Taglines: J. Paul Getty had a fortune. Everyone else paid the price.
Rome, 1973. Masked men kidnap a teenage boy named John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer). His grandfather, Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), is the richest man in the world, a billionaire oil magnate, but he’s notoriously miserly. His favorite grandson’s abduction is not reason enough for him to part with any of his fortune.
All the Money in the World (2017) follows Gail, (Michelle Williams), Paul’s devoted, strong-willed mother, who unlike Getty, has consistently chosen her children over his fortune. Her son’s life in the balance with time running out, she attempts to sway Getty even as her son’s mob captors become increasingly more determined, volatile and brutal. When Getty sends his enigmatic security man Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg) to look after his interests, he and Gail become unlikely allies in this race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.
All the Money in the World is a 2017 crime thriller film directed by Ridley Scott and written by David Scarpa, based on John Pearson’s 1995 book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty. It stars Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Charlie Plummer, Andrew Buchan, and Timothy Hutton. The film depicts J. Paul Getty’s refusal to cooperate with the extortion demands of a group of kidnappers from the organized crime Mafia group ‘Ndrangheta, who abducted his grandson John Paul Getty III in 1973.
Kevin Spacey originally portrayed J. Paul Getty, appearing in the film’s initial marketing campaign. However, after multiple sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against Spacey, the role was recast with Plummer, who was Scott’s original choice for the role. Scenes were reshot a month prior to the film’s release.
All the Money in the World premiered at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on December 18, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States by TriStar Pictures on December 25, 2017. The film received positive reviews with critics praising the performances, particularly Plummer’s, and received three nominations at the 75th Golden Globe Awards: Best Director, Best Actress – Drama (Williams), and Best Supporting Actor (Plummer). Plummer was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 90th Academy Awards and Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 71st British Academy Film Awards.
As of January 16, 2018, All the Money in the World has grossed $23.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $12.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $36.2 million, against a production budget of $50 million. On Christmas Day, the film’s opening day, it grossed $2.6 million from 2,068 theaters. In its first full weekend the film made $5.4 million from 2,074 theaters, finishing 7th at the box office. In its second weekend the film made $3.6 million, dropping 36% and finishing 10th.
About the Story
In 1973, 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Paul), grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty who was at that time the world’s richest private citizen, is kidnapped in Rome by an organized crime ring. The kidnappers demand a ransom of $17 million. Flashbacks show that Paul’s parents, Gail Harris and John Paul Getty Jr., were divorced in 1964 and that Gail rejected any alimony in exchange for full custody of her children in the divorce settlement, so therefore she does not have the means to pay the ransom.
She travels to Getty’s estate to beseech him to pay the ransom but he refuses, stating that it would encourage further kidnappings on his family members. The media picks up on the story, with many believing Gail to be rich herself and blaming her for the refusal to pay the ransom. Meanwhile, Getty asks Fletcher Chase, a Getty Oil negotiator and former CIA operative, to investigate the case and secure Paul’s release.
Paul is kept hostage in a remote location in Italy. Initially his captors, particularly Cinquanta, are tolerant with him because his quiet and submissive demeanor causes them few problems. However, things grow increasingly tense as weeks go by without the ransom being paid, far longer than the captors anticipated. Arguments arise over whether to move Paul to a new location as winter is approaching and their hideout is not suitable for cold conditions. Things get worse when one of the kidnappers accidentally shows his face to Paul, prompting one of the others to kill the man for his foolish mistake. His burned and disfigured body is recovered in the river; investigators erroneously identify the body as Paul’s, but Gail examines the body and refutes this.
Using the new lead of the body, Chase is able to pinpoint the hideout where Paul is being held. A raid is conducted with several kidnappers being killed, but Paul is no longer there; he had been sold on to a new crime organization. The new captors are much less patient with Paul and negotiate more aggressively with the Getty family to receive their payment.
After repeated negotiations with Gail and Chase, and frustration from the captors at how long the process was taking, they lower the asking price to $4 million. Getty finally decides to contribute to the ransom, but only $1 million – this being the maximum amount that he can claim as tax deductible. Moreover, he also will only do so if Gail signs a legal document waiving her parental access rights to Paul and her other children, giving them to Getty’s son, her ex-husband. She reluctantly signs them.
The kidnappers cut off one of Paul’s ears and mail it to a major newspaper, claiming that they will continue mutilating him until the ransom is paid. Berated by an exasperated Chase, Getty finally relents and agrees to pay the full ransom, also voiding the parental agreement with Gail. Gail and Chase take the money to Italy and follow specific instructions from the captors, leaving the money in a remote location and receiving orders to pick up Paul from a construction site.
However, a frightened Paul runs away from the site towards the nearest town, miles away. Meanwhile the captors realize that Chase has broken his word and led the police to them; angry, they decide to find and kill Paul. Chase, Gail, and the captors arrive at the town to look for Paul. One of the kidnappers finds Paul first, but Cinquanta attacks the man in order to allow Paul to escape. Chase and Gail find Paul and smuggle him out of the country to safety.
All the Money in the World (2017)
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer, Charlie Shotwell, Kevin Spacey, Marco Leonardi, Giuseppe Bonifati, Nicola Di Chio
Screenplay by: David Scarpa, John Pearson
Production Design by: Arthur Max
Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by: Claire Simpson
Costume Design by: Janty Yates
Set Decoration by: Letizia Santucci
Art Direction by: Samy Keilani, Andrew Munro, Cristina Onori, Massimo Pauletto, Gianpaolo Rifino
Music by: Daniel Pemberton
MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence, disturbing images and brief drug content.
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures (United States and United Kingdom), STXinternational (International)
Release Date: December 25, 2017