Richie Rich (film)

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Richie Rich
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDonald Petrie
Screenplay byTom S. Parker
Jim Jennewein
Story byNeil Tolkin
Based on
Produced byJoel Silver
John Davis
CinematographyDon Burgess
Edited byMalcolm Campbell
Music byAlan Silvestri
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • December 21, 1994 (1994-12-21)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million
Box office$40 million[1]

Richie Rich (stylized as Ri¢hie Ri¢h) is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and based on the character of the same name created by Alfred Harvey and Warren Kremer. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label. The film stars Macaulay Culkin (in his final film as a child actor until he began work as an adult actor in 2003), John Larroquette, Edward Herrmann, Jonathan Hyde, and Christine Ebersole, while Reggie Jackson, Claudia Schiffer, and Ben Stein appear in cameo roles. Culkin's younger brother, Rory Culkin, played the part of Young Richie Rich. In theaters, the film was shown with a Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoon called Chariots of Fur, and it was followed by the 1998 direct-to-video sequel Richie Rich's Christmas Wish.


Richard "Richie" Rich, Jr. is "the world's richest boy", son of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Richard Senior. Richie has only his loyal butler Herbert Cadbury as a companion, and lacks any friends his own age. At a dedication to the reopening of United Tool, Richie encounters a group of sandlot kids playing baseball. Unfortunately, before he is able to talk to them, the overly-strict head of security, Ferguson, stops Richie and sharply pulls him away.

Meanwhile, the greedy CFO of Rich Industries Lawrence Van Dough is plotting to steal the Rich financial fortune, believed to be stored in the Rich family vault. Van Dough, with the help of Ferguson, plots to blow up the plane carrying the Rich family to England.

After a failed attempt on Richie's part to make friends with the sandlot kids, Cadbury makes a suggestion to Richie's mother Regina and arranges for Richie to stay home in Chicago for a weekend of fun with the sandlot kids.

During the plane trip to England, the bomb Van Dough ordered planted is discovered by chance among the many presents they mean to deliver to the Queen. Upon realizing what it is, Richard is able to toss it out his window, but the bomb detonates while still near the plane, destroying part of the tail, sending Billion Dollar One into the ocean. Richard and Regina survive the crash and float on a life raft. While initially upset that Richie wasn't on the plane, Van Dough is undeterred and, believing Richie's parents to be dead, assumes leadership of Rich Corporation, and proceeds to cut the many charitable contributions the Rich family were known for. This includes closing the recently reopened United Tool factory, which the parents of the sandlot kids relied upon for their income. This angers Richie, and so with the encouragement and assistance of Cadbury, he proceeds to the company headquarters and, as a living Rich family member, assumes the leadership position.

Van Dough, however, sees this as a minor setback: as Richie is still underage, his ability to run the business is limited by the powers given to him by someone who was able to give it to him – namely, Cadbury. To rectify this, he has Cadbury framed for the Rich family's apparent murder when bomb parts are found in his room, and most of the Rich family's other loyal servants are fired en masse by Van Dough's edict. To ensure he doesn't somehow get released, Van Dough plots to have Cadbury murdered in jail and make it look like a suicide. When Professor Keenbean eavesdrops on their conversation, he manages to sneak Richie out and enact a successful plan to help Cadbury escape from prison just as a hulking hitman arrives to murder Cadbury. Cadbury surprisingly, is able to knock out the hitman as he is extremely irritated when he has sensible gums. Cadbury and Richie then make their way to Gloria's house, where Diane tends to Cadbury, and Richie uses Gloria's computer to hack into the Dadlink's mainframe at Rich Manor.

During this time, Van Dough finds out about Cadbury's escape and, with Ferguson's help, confronts Keenbean where he states that the lock to the Rich family vault is voice-activated by Richard and Regina. Richard manages to send out a distress code on his repaired Dadlink, but the signal is intercepted by Ferguson, who disconnects Richie's modem from the phone line and then informs Van Dough that Richie's parents are alive.

With threats of violence Van Dough is eventually led to Mount Richmore, a gigantic mountainside-sculpture of the three Rich members' heads where the vault is located. All the time assuming this was where the Rich family fortune was located, he is furious when he sees that the vault holds what the Rich family actually values most; precious memories and keepsake treasures — but nothing that is of true monetary value, which was actually invested in banks and stocks. Desperate to get the money, he attempts to shoot Richard and Regina, only for Richie to appear in the nick of time and interfere and is shot at instead, though the bullets prove harmless thanks to Keenbean's bulletproof spray. The Rich family manages to get away and the chase leads them down the side of the mountain, where they are under further attack by Ferguson and a rock-blasting laser that had originally been used to sculpt the mountain/vault. After a brief fight, Cadbury finally succeeds in disarming Ferguson and Van Dough is fired.

