makes me mad every time I watch it.
Does that drive anyone else nuts, too, or is it just me? In fact, I found it so irritating that we don’t get to see how all of the rooms turned out, that for a long time I refused to do a post about this movie at all. So many of you requested it, though, that you eventually wore me down. Ha.
The movie ends with Walter and Anna getting married in front of their finally-finished dream house:
The “after” of the house looks identical to the “before” shot at the beginning of the movie. The only change I can see is that window boxes have been added:
Here’s how the house looks today. More windows have been added so that there are three over three on each side of the front door (thanks to Garrison for these photos from the listing!):
I read that it was built in 1898 . . . and that it was built in 1906. Not sure which is correct, but let’s say it was built sometime between the two. It’s known as “Northway House.”
It was on the market last year for $7.9 million. In the movie, Walter and Anna get the house for a steal–$200,000. Here’s a photo of the real staircase, which was shown in the listing:
Have you seen both movies? Which is your favorite?
P.S. Coming up on the next Movie Monday: a look at the gorgeous Craftsman from “Zathura.”
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