Tom Hanks double bill The ‘Burbs and The Money Pit is the perfect way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon

Forget Forrest Gump and Philadelphia, this pair of 80s comedy classics is Hanks at his absolute best, says Paul Jones


Say what you like about Channel 5 but this Sunday they’re showing a double bill of classic Tom Hanks films – not the worthy, weighty likes of Philadelphia or the Oscar-bait of Forrest Gump or Cast Away, but the proper stuff, a pair of 80s movies from when Hanks was at his irascible comedy best.


The ‘Burbs (2:30pm) sees Hanks and his hapless neighbours investigate weird goings-on at the house of new family the Klopeks, who’ve just moved in across the road. I love it for the combination of the impossibly suburban setting (actually Universal Studios’ famous Colonial Street set, which later became Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane), its eerie mystery vibe and the great slapstick comedy. It’s directed by Joe Dante, who did something similarly brilliant with Gremlins. Also look out for Carrie ‘Princess Leia’ Fisher as Hanks’ wife and The Lost Boys’ Corey Feldman as the teenaged neighbour who eats popcorn as the whole debacle unfolds.


The Money Pit (4:35pm) sees newlyweds Hanks and Shelley Long pick up a fixer-upper at what seems like a bargain price only to find the house, and their relationship, gradually falling apart around them. There’s some brilliantly ferocious banter between Hanks and Long and probably the most LOL moment of any Tom Hanks film when he steps onto a rug and is sucked into a hole in the floor.

To be honest, I can’t really think of a better way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon than curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea and Tom Hanks. But I’ll happily settle for his two best films instead.