Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (TV Movie 1987) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
10 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Absorbing bio-pic
sundar-25 May 2001
It is fashionable to look down on made-for-TV movies. But this one is one of the best examples of such flicks. Despite its length, I watched it fully, because the title character was an interesting person. Farrah Fawcett does a good job playing Barbara Hutton, the much-married Woolworth heiress. Cary Grant, who was, at one time, wedded to her is portrayed as a nice guy, who divorces her because of her partying. Hutton was also married to a sadistic Danish count who tries to steal her fortune. She even renounced her American citizenship in order to live with him. Another of her husbands was Count von Kramm, the Nazi-trained tennis player who failed to win at Wimbledon and suffered consequences in Germany. Hutton discovered that he was bisexual, so she divorced him. Barbara Hutton was an ardent socialite, so she neglected her only son. The movie has her telling him that she could not live with him in Arizona because she was not that kind of mother. Later, when someone calls him a "son of a bitch", he simply says "Exactly"! Probably, the most memorable dialogue in the film!

The film follows Hutton around the world. It is interesting to see the film's depiction of exotic countries in the middle part of the twentieth century.

(Reviewed by Sundar Narayan)
15 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Interesting Film About An American Socialite
Desertman841 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story" is a biographical film that stars Farrah Fawcett in the title role that chronicles the story of Barbara Hutton,who was once one of the richest woman in the United States, from her childhood until she died in a hotel in seclusion. This was based on the book of C. David Heymann of the same title.

The TV movie is a two-part series that tells the story of Hutton from his childhood when her mother committed suicide;the inheritance that she got from her father who belonged from the rich Hutton family and her maternal grandfather who belonged from the rich Woolworth family. It also tells her seven marriages that ended her divorce. Added to that,it also gives insight on the lavish lifestyle she lived for being a great squanderer and her love for jewelry. Finally,we also witness how he lost her fortune from her manipulative husbands except Cary Grant when her inheritance of $50 million (close to $1 billion while this review is being written in 2019) which she received at age 21 and it ended up only being only $3,500 on the day she died.

No question that Farrah Fawcett gave a great performance that gave the viewers the characterization of Barbara Hutton. Added to that,we also get to see get to see great costumes.Finally,it was interesting from beginning to end despite its 4-hour-plus length. Aside from Fawcett's performance, we also get to see an interesting and many-times married American rich socialite.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What I got out of this movie of life of the rich and famous
justhanginin6 February 2008
I love this picture, The portrayal of the late great Barbara Hutton was exceptionally done by Farrah Fawcett, and the rest of the cast was also very professional and great. The amount of hardship and loneliness one has to face when they have all the money in the world and all the people in her life that was suppose to make it easier for her only made it that much more sad. I felt sad for this rich woman as she grows into one of the country's wealthiest woman and only to find she is alone in life, and in love. With a few rare exceptions of real happiness and love, she is more to be pitied than envied. She is rich only in monetary value, not in life, Barbara Hutton is defiantly the poorest little rich girl I've ever read about her seen. I felt for her throughout the entire movie and even cried at the end when she dies a lonely, broken, broke woman. I can only say that it was then and there that I learned that money does not buy happiness or friends. I wonder if this particular television movie will soon be released on DVD as I cannot locate it anywhere.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Signature Film About The Theme That Money Does Not Buy Happiness
Marian201 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Farrah Fawcett stars as the title role in this 4-hour and 2-part TV movie entitled "Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story". It tells the story of an American heiress from the Hutton and Woolworth rich families.

