I told my doctor that she gave me the clue about why many people hurt me for no reason, when she said she was jealous of me. I have to get my story to a leading publication in order to restore my credibility that evil people worked hard to destroy, or, develop the way it should have. My late sister and brother-in-law were friends of the Getty family. Above is a photo of Christine Rosamond at the Getty Mansion. Garth painted the murals at the Getty Villa.
Earlier today I discovered Danny Boyle directed the series about the Getty family who I inform Char Cunningham I was kin to via Elizabeth Rosamond Taylor whose son married Aileen Getty. Chas did not tell me, and the fan club about this connection. Instead, he banned me. Boyle would drop out as Bond director a week later.
John Presco 007
The 10-episode first season, written by Beaufoy and directed by Danny Boyle and others, is set in 1973 and recounts the abduction of John Paul Getty III, then-heir to Getty Oil, while he was in Italy.
Wow, that is some opening scene. Actually scenes, plural. First a teenage hippy boy is running, scared, through a field of sunflowers. Who is he? There is a probably unintentional word association clue in the crop: sunflowers, Van Gogh, severed ear … John Paul Getty III. That’s who he is.
Now we’re in LA, in 1973, at a party. My kind of party: massive mansion, pool, loads of beautiful people in swimwear dancing to Pink Floyd’s Money. It’s not the greatest dance music, perhaps, but the sentiment is right: this place is dripping in it. Oil money.
From above, we follow a bikini-clad woman into the pool, then she is out again and up across the garden to the house. An agitated woman runs down some stairs to the garage and starts banging on the door: “George, open the goddamn door!” We go where she can’t, under the garage door, inside, where a man in a frazzled state is throwing things all over the place.
It is beautifully and expensively put together, filmed seemingly in one shot, with Danny Boyle’s name written all over it. He directed. Even the shadows look good.
Inside the garage, George – George Getty – finds a barbecue fork and, with his wife’s and three other women’s faces against the windows in the garage door, hammering at the glass, screaming at him, begging him not to, he pushes the barbecue fork into his chest. Ouch.
Even then, the fun doesn’t stop. Now we’re in England, Sutton Place in Surrey (actually filmed at Audley End in Essex), where a crow is stuck in a fence. The moles that have been making a mess of the lawn are being gassed, black flowers picked. Everything is black, even the swans. One of the swans will also soon meet a sticky end. None of them will last the episode.
Inside, the master of the house, J Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland), is playing a game of King Lear with his four girlfriends. Who loves him most; when it comes to dividing up the spoils, who will get the biggest share? Perhaps Teresa, number five and not yet arrived from Africa, loves him most? Teresa will turn out to be a lion, of course. We will also see the infamous Sutton Place payphone. He is mean in every sense, surrounded by toadying, scavenging and paranoia. It looks as if Sutherland had a ball playing the role. Silas Carson does, too, as Bullimore the butler.
JPG’s problem is that he needs someone to start stepping into his shoes, eventually to take over as a successor and an heir. That was to be George, but George barbecue-forked himself to death in Bel Air. There seems to be some mystery surrounding the circumstances of George’s demise, and Trust’s writer, Simon Beaufoy, has gone for the worst- (or best-, depending on whether you are family or just a punter watching a drama) case scenario. Poor George; he’s not even a character in this, just a spectacular death and a device to get it all going.
All JPG’s remaining offspring are feckless, idle wasters, wannabe movie producers and composers, mainly just addicts. Who is going to take over the business, then? Enter – splendidly, again, to the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter, appropriately – grandson JPG III, the hippy boy from the beginning. It is a nice performance from Harris Dickinson, although he looks older than the 16 he is supposed to be. Things begin promisingly between JPGs I and III, but, well … you know where it is going. The kidnap happens at the end of the first episode, leaving nine to go.
Ten: that is a lot of episodes to tell the story told by last year’s film All the Money in the World. Trust looks fabulous, in a stylised, camp kind of way. It sounds great, too. It is funny, raising an arched eyebrow at a world that deserves nothing less. There are lots of nice little scenes and touches: the lion and swans, the gaggle of concubines, JPG’s impotence. (In 1973, all the money in the world couldn’t buy you a hard onn erection … Oh, yes it could, something unregulated from Czechoslovakia, does the trick though, though.) Sprinkled throughout is a little look-away violence.
But for 10 hours of my time I want more than spectacle, chortles, the odd grimace, wow, haha and ouch. I want something more profound, a deeper examination of wealth, an insight into the minds of the people who pursue it at all costs and the others who swarm around like flies. I want characters that develop and I start to have feelings for and actually care about. On those, it is not delivering.
If Trust were oil, it would be a surface slick: shiny and colourful but just one molecule thick, probably not worth much further investigation or investment … Hmmm, not sure that works. I do want to see the ear, though – how long until that comes in the post?