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Born Rich (2004)

Georgina Bloomberg , Stephanie Ercklentz , Jamie Johnson (IV)  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Georgina Bloomberg, Stephanie Ercklentz, Christina Floyd, Cody Franchetti, Austin Fuentes
  • Directors: Jamie Johnson (IV)
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002MPPVU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,680 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Born Rich" on IMDb

Special Features

Commentary by Director, Jamie Johnson, Producer, Dirk Wittenborn and Textile Heir, Cody Franchetti

Deleted scenes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An Inside Look at the Lives of the Heirs to The World’s Greatest Family Fortunes

Jamie Johnson, 20-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire, turns in a remarkable documentary about the lives of the children of the wealthiest families in the world. This 2003 Sundance Film Festival Selection and Emmy-nominated documentary shows Johnson turning the camera on himself and 10 of his friends. Born Rich candidly reveals the great privileges and the excess baggage that go along with their high net worth. For the first time ever in a feature documentary, hear Trumps, Bloombergs and Vanderbilts discuss the one subject everybody knows is taboo—money, and lots of it.

Georgianna Bloomberg, media heiress
Stephanie Ercklentz, finance heiress
Cody Franchetti, textile heir
Christina Floyd, professional sports heiress
Juliet Hartford, A&P Supermarket heiress
Josiah Hornblower, Vanderbilt/Whitney heir
S.I. Newhouse IV, media heir
Ivanka Trump, real estate heiress
Luke Weill, gaming industry heir
Carlo von Zeitschel, European royalty

DVD Extras:
-Commentary by director Jamie Johnson, producer Dirk Wittenborn and textile heir Cody Franchetti
-Deleted scenes


"Great fun…will drop your jaw to the floor." -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What an intriguing notion -- get the youngest beneficiaries of inherited wealth to discuss something that is considered the ultimate taboo. The results Jamie Johnson gets are really very interesting.

What the kids say really runs the gamut. Ivanka Trump comes across very level headed, even saying at one point that she couldn't understand why people treated her differently when she was younger, because the money that got her that type of attention was her parents', and she wasn't going to give it to that person. Josiah Hornblower and S.I. Newhouse came across really sympathically, seeming really embarassed about their family's money. As some of the newpaper reviewers have pointed out, these two seem to want to succeed, despite their parent's money.

Stephanie Ercklentz and Christina Floyd come across as a bit frivolous, but not shallow. Cody Franchetti seems to be desperate to sound really intellectual, and for the most part he succeeds, but at times, it seems really forced. Carlo Von Zeitschel and Georgina Bloomberg are only seen for short clips, so it not possible to get a really good sense of who they are. Von Zeitschel does do a good job of playing all European and jaded, but he also seems very nervous about talking on camera.

The most ballyhooed participant was Luke Weil, because he sued Jamie Johnson. He seemed really troubled and dysfunctional when it comes down to it, like he was going to fall apart at any moment. Everyone who reviewed this documentary before said he came across as shallow, but to me, he just seemed really pathetic. He was the sort of person no one would take an interest in if he didn't have money. Velvet ropes part for him, because he is a wealthy person. One wonders if that would happen if he wasn't.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Meritocracy Indeed March 28, 2005
On the surface, this short documentary can be appreciated as nothing more than a glimpse into a world that few of us will ever know - that of fabulous, inherited wealth. However, dig a little deeper and there are interesting comparisons to be made between the three distinctive "groups" represented here. When comparing the Americans - the wealthy sons vs. the wealthy daughters in the United States, a supposed meritocracy, the boys uniformly seem determined to "prove themselves" in some way. They vary from being slightly abashed to extremely apologetic about their money because they're well aware they haven't earned it, while the girls (Ivanka Trump being the token exception) just want to shop, lunch at the country club, ride horses or collect art. Then compare the American boys to the the two Europeans represented. In Europe, where the class system is deeply ingrained and generally accepted, the boys are shameless and without apologies about their wealth. Not surprising, then, that they come off as the biggest idiots of the piece as well.

Ultimately, however, this film (like all good documentaries) is a study of individuals. Meaning that the average viewer will probably end up liking some of these kids while loathing others. Just like any other group of people. I can't say that I learned anything earth shattering or even terribly new here but as a character study, "Born Rich" is fascinating stuff.

And despite the famous phrase, one comes away with the sense that the rich AREN'T so different after all.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mea culpa or absolution? March 30, 2006
This is a film worth seeing. It is obvious that it is a first attempt (some of the technical details weren't worked out, despite the money backing it), but it is a good first attempt. That said, you might find yourself wanting to shake some of the subjects in this documentary and say, "Stop this nonsense." It's important to note that the subjects are all young adults, still teenagers really, and thusly they are still by nature self-centered and their wealth only seems to prolong their stay in that shallow intellectual puddle.

Jamie Johnson is clearly attempting to elevate himself out of that puddle in this project and is likeable and seemingly more mature than many of the subjects in this documentary, but many of his thoughts about his lifestyle lack profundity. Of course, this isn't really surprising given his age (21) when he made this.

It's somewhat amusing and somewhat sad that while these privileged young people employ their Brown University educations to quote philosophers like Balzac and writers like Hemmingway, they don't have any of the life experience to relate to these thinkers. I hate to break it to Jamie and the others in the film, but many of the conclusions he'd reached have already been reached by others for generations. They are just too insulated to realize that what they are just now "discovering" about the challenges of their position is old news.

All in all, the documentary seems to conclude with the notion that all the adjustment problems of these wealthy young heirs come from the fact that wealth is often not discussed in polite company, but rather sprung on them when they are "of age", which I suppose makes the rest of the world not involved in the elite society impolite since we have been talking about this for quite some time now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare glimpse
Watching these kids talk about their lives is pretty interesting. Some of them are really nice, others what one might expect, but, although the film is a bit rough around the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Blue Tooth
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more interesting and dramatic than I would have expected.
This documentary is very entertaining. There are some real characters in here. Some you will like, some will make you cringe, but I doubt you'll be jealous of any of them,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars a great doc with an unexpected turn from johnson's 'friends'
a great doc with an unexpected turn from johnson's 'friends'... more relevant now in the midst of 99/01 & occupy movement than it was back then, which sounds backhanded but in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hakim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Melanie Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars Life styles of Children of Fortune
This is well-done and interesting. Johnson gets the young heirs he interviews to say what's it's like to benefit from a large fortune one did nothing to earn--the good part (ease)... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Penelope M
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh...
We were looking forward to this documentary as we work with entitled, overly privileged teens. We were hoping those interviewed would offer keen insights and vulnerability. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Christine Riley
1.0 out of 5 stars Like, like.....You know?
"<deep inhale> OK know?" Welcome to Valley, like, gag me with a spoon! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Darin H
5.0 out of 5 stars A good documentary that is honest and real
I found this film to be engaging, and it made me relate to those with extreme wealth though their down to earthness and genuine honesty. Read more
Published 9 months ago by kterbo
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing How Others Live...
I wish my mom was alive to see this documentary. She once said to me, "Children should be raised where there is money. Read more
Published 15 months ago by emberAZ
5.0 out of 5 stars so good, so crazy
this movie is SO SO INTERESTING. it interviews many children of wealth and their lives are so fascinating. I highly recommend. Read more
Published 15 months ago by by12on
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