Richie Rich (1994)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Richie Rich has been born into inexhaustible wealth and the heir to billions, Nevertheless, Richie is still unhappy due lack of real friends his age to play with. However, everything is about to change, when a sinister scheme–devised by someone who yearns to take over the lucrative business empire–maroons Richie’s doting parents in the middle of the ocean, leaving him all alone to save the corporation from the clutches of scheming executives and their dangerous henchmen. Now, Richie–along with his loyal valet, Herbert Cadbury, and a young team of unexpected allies–must find the whereabouts of his lost parents, while, in the meantime, try to run his father’s company. Can the world’s richest kid save the day?

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‘Richie Rich’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Richie Rich (2020)Richie Rich (Macaulay Culkin) is the son of the richest man in the world, billionaire businessman Richard Rich (Edward Herrman). Richie has every extravagance that any child could want but lacks any real friends or companions other than his loyal butler Herbert Cadbury (Jonathan Hyde). The elder Rich tries to spend as much time as he can with his son, but his schedule keeps him busy around the world. The family’s resident scientist Professor Keenbean (Mike McShane) creates a cellular-phone-like machine called Dadlink that pinpoints Richard’s location in seconds to Richie whenever he wants to talk to his dad. The lonely Richie encounters a group of sandlot kids playing baseball at his father’s dedication ceremony to celebrate the reopening of United Tool. Unfortunately, his father’s head of security, Ferguson (Chelcie Ross) stops Richie from playing with them. Cadbury reprimands Ferguson for his excessive protection of Richie.

Meanwhile, the greedy Chief Financial Officer of Rich Industries, Lawrence Van Dough (John Larroquette) has grown tired of the Rich family’s wasteful ways and generous charitable donations with the Rich financial fortune and plots to steal control of the vast wealth. Van Dough believes that there are large amounts of money stored in the secret Rich family vault. Van Dough, with the help of Ferguson, plots to blow up the Rich plane carrying the entire family in a planned trip to England. At the last minute, Cadbury suggests that Richie stay behind to spend some time with the sandlot kids to Richie’s mother Regina (Christine Ebersole), who only wishes for her son to be happy. As a result, Richie stays behind, and the Rich family plane crashes at sea. Richie’s parents both survive and drift on a life raft in the Bermuda Triangle.

Meanwhile, Richie entertains the sandlot kids with his various toys around the Rich estate. Richie earns the friendship of the sandlot kids, including the group’s unofficial leader Gloria Koscinski (Stephi Lineburg). At the same time, Cadbury begins to fall for Gloria’s mother Diane (Mariangela Pino). Once Richie learns of his parents’ plane going down, he attempts to use Dadlink to find his dad, but the program cannot locate the elder Rich.

Believing that the Rich family is deceased, Van Dough assumes leadership of the Rich corporation and proceeds to cut the many charitable contributions that the Rich family was known for, including the plans to donate United Tool to its workers. Van Dough plans to close United Tool, which the sandlot kids’ parents all work at. Richie decides to act with Cadbury acting as his guardian and takes control of the company in his father’s place.

Van Dough is frustrated by Richie’s actions, but is not defeated. He knows that Richie’s control is limited to Cadbury as his guardian. With the help of Ferguson, Van Dough frames Cadbury for the “deaths” of Richie’s parents. Van Dough assumes guardianship of Richie and fires the other loyal servants at the Rich mansion. He locks Richie up in the mansion and attempts to have Cadbury killed in jail. Keenbean overhears Van Dough’s plot to make Cadbury’s murder look like a suicide and helps Richie sneak out of the mansion to warn the butler. Cadbury survives an assassination attempt in the jail and then escapes with Richie. The two of them hide out at Gloria’s house where Richie uses Gloria’s computer to hack into Dadlink’s mainframe at Rich Manor.

Van Dough learns of Cadbury’s escape, but he and Ferguson press forward with their search for the Rich family vault. They torture Keenbean into revealing that the vault is voice-activated by Richard and Regina. At the same time, Richard manages to send out a distress code on his repaired Dadlink, but the signal is intercepted by Ferguson. The head of security informs Van Dough who arranges for Richard and Regina to be rescued so that they can let him into the vault. Richie learns of his parents’ survival and makes plans to sneak back in the mansion with the help of the sandlot kids. They rescue Keenbean who works with the kids to save the Rich parents. Richie is captured by Van Dough, and the villain forces Richard and Regina to reveal the location of the vault at gunpoint. They reveal that the vault is Mount Richmore, a gigantic mountainside-sculpture of the Rich family that sits behind the mansion.

With the location of the vault revealed, Van Dough orders Ferguson to get rid of Richie. Before the security chief can eliminate Richie, he is saved by Keenbean. Ferguson is knocked unconscious. Richie sets out to save his parents on Mount Richmore. Meanwhile, his parents open the vault for Van Dough, who is disappointed to learn that the vault only contains sentimental items, not money or treasure. Richard explains that all their wealth is contained in banks, the stock market, and real estate. Van Dough tries to get the money by threatening to shoot Richard and Regina. Richie appears in the vault and Van Dough shoots him. However, Richie is wearing a bulletproof fabric created by Keenbean. The Rich family escape the vault and try to get away by climbing Mount Richmore. Ferguson escapes and starts using a rock-carving laser to try to kill the Rich family. Cadbury knocks Ferguson unconscious and ends up using the laser to help subdue the pursuing Van Dough. Richard fires Van Dough from the corporation and Regina punches him in the face.

In the epilogue of the film, Richie plays baseball for the United Tool team with his new friends. Cadbury acts as the team’s coach and Keenbean acts as the umpire. Van Dough and Ferguson have been sentenced to prison and are tasked with maintaining the grounds of Rich manor as part of their sentence. Richard and Regina state that Richie really is the richest boy in the world now that he has true friendship.

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Warner Bros. released Richie Rich on December 21, 1994. Donald Petrie directed the film starring Macaulay Culkin, Edward Herrmann, and John Larroquette.

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