When her son is kidnapped, the distraught mother must beg her tight-fisted father-in-law, J. Paul Getty, the world’s richest man, to pay the ransom.
Sounds like kurosawa’s ‘high and low’ (1963)
I have yet to see this film but ‘to beg her father-in-law’ doesn’t seem like an act which can sustain an entire feature film… Hooking it still is!
It needs to clear up why he wouldn’t pay when he can afford it (being the richest man, however tight fisted he might be)
It should be ‘..A distraught mother’ instead of ‘..HIS distraught mother’
>>> but ‘to beg her father-in-law’ doesn’t seem like an act which can sustain an entire feature film
That’s the plot line. She begs, beseeches him over and over to meet the kidnappers demands of a $17 million ransom to free his grandson. Which is eventually discounted to $3 million – pocket change for him. But as she is divorced from J. Paul Getty’ son and alienated from J. Paul Getty, he won’t ante up the ransom.
>>but I didn’t know who ‘Getty’ was
But anyone in Hollyweird with the clout to greenlight the project would as the Roman villa he built in Malibu became the Getty museum after his death.
I agree with variable — ‘to beg’ doesn’t seem like the most compelling action a screenplay could give to its protagonist. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why this flick failed to make all the money in the world? (apparently 56M worldwide, against a 50M budget …)
“After her son’s kidnapping, a broke/distraught divorcee must persuade her ultra rich father-in-law to pay a ransom of $17 million”
I squeezed in ‘divorcee‘ & that ginormous ransom, to give us why he would be reluctant to pay. If I could fit in ‘the world’s richest man‘, I would.
Secondly, I meant ‘not mentioning based on a true story of…‘; mentioning his name isn’t an issue, but expecting everybody to know it, is. Because he might be rich and famous, but a commoner doesn’t know him; invoking that could be tough…
I switched ‘beg’ with ‘persuade’ because as dramatic her goal is, she can’t stop at ‘begging’ if it fails (I don’t know what she did in the film, so take my word with a grain of salt)
>>> ‘to beg’ doesn’t seem like the most compelling action a screenplay
I agree, too. But she’s the protagonist — albeit a rather hapless one. She has no way, no means to raise the money herself, no leverage to induce her father-in-law to ante up. J. Paul Getty is the marquee character, the story hook character. He’s more interesting and complex than she is, but she’s the more proactive character.
Come to think about it, there’s no strong subjective arc for either the mother or the grandfather.
And the story is based upon real people, real events. His grandson was kidnapped in 1973. J. Paul Getty, although beyond filthy rich , refused to pay the ransom. His rationalization was that it would only encourage kidnappings of his other 14 grandchildren.
Ridley Scott is old enough to have remembered the event and the publicity so he needed no explanation, no introduction to the premise of the script.
Eventually the ransom was negotiated down to $3 million which Getty only agreed to pay because that was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. As he says in the movie, he didn’t become the world’s richest man by making the most money, but by figuring out ways to keep it.