Based on the Harvey Comics character, Richie Rich is the richest kid in the world – the son of Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Regina Rich (Christine Ebersole) and the sole heir to their $70 billion fortune.
He has a butler, an aerobics instructor (Claudia Schiffer), a roller coaster and his own fast-food restaurant.
The first half of the film is devoted to showing off Richie’s riches, establishing what swell parents he has, and pointing out that despite all his good fortune, Richie could sure use a few friends of the regular-kid variety.
In the second half, he finds such friends but temporarily loses his parents, who are victimised by greedy scoundrels.
Director Donald Petrie nimbly constructed the film around young Macaulay Culkin’s acting shortcomings. The pacing is brisk, and the ensemble of adult actors surrounding the young star is good.
Richie’s very stuffy, very English butler, Cadbury (Jonathan Hyde), makes the character played by Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day look like Howard Stern. John Larroquette flexes his wicked muscles as Laurence Van Dough, the villain of the piece, while Michael McShane is entertainingly brainy as the inventor Professor Keenbean.
The movie was filmed almost entirely on location at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
Despite the fact that the film flopped at the box office, a sequel was planned but did not eventuate as Macaulay Culkin took an extended break from acting. This would later become the direct-to-video release, Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998).
Laurence Van Dough
Mrs Regina Rich
Eddie Bo Smith Jr.
Sean A. Tate