Thursday Movie Picks: Rags to Riches

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today’s theme is all about movies that feature the Rags to Riches trope! I wouldn’t say I’m actively seeking out films with that particular story progression, but I don’t mind it either. There’s already a couple ideas swirling around in my head, so let’s get started with the list.

Catch Me If You Can

I love this movie and have seen it so many times, I have lost count. You could argue that DiCaprio’s character isn’t exactly rich by the end of it, but he still amassed quite some wealth with his cons. I was trying to think of something a little more unconventional.

A Knight’s Tale

Poor squire rises up to be a real knight? Not sure how much actual money is involved in knighthood, but I’m sure he got some riches by the end of it. I also just enjoy the movie because of its various anachronisms.

Sweet Home Alabama

Reese Witherspoon’s character becoming a successful designer and her high school sweetheart becoming successful with his own business, when they both thought they couldn’t afford anything fancy back in the day – I like it! I also like that the money was just helpful (which it is), but not the thing they needed the most.

Maid in Manhattan

With the upcoming release of the comic book adaptation of Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez as the lead, I was just reminded that I really quite enjoy her romance movies. So, this ended up on the list.

Of course, movies like Aladdin, Cinderella (both those titles in all their different iterations) and Annie would have worked just as well. What are some of your picks and what did you think of mine?

12 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Rags to Riches

  1. Oh I LOVE Catch Me If You Can!! Such a fun whirl of a movie with a great look and wonderful performances.

    I enjoy the other three, even if Maid in Manhattan is ridiculous to the nth degree, they all have an underlying sweet charm. All have very engaging casts as well.

    Cinderella is one I thought of right off the top of my head as well but I was sure it would be popular today so I moved on. Since today’s theme is well worn I was able to reach far back and come up with my trio.

    If I Had a Million (1932)-To keep his money from going to the pack of vultures that are his family, a steel tycoon (Richard Bennett) chooses eight random strangers from the phone directory and gives each $1 million. For some-an entertainer (W.C. Fields), a salesman (Charlie Ruggles), a prostitute (the great, unjustly forgotten Wynne Gibson), an office clerk (Charles Laughton), a retiree (May Robson)-the windfall brings joy both temporary and permanent. For others-a death row inmate (Gene Raymond) and a gangster (George Raft)-sorrow and for one-a Marine (Gary Cooper) disbelief but it changes them all. Each vignette was helmed by a different director including Ernst Lubitsch.

    Brewster’s Millions (1945)-Penniless Monty Brewster (Dennis O’Keefe) fresh out of the service learns that his uncle has left him $8 million! There’s a catch, the will stipulates that Monty must spend $1 million before noon of his 30th birthday two months hence. Monty thinks it will be a snap until he finds out it must be done in complete secrecy following a set of arcane rules including remaining single, much to the chagrin of his fiancée Peggy (Helen Walker). Wackiness ensues as Monty discovers just how difficult it can be to spend a million dollars!

    Caught (1949)-Poor department store model Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes-Vertigo and Miss Ellie of Dallas fame) tired of struggling to make a buck sets her sights on marrying a millionaire. When she snags multi-millionaire industrialist Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan) Leonora thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world finding herself awash in every luxury imaginable. But it’s a false dream, Smith is a cold, controlling nutcase who holds her a virtual prisoner and delights in finding new ways to mentally torture her and Leonora finds herself “Caught”! Will kindly slum doctor Larry Quinada (James Mason) be able to save her in time? Atmospheric and unsettling noir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh, I think it’s very rare to see you this excited about one of my picks! Catch Me If You Can truly is a gem though.

      One would assume Cinderella is a common pick, right? I’m curious to see how many will actually go for it now.


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