All the Money in the World

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All the Money in the World
All the Money in the World

In 1973, 16-year-old J. P. "Paul" Getty III, grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, is kidnapped in Rome by an organized crime ring. The kidnappers demand a ransom of $17 million from Paul's mother, Gail Harris. Through flashbacks we learn that Paul's parents are divorced and Gail rejected any alimony in exchange for full custody of her children in the divorce settlement, so she does not have the means to pay the ransom. She travels to Getty's estate to implore him to pay the ransom, but he publicly 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 are warm with him, particularly Cinquanta, as the boy's quiet and submissive demeanor causes few problems. However, things grow tense as weeks go by without the ransom being paid, far longer than they 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 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 to a new crime organization. The new captors are 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 – the maximum amount that he can claim as tax deductible. He also will only do so if Gail signs a legal document waiving her parental rights to Paul and her other children, giving them to Getty. 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 to allow Paul to escape. Chase and Gail find him and smuggle him out of the country to safety.

Getty dies of unrelated causes, and Gail is tasked with managing her children's inherited wealth until they are of age. The company was set up as a charitable trust, which meant that Getty's income was tax-free but also unspendable. He had invested much of it in paintings, sculptures and other artifacts, which Gail begins to organize for sale. Most of them now reside in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

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