The 25 best old money movies and series

This picture shows 3 old money movies and is the front image of the article about them.

Hardly anything teaches us as much about elegance and wealth as movies do. There are some old money movies featuring exactly the lives of those people of inherited wealth, exclusiveness, and elegance.

For this reason, we will look at some of the movies resembling the old money aesthetic the best. Also, you will get to know how to determine whether a film is an old money film. So, let’s dive into this guide about movies you have to see.

What are old money movies?

Typical elements of old money movies include:

Generational wealth: It only seems logical that in a movie that is described as old money, there is generational wealth involved. Oftentimes, this wealth is about to fall apart or is being built up for the action of the film. 

Class distinctions: Especially in movies about former centuries, class distinctions are a big thing. Think of the prince or princes who are deemed to marry rich for the sake of their parents’ wealth finding true love in the poor man or woman. These conflicts of heritage and love are often featured in old money movies.

Traditions and etiquette: Traditions and etiquette of old money families and cultural conflicts are common themes of those movies about quiet luxury. Often they go hand-in-hand with those class distinctions. Sometimes, you also can find the child being outgoing and of a more modern mindset. This may cause lots of conflicts with the typical conservative mindset of old money families.

By looking at those symbols, you can pretty easily determine a film as an old money film.

To get to know more about old money families, check out my recent article.

Old money series presented

Not only movies can feature old money in a great way, but series also do. Therefore, let’s first take a small turn to the renowned old money series.

The Denver Clan (2017-2022)

This picture shows the famous house of the Denver clan, an old money series.

My personal favorite Netflix series, the Denver Clan features a family, the Carringtons, and their family Oil business. This series is actually based on an older series from 1981 featuring the same play. Its main act is about the Carringtons and the Colbys, two rich families having a clash about influence and their businesses. 

The two main actresses are Fallon Carrington, the daughter of the tycoon Blake Carrington, and the Ex-wife, Cristal. This old money series has every feature you can imagine to make an entertaining action. From press disasters to forbidden love, and betrayal, everything can be found in this old money series.

Downtown Abbey (2010-2015)

This old money Netflix series resembles the life of an aristocratic family and their servants in the early 20thcentury. This historical drama series, written by Julian Fellowes, offers insights into a fictional Yorkshire country estate, one of the most beautiful types of old money mansions. 

The main action consists of the Crawley family and the influences of historical events like the sinking of the Titanic and the start of World War 1 on the family. Overall, this series about quiet luxury and an elegant life is a must-see and a great way to enjoy a beautifully made show without having too much to think about.

For more information about old money mansion, check out my article here.

The Crown (2016-now)

This historical drama series, as you might guess by the name, is about the Royal Family of Great Britain, more specifically about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Peter Morgan, the author of this play, starts the series in the year 1947 shortly before Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip Mountbatten. 

The general plot of this Netflix series showcases the life of the Royal Family and that not everything behind those sacred walls runs as smoothly as you might think. This old money series, in my opinion, is a great series for some laughter and good entertainment and to learn about the most famous old money family. Also, you will find lots of old money music in this masterpiece.

For more information about old money music as well as a playlist to download, check out my recent article here.

Succession (2018-now)

This American TV series is about the Roy family who owns a media and entertainment conglomerate, the Waystar RoyCo. The comedy-drama plot of this series mainly focuses on the fight for control of the company as well as health problems within the family.

Even though I haven’t watched this series yet, the trailer and the general plot fit every element of an old money movie/series. If you’ve watched this series and want to tell me your opinion about it, I would appreciate you doing it in the comments.

The Gilded Age (2022)

This timeless series is set in the Gilded Age of American history, which roughly spans from the 1870s to the early 1900s. This period is marked by rapid economic growth, industrialization, and social change reflected in the series.

Set in New York, this series shows the immense wealth of the affluent families on the one hand and the struggling families of the workers on the other hand. You can find this series on Amazon Prime. 

Old money movies presented

After those series, let’s move to the category of old money films.

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles in 1941, is a groundbreaking American film that follows the life of wealthy newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane. The main plot of this unique old money film is to criticize the corrupting influence of wealth and difficult human relationships.

