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Gold Digger / Live-Action Films

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  • Debbie Jellinsky from Addams Family Values is a Black Widow who marries men for their money and then murders them. Her final husband is Uncle Fester, who is a lot harder to kill than her previous victims.
  • The protagonist of Baby Face. After her abusive father (who had been letting men pay to sleep with her since she was 14) dies, she is left without money and uses wealthy men to gain money and power. She makes a Heel–Face Turn at the end when she falls in love.
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  • The titular Bad Teacher is this to a "T" — she's only with the boyfriend we meet at the beginning of the movie for his money and he dumps her when he finally realizes this. We learn that she spent the subsequent Time Skip trying to seduce various pro athletes in order to wrangle child support out of them, but they were always wary and savvy enough to make sure that their condoms worked and to take them with them after the deed was completed. She then spends most of the movie trying to snag the new teacher on staff once she hears that he's rich.
  • Played for laughs in Best in Show with Sherri Ann's husband, an incredibly old man who doesn't speak and is confined to a wheelchair but, according to Sherri Ann, is still a horndog. As it turns out, Sherri Ann is actually in love with her female dog trainer.
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  • The Peter Sellers movie The Bobo has Britt Ekland as a young lady who keeps company with a well-to-do man until she gets what she wants from him, then dumps him painfully. She had gotten a posh city apartment and a custom Maserati from two suckers.
  • In The Candy Snatchers, Candy's Wicked Stepfather admits that he married her mother solely for her fortune.
  • Casino: Ginger McKenna, although she never lies about her intentions. Ace still thinks he can make an honest woman out of her. What are the chances this works out?
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: It's heavily implied through her somewhat flirtatious behavior towards him that this is Mrs. Beauregarde's backup plan is in case her daughter fails to impress Willy Wonka.
  • Creed II reveals that Ludmilla, Ivan Drago's wife, abandoned Ivan and their son Viktor after Ivan's loss and disgrace in Rocky IV. She reappears having re-married a rich man when Viktor becomes famous for beating Adonis, then promptly leaves again when it becomes clear Viktor will lose their re-match.
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  • Played with in The Color of Money. Carmen stays with Vincent and clearly benefits from his pool-playing skills, but it's never clear how much genuine affection she has for him.
  • The Comedy of Terrors: When Amaryllis accuses Trumbull of only marrying her for her father's business, he doesn't deny it.
  • 1964 B-Movie Devil Doll features evil ventriloquist/hypnotist The Great Vorelli, who plans to marry a rich young woman, kill her, and inherit her fortune.
  • Dial M for Murder: A male example is Tony Wendice; he only married his wife, Margot, for her money, and coldly plans to kill her when he thinks that she wants to leave him. For added bonus, she's young and beautiful (she's played by Grace Kelly).
  • One villain in Freaks is the trapeze artist Cleopatra, who marries Hans (a sideshow performer with dwarfism) with the intent to kill him for his fortune and then marry the strongman Hercules. When the other members of The Freakshow catch on, boy does she get her comeuppance: they mutilate her body to make her one of them.
  • Discussed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Lorelei Lee (played by Marilyn Monroe) is an overt gold digger and defends it from criticism in the film.
  • The movie Gold Diggers of 1933 is, oddly enough, a movie-long subversion. When Polly the actress starts dating a millionaire, his friends assume this is going on, but in fact she didn't know he was rich. Polly's friends are a little peeved by the suggestion, however, so they decide to play it straight, and take the men for all they're worth. It is however also played straight when Polly's friend Trixie goes Gold Digging after another millionaire, and lands him.
  • The Gold Rush has Georgia, a saloon girl who is largely upfront that she is looking for a rich husband, so her love has a price even though she is also fond of Charlie. Regardless, Charlie understands and is willing to pay that price when he strikes it rich, which is that much easier to do when she reveals her true kind nature when Charlie is momentarily mistaken as a stowaway on a ship and she offers to pay his way.
