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All the Money in the World

Ridley Scott’s film about the 1973 abduction of Paul Getty III in Italy and his grandfather J. Paul Getty’s refusal to pay the ransom money is a tight thriller with a philosophical twist.


The kidnapping of Paul Getty III was one of the most spectacular criminal cases of the 70s. Ridley Scott makes a dense, suspenseful thriller out of it that is chiefly interested in the philosophy of money. The actual scandal about the kidnapping was that Getty‘s grandfather J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), the richest man in the world at the time, refused to give the ransom money of 17 million dollars to the ´Ndrangheta. Getty swims in money and regularly spends millions on artworks, but he doesn‘t have any money for his favorite grandson Paul. Scott chooses the perspective of Paul Getty‘s mother, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams), the divorced wife of Getty‘s son John Paul Getty II, to develop the internal world of Getty I. Getty didn‘t give his family any kind of financial support. Gail Harris forgoes receiving money in the divorce settlement in order to have custody over her children. Getty will feel bamboozled later on: the price was too high.

Scott portrays Getty as someone who has internalized the process of trading goods and his money fetish so deeply, that everyone and everything is about money. Getty I says: “people will always disappoint you. I‘m more interested in things.“ Getty‘s disappointment, one can assume, is of a financial nature. If people would always increase in price, like artworks, that wouldn‘t be a problem, but their price is too volatile. The monetary price for Getty III gradually begins to sink. The human price that Paul Getty III and his family had to pay, was probably what led to their big donations after Getty I‘s death.

Tom Dorow

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: All the Money in the World
USA 2017, 132 min
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime Drama
Director: Ridley Scott
Author: David Scarpa
DOP: Dariusz Wolski
Distributor: Tobis Film
Cast: Romain Duris, Michelle Williams, Timothy Hutton, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Christopher Plummer
FSK: 12
Release: 15.02.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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