Taking place in the fictional town of Xanadu, the main actor is portrayed as a self-made man in the newspaper industry. This cinematic masterpiece beautifully showcases that new-made wealth often struggles to find a place in the traditional world of old money.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby originally was a novel that came out in 1925 and was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This old money book has led to two main movies being made about it.

In my opinion, the one by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 is the most watchable one and one of my personal favorites. It describes the young businessman Nick Carraway moving into a beautiful neighborhood in Long Island, New York. 

He soon meets the mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby who has found interest in him and tells him about his long-lost love to a girl, Nick certainly knows very well.

All in all, this movie is a must-watch showcasing old money at its finest as well as talking about the downside to industrial wealth.

To get to know more about old money books, check out my recent article here.

Gosford Park (2001)

This British mystery film directed by Robert Altman is about a murder mystery in Gosford Park, a fictional British country estate. Playing in 1932, this movie resembles insights into the lives of old money individuals in the image of class distinctions between the Upper-class guests and the servants. You can find this old movie on Amazon Prime.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

“Pride and Prejudice” is a novel dating back to 1813 and has been used for many movies and even some TV series. This romantic novel describes the fictional town of Meryton in the early 19th century and the nearby estates of Netherfield Park and Pemberley.

The main actress, Elizabeth Bennet, and her family are portrayed in a situation where Elizabeth finds love in Mr. Darcy, a man of the upper class. Apart from struggles with social norms and classes, this movie perfectly describes the landed gentry and therefore old money of the 19th century. You can find it on Amazon Prime.

The Age of Innocence (1993)

This old money movie from 1993 by Martin Scorsese is inspired by Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name. This dramatic film‘s plot mainly plays in the late 19th century in the High society in New York.

The main character, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, wants to marry May Welland, also from a wealthy background. The plot gets interesting as her Cousin comes back from Europe creating a love triangle.

This movie perfectly showcases the life of old money families and that they do not all come along as perfectly as it always seems.

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

This old money film is also based on a book I‘ve already talked about in my previous articles. I’m the movie Rachel Chu who is an economics professor in New York travels with her boyfriend Nick Young to a wedding in Singapur when she discovers his parents are utterly rich.

Soon, Rachel faces various challenges due to the wealthy background of Nick‘s family which the movie portrays perfectly.

The Wolf of Wallstreet (2013)

This picture shows the movie the wolf of wall street.

The Wolf of Wall Street, my personal favorite old money movie, is a biographical black comedy cinematic masterpiece by Martin Scorsese. It is told from the perspective of Jordan Belford, okay by Leonardo di Caprio, a young stockbroker who gets to wealth not only by his skill but also by a famous illegal schema.

Besides orgies, lots of wealth, and some criminal activities, this movie beautifully tells a story of an ambitious man who wants to succeed in the world of inherited and established wealth and gets lost in the process. This movie is also available on Netflix.

Trading Places (1983)

In this 1983 film, helmed by director John Landis, the narrative unfolds around Louis Winthorpe III, a prosperous commodities broker, and Billy Ray Valentine, a street-smart hustler. The two characters find their social statuses switched by the affluent Duke brothers.

As Louis struggles to be homeless and jobless, Billy soon lives a fabulous life. This movie truly showcases how the opportunities of the rich people are way higher than those of the poor people and how unfair and manipulative the generational wealth is for the heirs.

The Servant (1963)

This classic British drama film directed by Joseph Losey is about Tony, a wealthy Londoner who hires a seemingly submissive and polite servant who goes by the name of Barrett.

As Barrett becomes more firm with his new surroundings, the dynamics shift due to his fabulous psychological skills. This unique movie showcases the huge differences between old money household and their servants and other staff.

Triangle of Sadness (2022)

The two models and influencers Carl and Yaya get an invitation to a cruise for ultra-wealthy people. Due to the drunk captain crashing, the ship sinks, and the people strand on an island. There, hierarchies do not apply anymore and chaos arises.

This movie clearly shows how many ultra-rich people are only classified by their wealth which they often are born into and don‘t have any skills besides managing their wealth. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.

The Exterminating Angel (1962)

This surreal and symbolic film by Luis Buñuel offers a unique view of irrational and subconscious aspects of the human mind. The plot of the film revolves around a group of high-society individuals attending a dinner party at a lavish mansion.