  • In Greedy, "Uncle Joe's" nurse is an attractive young woman without any actual medical degrees who seems to be kept around to look pretty. She is seen as this by Joe's greedy family members (who are vying for his inheritance), and she seems to be slowly sinking into the role, culminating in her announcing her plan to cement her relationship by sleeping with Joe. This, however, leads her to a My God, What Have I Done? moment, and she leaves rather than allow herself to completely succumb to the trope. She might also have been putting on the entire persona as an act to help Joe effectively test the loyalty of his family; she comes back at the end, but whether her actions were all part of the show or whether Joe tracked her down and explained his game after she left is not explained.
  • Hands Across the Table: Justified because it makes sense why Regi wants to marry a rich guy for security during the time of the Depression, and watching her parents' marriage dissolve due to being poor.Ted, on the other hand, has been wrecked by the Depression, so having money again is his number one goal as well.
  • Heartbreakers is about a con artist played by Sigourney Weaver who marries men for money, then gets her daughter Jennifer Love Hewitt to seduce them (not knowing she's her daughter) so she can divorce them and take their money.
  • Master Leung Chun-yu in Hex started off as a Domestic Abuser who treats his tuberculosis-stricken wife Lady Chan like crap, but later reveals that he's actually after the wife's family heirloom, a priceless collection of jade antiques worth millions, which can only be claimed by the Chan family's living relatives. He sadistically arranged for his wife's death and shows zero remorse as he collects all the jade for himself.
  • Burke's fianceenote  in House of Wax (1953). Justified in that during The Gilded Age (the film's time setting) this was perceived as totally normal.
  • How to Marry a Millionaire centers on not one, not two, but three women trying to be gold diggers. Lauren Bacall's character succeeds — unwittingly at first — and the remaining two fail, but all are happier for it.
  • The film I Know Where I'm Going! has Joan Webster, who's marrying a rich industrialist, Robert Bellinger for his money and the security that it will bring her. But a change of plans soon occurs...
  • Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, completely Played for Laughs. She's interested in getting to know the wealthy Majahrajah of Pankot Palace, but is disappointed to find out he is no older than Short Round, Indy's eleven-year-old sidekick.
  • In In Name Only, Maida is a Gold Digger of the cruel variety: She doesn't care for her husband, Alec, and won't divorce him when he asks her to.
  • Marilyn Rexroth in Intolerable Cruelty is The Chessmaster of this trope. After champion divorce attorney Miles Massey foils her attempt to gouge her wealthy first husband, she sets out to ruin him at his own game. Her intricate scheme involves faking an entire second marriage to an oil tycoon, leaving her a Mock Millionaire, and then kindling Massey's attraction to her until he proposes himself. It backfires when her first husband dies before changing his will, leaving everything to her. Suddenly, Massey is the one who demands half of her new assets. In the end, they decide to try married life again, for real this time.
  • Clarice Kensington of It Takes Two is a socialite who is engaged to Alyssa Callaway's father Roger and only wants to marry Roger for his money.
  • Veronica Lake's character in I Wanted Wings only wants to marry Jeff for his money.
  • The Jerk lampshades it with the Trophy Wife of Harry Hartounian (played by Jackie Mason), who knows full well that if anything happened to his business, she'd leave him in a second. She happily nods in agreement.
  • Knives Out has two examples.
    • Linda's husband Richard is a rare male example. It's clear he only married Linda for her and her family's money. He and Linda never seem particularly close, Richard is rude and crass to most of her family, and Linda's siblings clearly only tolerate him for her sake. Even Harlan refers to him as a deadbeat in his final letter to Linda.
    • Joni is a more classic gold digger who siphons from her daughter's educational fund, hangs around the family only for money even after her husband's death, and seems mostly interested in maintaining her lifestyle.
