The Money Pit (1986)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some good gags

Story doesn't go anywhere and feels disconnected

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Money Pit

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  March 26, 1986

MPAA Rating:  PG


Fixing a hole where the rain gets in…

Walter Fielding (Tom Hanks) finds his life turned upside down by his father’s embezzling from his law firm as his live in girlfriend Anna Crowley (Shelley Long) deals with the return of her ex-husband Max Beissart (Alexander Godunov).  When they find themselves without a house, they discover a steal of a deal on a country home.  Unfortunately, an inspector should have been in order because Walter and Anna discover the house literally falling down around them as their relationship begins to crumble as well.  Can the house and their love be saved?

Directed by Richard Benjamin, The Money Pit was a comedy with Stephen Spielberg as an executive producer.  The comedy was an adaptation of 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home.  The movie had mixed reviews but gained a small following due to repeated plays on cable.


Maybe we aren’t getting married because of the lack of chemistry…

I always preferred Tom Hanks as a comedic actor than a dramatic actor.  His pre-Philadelphia days (to me) are more fun and better.  That being said, The Money Pit isn’t one of his best films.

The movie has a concept (a house falling down), but it doesn’t seem to have much of an idea of what to do with this plot.  The idea is that their relationship goes the way of the house (good, destroyed, rebuilt), but it just doesn’t really connect or flow the way it needs to in order to make you care about the characters or the house.

I don’t think Tom Hanks and Shelley Long have much of a connection in this movie.  The characters are meant to be a bit independent in the film, but they never really feel like a couple.  In general, it is one of those frustrating movies where you don’t really like anyone and all parties involved seem to act like jerks.


I loved these guys in Mad Max!

The house’s collapse also just seems pretty random.  It is quick and doesn’t build or ebb.  I would say the stairs collapse would have been a big event to happen later in the fall of the house, but it happens first…so multiple holes in the floor and other problems seem less problematic than no stairs.  The sight gags lose all their power and aren’t as funny as they should be if they progressed.

The Money Pit is pretty typical “average” ’80s.  The comedy is mostly harmless and moderately funny…so it feels like you could find better and more humorous movies to check out instead of The Money Pit.  The film’s ideas did inspire Are We Done Yet? in 2007 and there was talk of a TV series based on the movie.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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