Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of forgotten Tom Hanks comedy The Money Pit to get its time in the sun. Here’s 5 reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. Alexander Godunov’s performance
As rom-com’s go (and I think you’d be hard pushed to call The Money Pit anything else), this film hits the nail on the head. The classic love triangle scenario between Walter (Tom Hanks), Anna (Shelley Long) and Max (Alexander Godunov) is the perfect example of what every romantic comedy has ever tried to do.
Max is the perfect ‘other guy’, which becomes blatant with one of his last speeches in the movie: “Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve taken a woman who loves you, one of the great women in the world and thrown her away. I lost her too, but I will get over it because I am shallow and self-centered. But you, you won’t, because you are ‘complex’. You will feel terrible anguish for the rest of your life. This is turning out to be a pretty good day.” Brilliant. Just brilliant.
2. Everybody’s favourite bathtub scene
The film is comedy at its finest, typified by the amazing bathtub scene. The house is out of power, Walter needs to fill the bath up with a kettle, and well…. I’ll let the scene explain itself…
3. In fact, the flying turkey also…
Hell, if I’m going to put the bathtub scene in – I may as well include the build-up to it. As Walter’s life starts to fall apart, a series of unfortunate events lead to a turkey being shot out of the oven like a cannonball and the kitchen blowing up, taking most appliances with it. Oh well, nothing a nice hot bath won’t fix, eh Walter?
4. It led to some hefty real-estate dealing
The house in the movie, which Walter nicknames ‘The Money Pit’ for obvious reasons, was in fact on the market to be sold at the time of filming. The Ridder family consented to half of the house being destroyed for the purpose of the plot, and it’s recently been sold in 2014 for a whopping $12.5 million.
Whatever chain of events led to its spectacular new form now I cannot say. Maybe a Billionaire Tom-Hanks fanatic got hold of it.
5. The badass muscle
Reportedly, the Hell’s Angels that appear in the movie were in fact real members of the Hell’s Angels biker gang. How much truth there is to this, I don’t know, but I’d like to believe it. Mainly just because I like the image of Forrest Gump riding down Highway-66 in a leather jacket and bandana, followed by a chorus of beefed-up hog-wizards. Don’t lie: you thought about it too.