  • Deconstructed in Legally Blonde. Elle points out that the new wife of a septuagenarian millionaire who is used to getting divorced on a whim has to work extremely hard to stay married to the septuagenarian millionaire. It's also pointed out that the wife was already superrich before she married the guy, due to being a health-and-fitness guru who made loads of money off of exercise/workout videos. The man's wife also makes it very clear that her husband had other, much more interesting qualities besides his vast wealth.
  • Samantha Cole in Liar Liar is a clear example of this coupled with the inability to keep it in her pants. The whole divorce case stems from her husband finding out that she repeatedly cheated on him with... seven other men. Since they have a prenup, the fact that she was unfaithful pretty much leaves her with nothing. However, when she goes to the protagonist's law firm, he convinces her that she is the victim here, not her husband (who appears to be a pretty decent guy and a loving father), and that she was "pushed into the arms of another man" ("Seven other men" "Whatever"). She believes him, and demands half of her husband's assets. After the protagonist, an Amoral Attorney, wins the case (by complete accident, though), she demands to fight over the custody of the children, despite the fact that she's not much of a mother and doesn't really care about them. All she wants is more money.
  • In Madea's Big Happy Family, although Byron is not rich, his "baby mama" Sabrina uses their son to claim money from him. His girlfriend Renee is just as bad, as she pressures Byron to sell drugs to earn money.
  • Claire Ormond in The Mad Magician. She was originally married to Don Gallico, but divorced him and married his boss Ross Ormond when she realized he could furnish her with the wealthy lifestyle she craved. Subsequently, she spends half of each year gallivanting around Europe spending her husband. After Gallico murders Ormons, she tries to make up with him again, knowing that she will inherit Ormond's money.
  • Played with in Magnolia - Julianne Moore's character initially married the elderly television executive played by Jason Robards with gold digger intentions. The twist is that, after marrying him, she found herself genuinely falling in love with him instead, to the extent that when he's on his deathbed with cancer, she actually tries to have his will changed so that she won't inherit his millions out of guilt.
  • The Man with Two Brains has Kathleen Turner playing a gold-digger who is introduced while trying to give her old rich husband a heart attack, only for him to reveal as he's dying that he altered his will. She changes her attention to Steve Martin's character, a famous brain surgeon, after he hits her with a car.
  • Sabel, of The Marriage Chronicles, married her husband entirely because he had the money that could support her lifestyle. Their house is in foreclosure over the debts she's racked up and she's got even more money socked away in offshore bank accounts, unbeknownst to her husband.
  • Groucho Marx in most of the Marx Brothers movies. His usual rich woman is the wonderful Margaret Dumont. "Will you marry me? Did he [your ex-husband] leave you any money? Answer the second question first."
  • Chris from Woody Allen's Match Point essentially marries the aristocratic Chloe for the wealth and influence her family possesses. Even when he falls madly in love with (and impregnates) another woman he is decidedly reluctant to leave his wife or tell her the truth as he has "grown accustomed to a certain standard of living".
  • Eve Peabody from Midnight (1939) is a self-proclaimed gold digger, and doesn't have any problem with this.
  • Mousehunt: Lars's wife April has shades of this. She leaves him (read: kicks him out of the house) after learning that his late father left him nothing but a string factory in his will (which he wouldn't sell even when given the chance), but returns and seduces him after discovering that his brother was left an antique house that the pair are about to auction off. And, when the deal goes south, she leaves him for the richest potential buyer attending the auction.
  • Mrs. Quickly in Nanny McPhee is, at first, willing to marry Mr. Brown simply because she is turning into an old maid, and he's available. However, when his children's efforts make her think that all he wants is sex, she leaves in a huff. When the kids beg her to return, they reveal that their late mother's wealthy aunt has promised to support the family if Mr. Brown re-marries. Realizing this, Mrs. Quickly quickly comes back to accept Mr. Brown's proposal and later sucks up to Lady Adelaide Stitch.
  • Lynette from An Officer and a Gentleman. She fakes being pregnant to force Sid to marry her, but dumps him when he quits the aviator program to do so.
