Carmen Du Sautoy as Roussie Sert





Winner Golden Globe Award
Best TV Mini Series

cccccccccKevin McCarthy and Carmen Du Sautoy



Farrah Fawcett
David Ackroyd
Stephane Audran
Amaedus August
Nicholas Clay
Carmen Du Sautoy
Bruce Davison
Anne Francis
Elsa Maxwell
Sascha Hehn
Burl Ives
Kevin McCarthy
Tony Peck
James Read
Zoe Wanamaker
Linden Ashby

Based on book by
Executive producer
Directors of photography

Production designers

Original music

Barbara Hutton
Graham Mattison

Count Kurt Reventlow
Prince Alexis Mdivani
Roussie Sert
Jimmy Donohue
Marjorie Post
Miriam Margolyes
Baron von Cramm
F.W. Woolworth
Franklyn Hutton
James Douglas III
Cary Grant

Charles Jarrett
C. David Heymann
Dennis Turner
Nick Gillott
Lesty Persky
John Lindley
Alan Hume B.S.C
Eileen Diss
Bryan Rymann
Bill Blunden
Richard Rodney Bennett




Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story" would appear to be the ultimate grand-scale miniseries for network audiences mad about the rich and famous. After all, Alexis Colby wouldn't have been able to hold a candle to Hutton's extravagance.
ccccJ.R. Ewing would have felt like a country bumpkin in her presence. You had to be a prince or a count, or Cary Grant, to get to first base with this woman.
CCCHutton was the real thing, even if her life sounded like something F. Scott Fitzgerald would have cooked up with Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins at a Hollywood party. The lovelorn Hutton was kind of a real-life female Jay Gatsby, though she never had to struggle for her fortune.
CCCThe granddaughter of five-and-dime store tycoon F.W. Woolworth, whose daughter married Hutton's father, Franklyn Hutton - co-founder with his brother Edward of E.F. Hutton Barbara was already an imperially pampered child before she inherited $28 million on her 18th birthday. cccc
cccc At age 21, Barbara was worth approximately $50 million at a time when the Depression was practically forcing America to its knees.
CCCFarrah Fawcett - finally shedding the poster-girl veneer that has dogged her career as an actress-undergoes an amazing transformation in the title role. Though a bit old to be convincing as "Babs" the 18-year-old debutant, Fawcett bears an uncanny resemblance to the emotionally frayed, ectomorphic Hutton, whose fear of obesity left her practically anorexic.

Fawcett's performance is impressively layered.This painfully drawn-out extravaganza opens with the suicide of Barbara's mother, who cannot bring herself (under pressure from her domineering father, E.W. Woolworth) to divorce her hard-drinking, philandering Franklyn Hutton (Kevin McCarthy). This is the trauma that begins young Barbara's lifelong downward spiral, and sets a pattern of being shuffled between various guardians, since her father is incapable of exhibiting any devotion to her. This also portends Babs' terrible luck with men, mostly jerks of dubious titles - from Prince Alexis Mdivani (Nicholas Clay) to Count Court Reventlow (Amadeus August) with whom she has a child. By the time she meets Cary Grant (James Read), perhaps the most stable force in her life, Hutton has collected such an assortment of motley sycophants and jetsetting socialites that Grant's need for privacy and a normal family life away from the spotlight cannot reconcile itself to Babs' traveling puppet court.
CCCUnable to settle into a normal marriage that would provide a much-needed anchor of stability in her life, Babs degenerates into a pill-popping alcoholic who continues to "buy" friends and lovers with outrageously expensive gifts. By the time of her death at age 66, she had $3,500 in her bank account.
CCCEileen Diss and Bryan Ryman's production design is impressively grandiose, but directors of photography John Lindley and Alan Hume wash it all in the typically overlit, garish miniseries fashion.

And Charles Jarrott's handling of the cast is heavy handed while his staging is completely bereft of style and imagination. Jarrott's few stabs at quasi-expressionism are so bad they're laughable, such as an early, almost Grand Guignol scene with the patriarch Woolworth playing organ in a palatial, mist-filled study - lightning and thunder crashing in the background - while instructing young Barbara to "not be afraid of life's magic."
CCCBurl Ives brief, grandstanding appearance as the crusty Woolworth seems like a parody of himself in past patriarch roles. Nicholas Clay (Lancelot in John Boorman's "Excalibur") as the rakish Prince Alexis Mdivani comes across like some strutting Don Juan whose smarminess is all too apparent.
CCC As Court Reventlow, who turns out to be a sado-masochistic chauvinist, Amadeus August acts like a gestapo chief right of a '40s war movie, forced to sneer such lines to Babs as "You may win on the tennis court; in bed, I win." James Read does his best to impersonate the suave, affable Cary Grant but the task appears almost impossible.
CCCStandouts include Fairuza Balk, who displays great dramatic range as the 12year-old Barbara, confronted with the fact that she's so filthy rich, she'll never lead a normal life. Kevin McCarthy perhaps plays the role of his career as the debauched Franklyn Hutton.
CCC Carmen Du Sautoy is deliciously sinister as Prince Mdivani's calculating sister. In addition, Bruce Davidson is delightful as Jimmy Donohue, Babs' closest and oldest friend whose bratty candor is beyond reproach.