The TV movie chronicles the life of Barbara Hutton from the time her mother committed suicide at age 4 until her death due to despair upon losing his son to an accident. Along the way,we get to see how Barbara's life is full of lavish as she got $50,000 at age 18 (close to $1 million by 2019 standards) and getting her inheritance of $50 million ($1 billion by 2019 standards).Despite her wealth,we get to see her unhappiness throughout her life from having a neglected childhood due to lack of parenthood and when she tried to find comfort,love and refuge among playboys -most of whom took advantage of her wealth- that led to 7 marriages which all ended in divorce. We also see Barbara's confusion as the money she had only provided her misery and unhappiness in life. Also,we get to see her thrift-free spending lifestyle that led her to only having $3000 and near bankruptcy at the end of her life.Finally,we also see the despair she felt when she lost his only son Lance in an accident that led her to drugs until the end.

The movie was definitely interesting from beginning to end despite being 4 hours long. The colorful story of Barbara Hutton provides a lot of interest to the viewer. Also,we get to see Farrah Fawcett's great acting that gave a colorful portrayal of Barbara. Credit also should be given to the cast.

Finally, we also are delivered powerfully of the theme that money and wealth alone are not enough to attain happiness in life. As I have stated in the review's title,it is the signature film for that theme indeed.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Great TV Film About An American Heiress
CorkeyRoberts832 September 2019
Farrah Fawcett stars in this 5-hour TV movie entitled "Poor Little Rich Girl" that tells the story of an American heiress from the Woolworth fortune,Barbara Hutton.

It narrates her tragic story from being a four-year-old girl who saw her mother dead;a young woman who inherited a fortune at a young age;her seven marriages which all ended up in divorce;the death of her only son that left he devastated that led her to a life of alcohol and drugs until her death staying in the Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel at Los Angeles. We also saw her lose her fortune through manipulations from her husbands as well as her lifestyle that has reckless disregard for money.

This was a great TV movie. Farrah Fawcett provided a great performance to give characterization of the Woolworth heiress.Added to that,it was indeed interesting from beginning to end as we are narrated a colorful and interesting story and its powerful theme about money and happiness.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fascinating must watch and terrific cast too
phd_travel3 October 2011
This is one of the best biographical miniseries ever made. The fascinating life of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton is told to perfection here. Very entertaining and well cast and acted. Really enjoyable from her sad childhood through the many marriages to her death. The screenplay is very good. It's told chronologically - no needless jumping around in time. It shows both the triumph and tragedy of her life but doesn't dwell too much on the sordid or unpleasant like some of the new biopics. It's much better than the Doris Duke TV movie with Lauren Bacall and Richard Chamberlain - that one was depressing. The locations are beautiful from South of France and Venice to Morocco. Farrah Fawcett did a superb job. She is beautiful here and shows a lot of range. The supporting cast are all very well cast - especially those who played her many husbands. Some of the outstanding supporting cast drawn from European and US actors include Carmen du Sautoy as her sister in law, James Reed as Cary Grant, Nicholas Clay as her first husband the list goes on. The actor who played Court Raventlow is good too. Bruce Davison as cousin Jimmy is a scene stealer. The score is very suited too. They don't make miniseries like this anymore.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I may be young, but this is FANTASTIC
nicky-b21 November 2004
My comment isn't so much about the quality of the film itself, Whilst Farrah played the role to a tee, The film if you watched with awe represents to you the value of our existence. All anyone ever really needs in life is validation and the love we find within ourselves and others to make our lives worthwhile. Barbra clearly missed out on a life of happiness, in fact she missed out on the role model's that in society, would shape you in to a person that sees value in your worth. I believe not having known Barbra that more than likely if given the validation of her worth her demise may not have been as it was, I sat in awe and appreciation whilst watching this flick, I remember seeing it on television years ago and it has been in my mind ever since, it impacted my life in many ways, I could relate to it on many levels. I am currently trying to track down a copy that is viewable here in Australia. I hope that for future viewers of this film that you try to find your own personal lesson from it. seeing Barbra's life helped me find the value in my own, its sad to think that maybe if she had have known her value in this world her life may have been fantastic instead of Tragic. Thankyou to Charles Jarrott,the Producer. Fantastic...
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Tragic Life Of The Once Richest Woman In The World
JustinCasey836 September 2019
"Poor Little Rich Girl" is a two-part mini-series that tells the story of the late American socialite and heiress,Barbara Woolworth Hutton. It tells her story from her childhood when she witnessed her mother died in bed at age four until her last days at Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel during her last days being in despair and seclusion after her only son died.

