What do you do when you’ve been snowed in for 4 days straight? Watch your favorite movies! One of my favorite movies that never fails to make me laugh is The Money Pit starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.
A Little Synopsis:
The Money Pit is a film made in 1986 and said to be a loose remake of the movie, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. In this comedy, Walter Fielding, an entertainment industry lawyer played by Tom Hanks and Anna Crowley, a violinist played by Shelley Long find themselves suddenly and without warning having to move from their New York apartment. A frantic search begins for a new home and a not-so-nice real estate “friend” directs them to an amazing find. (cough, cough)
This is how the home looks on Anna and Walter’s first visit. Surprisingly, The Money Pit was filmed in a real home and not on a movie set. The house is located at: 199 Feeks Lane, Locust Valley, New York and was owned by the Ridder family at the time of the filming.
In the movie, the home is owned by Estelle, played by Maureen Stapleton, and her husband, Carlos, who we don’t see to the very end of the movie. In the pic below, Estelle is giving the young couple a tour. She makes up a crazy story about some trouble her husband is supposedly in that is causing her to have to sell quickly and cheaply. They foolishly believe her. The lamp you see here and in the next picture is available for purchase at the antique shop I posted about in THIS post.
Another view of the drawing room…
Estelle gives Walter and Anna a tour of the home by candlelight saying she can’t afford to use the electricity because all her money is going to her husband’s “blood-sucking lawyers.” As they tour the home, she mentions the furniture is for sale, too. Anna loves the bed in the Master Bedroom.
We get a glimpse of a downstairs bathroom when Walter goes in one during the tour. He briefly checks out the plumbing and finds it to be working.
Estelle shows them the back side of the this million+ dollar home that they are going to be getting for only $200,000. She tells them she has always done all her own yard work (yeah, right) but they may want to hire a gardener to help them maintain the 9 acres.
We get a better view of the bed in the master bedroom once they move in. Beautiful, right?
Anna decides to give her new bed a try…
And it swallows her up. Is this ever foreshadowing for what is yet to come!
We get another view of the front of the house when Walter goes outside to the garage for some tools to make a few minor repairs on the door. Estelle also throws in the car with the home. Deals galore!
While Walter is outside, Anna spots this niffy old dumbwaiter and decides to check it out.
A crazy (and I do mean crazy) raccoon is waiting inside. He leaps out and lands on her neck/shoulder and won’t let go. Naturally, Anna screams bloody murder and Walter dashes in from outside to see what is going on. He never gets upstairs to see Mr. Raccoon.
As he runs up the grand, beautiful, majestic (it really was nice) front staircase, the whole thing begins disintegrating underneath him. It truly is an unforgettable scene. I snagged as many pics from that scene as I could and put them together in two collages. Just follow the collages from left to right to witness this amazing scene from the movie.
Walter is okay, just dazed. In the meantime, Anna hadn’t even noticed what was happening to Walter (until it’s all over) because she had a psycho raccoon stuck to her neck. This movie has some absolutely unforgettable scenes…if you haven’t seen it, you need to rent it.
That night, Walter and Anna drag the mattress off of the bed onto the floor to sleep, less the bed swallow them both whole. As they curl up for the night, it begins to rain outside…
And unfortunately…inside, too.
The next day, the new mattress they ordered is delivered. In the meantime, Walter is attempting to hire contractors to come in and make the necessary repairs, but they are all booked or busy.
We only get a few shots of the kitchen…like this one where Anna is lighting the ancient stove.
And here where she is showing Walter their high-tech refrigerator. I like the glass door cabinets. Hey, I’m trying to find a rainbow somewhere!!!
After moving in, they discover the plumbing doesn’t work, so here’s where Walter goes for water.
For baths, they bring water from outside, heat it on the old stove and then carry it up their “ladder staircase” to the bathroom. Fun, huh? We get a good shot of the entry floor here.
A view of the bathroom…love the armoire but not so much the wallpaper…and this house has lots of it. Anna asks Walter if he will go downstairs to the kitchen to get more hot water from the stove where it’s being heated. Walter heads for the kitchen…
Here’s a little view of the wallpaper and the cabinets in the kitchen. I guess things were hanging on the wall where we see all those spots. I’ve never seen a kitchen with cabinets like this…have you? What would you store in all those shallow, little drawers? Cookie cutters? Spatulas? They are kind of neat, aren’t they.
Walter sits down to wait while the water heats on the stove. Julia Childs is on the TV in the kitchen and she is giving instructions on how to cook something. Walter decides to catch up on some reading while he waits. It’s kind of dark so he reaches above his head and flips the switch to turn on the light in the kitchen. Then it begins…another memorable scene.
A fire erupts and makes its way up one side of the door, across the top and down the other. It heads across the kitchen, melting the blender in half. It keeps on going, making its way across the back of the cabinets until it blows out Julia on the TV.
It eventually reaches the stove and shoots the turkey that’s cooking inside out the front door of the oven like a cannonball shot out of a canon. Ha!
Walter brings two pails of water upstairs and warns Anna to not go into the kitchen. He hands one bucket of water to Anna and they began pouring the water into the tub. Can you ever guess what happens? Notice anything odd about the tub in this pic? Does it seem a little low? That’s because it’s
On its way down to the first floor…
Where it crashes into a million pieces.
At this point, Walter completely looses it…we’re talking “laughing like a hyena” looses it. Anna is just too stunned to do or say anything.
You can watch the kitchen and bathtub scene here…it’s pretty hysterical.
Later in the movie, Walter misses the permit guy when he comes by the house. He agrees to come back, for a price. Walter hangs up the phone and while he waits for the permit guy to arrive, he begins counting his money in his wallet since he’s about to have to pay a hefty ransom. While counting, Walter walks across the room and steps on a large oriental rug that’s apparently camouflaging a giant hole in the floor. He begins to sink, totally confused at first as to what’s happening. By the time he realizes what is going on, he is in up to his shoulders and stuck.
The permit guy comes and leaves, furious that Walter doesn’t answer the door. Walter is a tad busy…stuck in the floor. Anna is late getting home so Walter spends some quality time (hours) in the floor singing the “name game” until he eventually falls asleep.
Anna arrives home and wonders where Walter could be. She looks everywhere, except up. (You can just see Walter in the ceiling in the top right pic in the collage below.) Anna eventually realizes Walter is upstairs. She tries to “rescue” him, which results in Walter taking the fast route downstairs.
Eventually, the work crew does show up. When they come down the driveway, they look like a cross between Hell’s Angels and the circus coming to town. It turns out some of the “workers” are a Hell’s Angels group. Interesting, huh?
After they work on the house for one day, here’s how it looks when Walter gets home. He is beyond horrified. Can you believe the real owners of the home in 1986 (when the movie was made) allowed this to be done to their home?! I’m wondering if it already needed a major renovation and maybe they struck a deal with the production company allowing them to do whatever they wanted, if they would completely renovate the home once filming was complete. It’s obvious during the movie that the home gets a brand new roof, so I’m guessing some deals were made for other renovations, too.
The back of the home during the “repair” stage.
More views of the entry area during the renovation…
At last, the home is finished. But unfortunatly, Anna and Walter’s relationship is finished, too. It doesn’t have to do so much with the house fiasco as it does with something else that takes place in the movie between Anna and her ex-husband…something that ultimately turns out to have not happened.
A view of the rebuilt staircase…
Fortunately, Walter and Anna realize how much they love each other, reconcile and get married in their beautiful, rebuilt home.
I love a happy ending, don’t you?
A Favorite Scene:
One of my favorite interchanges in the movie between Walter and Anna occurs as Walter is on his way out the front door to go work on yet another house repair. He stops and turns around to face Anna who has her violin to her chin and is just about to start rehearsing/playing.
Walter: “In spite of all the problems, and in spite of the prospect of indentured servitude for the rest of my life and debt beyone my wildest dreams, I love the house.”
Anna: (Smiles) “So do I. And I love you.”
Walter: (Smiles) “Life is good.”
The House Today:
The home used in the movie was known as The Northway House, even though it was owned by the Ridder family at the time of the filming. Here’s how the house looks today. Apparently, it has gone through some additional renovations and more windows have been added.
(Photo above found at Wikimapia.)
The movie ends with Estelle (remember Estelle) and her hubby, Carlos, selling the house below to another unsuspecting couple who turn out to be Walter’s father and his love. This house is actually located at: 3251 South Miami Avenue, Coconut Grove, South of Miami, FL. If you need some laughter this weekend and you want to feel REALLY good about your own home, watch The Money Pit.
For additional Movie House Tours, click on the category heading Movie Houses, then Movie House Tours at the top of this blog or click, HERE.