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All the Money in the World (2017)All the Money in the World (2017)

Director Ridley Scott, best known for classics like Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Thelma and Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), and Black Hawk Down (2001), tells the horrendous story of how Italian mobsters kidnapped sixteen-year-old John Paul Getty III (1956-2011) back in 1973. Getty was the favorite grandson of the infamously miserly oil tycoon of the same name, the richest man in the world at the time, who initially refused to pay the $17 million ransom. When the family received a lock of hair and a severed human ear in the mail, the reluctant grandfather eventually paid part of the ransom — the maximum amount that was tax deductible, and then he loaned the balance of the ransom to his son at 4% interest to pay the rest. The star of both the movie and the real life story is the grandson's mother, Gail, who didn't have any Getty money because she had renounced all rights to the fortune in a divorce agreement, in return for full parental rights to her son, and yet she wouldn't give up on persuading her estranged family to pay the ransom. This is one of those stories in which the truth is stranger and very much sadder than even a cinematic dramatization.

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