Farrah Fawcett stars in this biographical TV movie. It narrates a story of a traumatic and neglected childhood after her mother died and her father left her on her own; inheriting a vast amount of money at a young age making her the richest woman in the world when the United States was experiencing "The Great Depression" during the 1930's;how she became habitually married after she tried to look for love and care among different men who are either playboys and who only used her to obtain a part of her fortune;her lavish lifestyle that is characterized by huge amount of spending; and the last days of her life when she depended on drugs and alcohol during a life of despair and seclusion after her only son died in an accident. We get to see how her fortune was reduced to simply to someone being on the brink of bankruptcy at time of her death.

No question that Barbara Hutton had an interesting but tragic life. The mini-series proved interesting from beginning to end despite its 5-hour length. Added to that,Farrah Fawcett provided a great performance that would make the viewer both sympathize and care for the ordeals of Barbara Hutton throughout her life especially when she desperately looked for love but found none.

Despite being shown more than 30 years ago,this remains a great story and a timely reminder that money indeed does not buy love and happiness especially in a materialistic world of life that the world lives during the time of this review.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Interesting Film About An American Socialite
RealChristian144 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story" narrates the story of the habitually married and once richest woman in the world,Barbara Woolworth Hutton. The late Farrah Fawcett stars in the title role as the American heiress.

The two-part TV mini-series tells the story of Barbara from the time she witnessed the death of her mother at age 4 until her life of seclusion and despair inside a Beverly Hills hotel. It narrates the neglect that she experienced during her young age after her mother died and with her father having no time with her.Added to that,we also see the seven marriages that she has been into that all led to a divorce. We also witness how she inherited the Woolworth fortune that made her the richest woman in the world during the Great Depression in the 1930's.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Simply mesmerizing.
Morbius_Fitzgerald6 May 2014
I went into this film knowing nothing about it. I didn't know who Barbara Hutton was nor what kind of lifestyle she led. I sat through the entire near 4 hour run of this film and every second is worth it.

I will be honest, this movie packs a lot of plot in so I will keep it as short as I can. Barbara Hutton inherited her Grandfather's fortune, who was F. W. Woolworth, but her mother committed suicide when she was young and every person she meets either wants to get control of her money or acts like she can buy off her happiness, which includes the many men she marries.

Now the acting is fantastic. While Farrah Fawcett doesn't look like how Barbara did in real life (I looked up her photo), through the emotion she portrayed of just loosing a son, it was amazing, and that was only in the last third of the film, the rest packed with more situations equally as tragic and Fawcett puts in exactly the right amount of emotion. You get emotionally drawn into the situation and characters because the actors were emotionally drawn into the situation and their characters. And from what I have read about her life, this miniseries is pretty accurate towards what happened. If you also take a look almost none of the actors look like the real people they're portraying but in the end, that doesn't matter, every single one of them puts in the amount of effort required for their role.

Now the one thing I have to complain about is that the version of the film I have is not fully restored as in, it looks like an 80's TV miniseries and of something that is legit, there are numerous shots where the boom mic is seen at the top of the shot. I don't know if they didn't think it was worth another take or if they thought they could get away with it but, either way, its pretty distracting. There is one more thing, the makeup for the actors is almost, for the first half of the movie, non existent in increased age. I mean Barbara's father lived until he was 63 and they cast a man who was nearly at that age for the entirety of the film and they don't even try to hide it. Maybe it was a limitation of the network but again, its still distracting.

Overall this film is a well made dramatic retelling of the life of a woman who, sadly, had a pretty bad life and this movie does everything it can to tell her side of the story and it does so incredibly well. I suggest if you hold even the remotest of interest in this film, see it.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed