All the Money in the World Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

All the Money in the World: a true story, plot and ending, what real events the film is based on, similar movies.

Country: USA, Italy, UK, China

Genre: biography, thriller, crime, detective, drama

Year of production: 2017

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg

Slogan: “Everyone will pay except him”

Awards and nominations: in 2018, the film was nominated for an Oscar.

No matter how complex the project Ridley Scott takes on, almost all of his films turn out to be of at least high quality. Taking this into account, it seems surprising that the plot of the film “All the Money in the World,” based on real and very tragic events, did not interest either fans of the British master or fans of smart, high-quality dramas.

However, watching this film, which raises the philosophical question of the value of human life, is very difficult. This is truly a movie from the “not for everyone” category.

What real events is the film based on?

The film’s plot centers on the story of the world’s stingiest billionaire, Jean Paul Getty. The oil tycoon and major industrialist became famous throughout the world in 1973, when his sixteen-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III was kidnapped for ransom.

Christopher PlummerChristopher Plummer as Jean Paul Getty. Still from the film.

The billionaire had always been a big miser, but no one could have thought that to such an extent… The fact is that the kidnappers valued the young man’s life at $17 million. This was only a small part of Getty’s huge fortune, but the old man said that he was not going to pay.

The real Jean Paul GettyThe real Jean Paul Getty.

John Paul spent five months in captivity and during this time suffered not only beatings and humiliation, but even torture. Grandfather knew about this, but remained adamant – in his opinion, there was no point in paying the kidnappers. This is what he said: “I have fourteen grandchildren, if I pay one penny today, then I will have fourteen kidnapped grandchildren”…

Plot of the film All the Money in the World

Brief description of the content of the film. 1973, Rome. Young John Paul Getty, the grandson of a famous oil magnate, is kidnapped during an evening walk. After some time, the guy’s grandfather Jean Paul Getty finds out about this. The alarming message leaves him indifferent: he tells the worried secretary that he is very busy.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers bring the young man to a hideout in the mountains, contact his mother, Gail, and demand a ransom of $17 million. The shocked woman replies that she does not have that kind of money, to which the criminals advise her to turn to her rich father-in-law. He, in their opinion, has all the money in the world.

Gail is not sure that this is a good idea – the pathological stinginess of her father-in-law, with whom she has a difficult relationship, has been known to her for a very long time. However, she herself is really unable to pay such a huge amount and therefore tries to contact John Paul’s grandfather. The old man ignores her, and a little later he tells the press that he is not going to do anything – supposedly for the sake of the young man’s safety.

Michelle WilliamsThe role of Gail Harris was played by Michelle Williams. Still from the film.

Meanwhile, Getty turns to Fletcher Chace, a security chief and former CIA operative, for help. His billionaire asks him to do everything to bring John Paul home. Fletcher meets with the guy’s mother, promises her support and tries to reassure her: in his opinion, old Getty’s refusal to pay the ransom at the moment really makes sense. Gail realizes that Chase is the only one she can count on and decides to go to Rome with him.

John Paul, meanwhile, is held hostage in the mountains of Italy. One of the kidnappers, a man nicknamed Fifty Dollars, wonders why they don’t pay a ransom for him – if he were in Getty’s place, he would have done this long ago. One day, the young man, who had been trying not to look at the kidnappers all this time, meets Fifty’s eyes. He says that John’s eyes may well be gouged out for this, and then unexpectedly says that he will not say anything about this to his accomplices.

Trying to carry out Getty’s instructions, Fletcher Chase unexpectedly encounters a strange group. One of its members gives a rather unexpected interpretation of everything that happened: according to his information, John Paul himself organized his kidnapping. The answer is simple: in this way the young man wanted to lure some money out of his tight-fisted, stern grandfather.

Chase informs his boss about this, and he, believing that this is probably what happened, gets seriously angry and says that now he certainly won’t give a penny for the guy’s life. The criminals are also angry: there is no ransom, and they are tired of feeding John Paul…

Soon the police find a mutilated, burnt corpse and invite Gail and Fletcher to identify them. The woman, to her relief, does not identify her son. After identifying the body, the police manage to find out the whereabouts of the young man. They conduct a raid and eliminate several criminals, but John Paul is nowhere to be found. One of the wounded bandits admits that the teenager was sold to another criminal group – the ‘Ndrangheta.

Mark WahlbergMark Wahlberg stars as Flintcher. Still from the film.

Having learned about this, Fletcher tells Getty that the kidnapping is real, that is, a ransom must be paid. The old man refuses, citing the fact that he cannot throw money around. That night, John Paul’s mother is contacted by Fifty, who now works for the ‘Ndrangheta – he reduces the ransom amount from 17 to 7 million.

The guy, meanwhile, tries to escape and even manages to get to the police station and contact his mother. He tells her where he is, but their conversation is interrupted by the head of the criminal gang. Realizing that the negotiations are leading nowhere, he decides to act more harshly and orders the teenager’s ear to be cut off. After sending John Paul’s ear to the newspaper, the head of the ‘Ndrangheta reports that this is just the beginning. The newspaper editor invites Gail to publish about it – for money, of course. The woman agrees and sends a terrible report to her father-in-law so that he will eventually be convinced that he is not being played and that his grandson is not at the resort.

Fifty gets in touch with her again and says that she needs to hurry up, otherwise the young man’s leg will be cut off. Gale asks him to help John Paul and promises that in this case he will help him leave the country himself. Meanwhile, Getty agrees to the ransom and asks Gail to come to him in London. There he says that he will give the money to the kidnappers, but Gail will have to renounce her parental rights, transferring them to her ex-husband, Paul Getty Jr. The woman reluctantly agrees, but it soon becomes clear that the old man is not willing to pay the entire amount, but only $1 million – this is the maximum amount that is not subject to income tax.

Fifty Dollars calls her again and says that they have reduced the amount to 4 million and Gail decides to bluff. The plan is simple: you just need to tell the criminals that there will be a deal, and then let Fletcher get involved.

Towards the end, the billionaire calls Chase to his place and he, having learned that the old man, who continues to be on his own wavelength, is going to build himself a villa in California, gives him a real dressing down. After this, Getty agrees to pay the full amount, and at the same time informs Gail in a letter that parental rights still remain with her.

All the Money in the World Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the film. Fletcher and Gale bring the money to the forest, and the kidnappers release the guy, who, out of fright, runs completely in the wrong direction. Having discovered that the police were following Gail all this time, the head of the group orders his accomplices to find the young man and kill him. Fifty Dollars saves him – he strongly recommends that Gail and Fletcher take John Paul away from Italy as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, old Getty dies alone in his mansion, and Gail now has to manage the inheritance of Paul and the other children until they come of age. His family donated most of the billionaire’s fortune to charity. The ironic meaning of the ending of the film “All the Money in the World” is that the biggest cheapskate became a benefactor – albeit unwittingly. He himself, of course, would never do such a thing, but no one cares about his opinion anymore.

The meaning of the film All the Money in the World

“All the Money in the World” is a dark, cynical and in many ways instructive story. Based on the book Painfully Rich by John Pearson, it is not so much a crime thriller-detective as a strong drama about family relationships and the behind-the-scenes life of big money.

The plot centers on Jean Paul Getty, one of the richest men on the planet. In their analysis of the film, viewers note that the narrative, despite its clear accents, still respects the principles of the old billionaire. He is not Plyushkin or Ebenezer Scrooge – he is first and foremost a businessman who approaches any business with a cool head. The situation with young John Paul was no exception. In fact, Getty was the only one of all who did not panic – he analyzed the situation and asked for help from a person whom he considered experienced enough to save the teenager.

searching for a son in an abandoned placeStill from the film.

However, his priorities are clear. Those close to him are enemies, encroaching on his wealth, which he jealously guards and which he is not going to share with anyone. He even seemed to like the assumption that the young man himself had organized his abduction – that is, it gave him the right not to pay a ransom, not to help, and, roughly speaking, to wash his hands of it.

Speaking about the essence of the film, it should be understood that the story shown here may have different interpretations. On the one hand, it talks about the greed of the “powers of this world,” and on the other hand, the truism that happiness cannot be found in money is presented head-on. The image of the main character itself is also not so clear – the media Getty has nothing in common with him in reality. But behind the screen created by the media of the richest man in the world hides a lonely and useless old man. Because everyone (and he himself believes so) only needs money from him.

Over the many years during which Getty built his “empire,” he became more accustomed to trusting material values ​​and his own instincts – but not people. That is why his huge mansion seems so similar to himself – lonely, cold, uncomfortable and gloomy.

It is large, but at the same time it is cramped, because real life takes place behind these high walls and strong doors… Towards the end of the picture it becomes clear that “A Christmas Carol” is not about Getty. “Three Ghosts” (John Paul, Fletcher, Gale) are powerless to change anything. A miraculous transformation does not occur, the modern Scrooge dies as he lived – alone, surrounded only by indifferent cold walls.

rich man's mansionStill from the film.

Ridley Scott’s painting also has a hidden meaning. This is not only a story about pathological stinginess – we are talking about the real worship of mammon. In one of the mise-en-scenes, an old billionaire is asked: “How much money do you need to feel safe?” This is a rhetorical question, but it is followed by a rather sudden answer: “More.” There is nothing wrong with wealth itself. However, when a person, having “all the money in the world” in his pocket, cannot quench the thirst for enrichment raging in his heart and, like the rajah from the cartoon “The Golden Antelope,” he wants more and more, it becomes truly scary.

By the way, after the kidnapping of his grandson, the real Getty seriously took up the issue of his own safety. His mansion was guarded by professionals with specially trained dogs, and in the house (unless this is just a story) there lived a lion. However, the billionaire died anyway – from old age and the diseases accumulated by this age.

He had all the money in the world, but, as it turned out, he could not buy everything. And they remembered him not as an oil tycoon and industrialist, and not even as the founder of the Getty Museum, but as a miser who refused to pay a ransom for his own grandson.

miserStill from the film.

Similar films

Here are several films similar to the film “All the Money in the World” in atmosphere, plot and meaning:

  • “House of Gucci” (USA, Canada, 2021). Italy, late seventies. At one of the parties, Maurizio Gucci meets Patrizia Reggiani and soon decides to marry her. The heir to the fashion house does not even suspect that he has become involved with a real predator.
  • “The Kidnapping of Freddie Heineken” (Netherlands, Belgium, UK, USA, 2014). In the fall of 1983, several friends who found themselves in difficult financial situations kidnapped one of the richest people in the Netherlands.
  • “Advisor” (UK, USA, 2013). A successful lawyer wants to earn even more and therefore agrees to transport a large shipment of cocaine from Mexico to the United States.
  • “Darkest Hours” (UK, USA, 2017). The film tells the story of Churchill, who is trying to make the only right decision in the name of the interests of his people.
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