After dinner, the guests find themselves not able to leave the drawing room. This leads to a variety of bizarre behavior. This film beautifully showcases the behaviors of some of the ultra-wealthy people which are often hidden from the public. You can find The Exterminating Angel on Amazon Prime.

The Godfather (1972)

Any one of the 3 films „The godfather“represents old money in a unique way. The first film follows the Corleone family, a powerful mafia clan led by Vito Corleone, the described godfather. 

In a world full of family dynamics and crimes, the son, Michael Corleone becomes involved more and more in the criminal actions of the mafia. You can find this old money movie on Netflix.

Grey Gardens (1975)

This cinematic masterpiece provides an intimate look into the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale. Bothe are relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Living in their huge old money mansion called „Grey Gardens“, in East Hampton, New York, this family meets every aspect of an old money family. Nevertheless, the huge house has been falling apart for several years to the state of disrepair as the two live there in near isolation. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.

The Queen of Versailles (2012)

This documentary film directed by Lauren Greenfield gives a humorous look at the life of the wealthy couple David, the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, a major timeshare company, and Jackie Siegel whose intention is to build the largest single-family home in the United States modeled after the Palace of Versailles. You can find this movie on Discovery +.

How to marry a millionaire (1953)

This classic drama‘s plot is about 3 models, Schatze Page, Pola Debevoise, and Loco Demosey. They rent a luxurious Manhattan apartment with the hope of attracting and marrying millionaires.

This film showcases financial security through marriage, a thing wealthy individuals and often old money experience on their own bodies as people try to force themselves onto them for the sake of a secure future. You can find this old money film on Amazon Prime.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

This psychological thriller stems from a similar nameed book from 1955 by Patricia Highsmith. The film follows Tom Ripley a young man hired to bring back Dickie Greenleaf, the son of a wealthy shipbuilder.

The journey takes them from Italy all the way to the United States. Tom on his journey learns and adapts more of the wealthy son‘s lifestyle and makes conclusions about his identity. This leads to a complex web of deception and murder.

Belle de jour (1967)

This old money movie, characterized as a classic French drama is based on the 1928 novel of the same name by Joseph Kessel.

The film follows Séverine, a young housewife who, despite her conventional marriage, becomes a daytime prostitute to explore her hidden desires whilst still maintaining her image of that classical housewife. This movie explores the expectations and secret desires behind old money‘s traditional roles.

I am Love (2009)

The old money movie I am Love features Emma Recchi, a Russian woman who has married into a wealthy Milanese family. During her time on the wealthy side of things and adapts the lifestyle rather quickly. So, she gets into an affair that leads to a variety of transformations.

This Italian romantic drama features the wealthy lifestyle of old money with all its traditions and expectations. Additionally, it shows how the perfect life can sometimes lead to sadness despite all the money.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This classic romantic comedy-drama film by Blake Edwards is about Holly Golightly, a young woman living in New York City. She gets to know the city navigates through the social scene, and finds a wealthy man to marry. Her life takes a sudden turn though as she gets to know her neighbor who is a struggling writer. 

Paul Varjak, the neighbor provides the struggling Holly emotional support after seeing behind her glamorous façade. Therefore, they develop a strong bond. This old money movie perfectly showcases the cold and unemotional side of quiet wealth. You can find it on Amazon Prime. 

Spencer (2021)

Spencer is a biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín. The plot is about Princess Diana, one of the role models of old money. She is on a Christmas holiday with the royal family at the Sandringham estate. 

This unique old money movie shows what happens behind the facades of the Royal Family. Also it features tumultuous times that occurred during the early 1990s. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.

Final thoughts on old money movies

As you can see from this article, old money movies, and series offer great insights into the lives of quiet luxury as well as the problems and challenges that are behind those perfect facades.

If you want to get to know old money better, these movies are a must-watch. Try to pick a few and maybe an old money series to get a better image of old money and their lifestyles.


What is the meaning of old money movies?

The meaning of most old money movies is to show a rich family with established wealth and a luxurious lifestyle. Also, to look behind the facades to get to know more about the lives of quiet wealth.

What are the best platforms to watch old money movies?

Amazon Prime and Netflix are the best platforms to watch most old money movies and series.

What is a good old money movie to watch?

A good old money movie to watch is The Great Gatsby or The Queen of Versailles.

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