Days later, Richie plays baseball with his new friends for the United Tool team on the Rich Manor's yard, with Cadbury as team coach. He hits a home run, which is picked up by Van Dough, who is gardening with Ferguson as part of their work release and subsequently tosses the baseball into the fountain. Richard and Regina blissfully state that Richie now really is the richest boy in the world, as he has found the one thing that money can't buy: friends.


  • Macaulay Culkin as Richie Rich
    • Rory Culkin as Young Richie Rich
    • Peter Lampley as Baby Richie Rich
  • John Larroquette as Laurence Van Dough - The greedy CFO of Rich Enterprises, who plots to steal the Rich family fortune.
  • Edward Herrmann as Richard Rich
  • Christine Ebersole as Regina Rich
  • Jonathan Hyde as Herbert Arthur Runcible Cadbury - The Rich family's trustworthy butler.
  • Mike McShane as Professor Keenbean - A brilliant inventor who works for Rich Industries.
  • Chelcie Ross as Ferguson - The Rich family's rude and tough security chief, who plots with Van Dough to usurp the Rich empire.
  • Mariangela Pino as Diane Koscinski
  • Stephi Lineburg as Gloria Koscinski
  • Michael Maccarone as Tony
  • Joel Robinson as Omar
  • Jonathan Hilario as Pee Wee
  • Reggie Jackson as Himself - Richie's private baseball coach.
  • Matt DeCaro as Dave Walter - The plant manager for United Tool.
  • Claudia Schiffer as Herself - Richie's private aerobics instructor.
  • Ben Stein as Economics Teacher
  • Sean A. Tate as Reynolds
  • Joel Ellegant as Ellsworth
  • Justin Zaremby as Reginald


Photo of Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate, where many of the scenes were filmed.

Though set in Chicago, the house and grounds at which most of Richie Rich is filmed are those of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Some scenes, however, are filmed in Chicago, including a fencing scene filmed at DePaul University's Cortelyou Commons. The roller coaster in the backyard is the former stand-up roller coaster Iron Wolf at Six Flags Great America. In contrast to the famous publication and animated series, a few characters are eliminated to accommodate the movie: among them are Irona the robot maid.

Data East was one of few regular pinball companies that manufactured custom pinball games e.g. for the movie Richie Rich. This pinball machine was based on The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard machine.[2]


The movie received a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews,[3][4] with the sites critical consensus reading "With Macaulay Culkin barely registering any emotion, Richie Rich feels disjointed and free of a sense of fun and wonderment". Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars saying he was surprised how much he enjoyed it and though it was not the greatest movie, he liked that it had style and did not go for cheap payoffs.[5] Richie Rich earned a Razzie Award nomination for Macaulay Culkin as Worst Actor for his performance in the movie (also for Getting Even with Dad and The Pagemaster) but lost the award to Kevin Costner for Wyatt Earp.

The film earned $38 million at the North America box office on a $40 million budget.[6][7] It was however a home video success, with $125 million in VHS rentals[8] and, as of April 1997, $44.2 million in retail sales, the studio receiving 75%.[9]

Year-end lists[edit]


Richie Rich's Christmas Wish is a 1998 direct-to-video sequel starring David Gallagher in the titular role.


  1. ^ "Richie Rich | Boxofficemojo".
  2. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Data East 'Richie Rich'". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  3. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1994-12-21). "MOVIE REVIEW : Culkin's 'Richie Rich': Comedy-Adventure With Heart". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  4. ^ "Richie Rich". 21 December 1994. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Richie Rich Movie Review & Film Summary (1994) - Roger Ebert". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  6. ^ Natale, Richard (1995-01-03). "New Year Box Office Starts Off With Bang Movies: At $15.5 million, 'Dumb' stole the show during the long holiday weekend. But many other movies filled the seats as well". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  7. ^ "Richie Rich (1994) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  8. ^ Harvey Capitalizes on Ghost, Rich Kid, Billboard
  9. ^ Matzer, Marla (1997-04-16). "Direct-to-Video Family Films Are Hitting Home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  10. ^ P. Means, Sean (January 1, 1995). "'Pulp and Circumstance' After the Rise of Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood Would Never Be the Same". The Salt Lake Tribune (Final ed.). p. E1.

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