  • Out to Sea (a comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) has broke Charlie seeking a rich woman on a cruise. He meets Liz, who he thinks is one, but it turns out she's trying to bag a rich man herself.
  • Miss Trixie in Paper Moon, who openly admits to Addie that she's only with Moses for what she can squeeze out of him.
  • Parasite centers on a poor family of four scamming a rich family of also four by manipulating them into hiring them for the services of chauffeuring, housekeeping, English tutoring and psychological therapy. The rich family's so-called matriarch Yon-kyo is a ditzy moron who has no idea how to be a good mother and appears to have only married her husband for his money. She is usually seen cuddling her dogs and eating gourmet food or setting up and attending fun events such as parties rather than being a proper housewife.
  • The Parent Trap has Mitch's young, opportunistic fiancée Vicki, who is only interested in Mitch's money.
  • The Parent Trap has Nick's young, opportunistic fiancée Meredith, who is only interested in Nick's money.
  • The TV movie Revenge Of The Bridesmaids has a mother-daughter duo. Olivia McMann gets married three times, all ending in divorce, and all to keep her and her daughter Caitlyn in their fancy mansion, Belle Fountane. When Olivia runs out of money and can't snag husband number four, Caitlyn takes over her mom's gold-digging duties. Drawing inspriration from Lynette from An Officer and a Gentleman, as mentioned above, Caitlyn tricks the rich ex-boyfriend of one of her best friends, who's still madly in love with him, into thinking she's pregnant from their impulsive, regretted one night stand to trick him into marrying her. The whole plot of the movie centers around her three angered friends doing all they can to stop the wedding. They succeed.
  • Elvira in Scarface (1983). Initially she is Frank's mistress, and she seems purely concerned with the material benefits. With her coke-stoked pokerface it's hard to know for sure exactly why she becomes Tony's wife — there's a suggestion of real romance. But gold digging is a very natural explanation for her.
  • Secondhand Lions has the "get written in the will" variety. Word is that the two uncles Hub and Garth have millions stashed away somewhere. Walter was sent there to get in good with them, the other relatives have been trying for quite some time, and near the end Walter's mother and her fiancé come back to just plain take the money. In the end, Walter gets it all.
  • Although laughable in contrast to some other characters on this page, Olivia Honey (Maria Pitillo) openly admits to being one in She-Devil, saying in her interview video that she wants to find a rich man and marry him. Ruth uses that to her advantage to ruin her ex-husband Bob by sending Olivia to him through her employment agency. When Olivia confesses her love to Bob, he fires her, and with a little more prodding from Ruth, the two of them gather evidence of him embezzling from his clients to get him in jail.
  • Starla in Slither is blatantly said to be this in regards to her marriage to Grant. Ironically though, the film portrays her as the victim in the loveless marriage.
  • Some Like It Hot plays with it: Tony Curtis pretends to be a rich man to woo Marilyn Monroe, while Jack Lemmon pretends to be a woman to woo a rich man.
  • In Superman Returns, Lex Luthor's Establishing Character Moment is sitting by the deathbed of an elderly, rich woman who apparently got him out of prison sometime during the Time Skip. She agrees that yes, he deserves everything for how good of a husband he's been since then. Meanwhile all her relatives are pounding on the door, screaming for her not to go through with this. She dies signing her will; Lex quickly finishes writing her signature and kicks everyone else out of the house.
  • Ricky Bobby's wife in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. She's been married to Ricky for over ten years, but the day that he's fired from the team, she dumps him and gets together with his best friend, Cal. She even makes it clear that she is married to a driver and she does not work.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie (and its stage adaptation) is about a girl from Kansas who moves to New York City with hopes of working for a rich man as a stenographer and then marrying him.
  • In 1914 slapstick comedy Tillie's Punctured Romance, the bad guy, upon hearing that the naive girl he robbed and dumped is about to come into a large fortune, hurriedly finds her, makes up, and marries her.
  • Tommy Boy has Tommy's father marrying a woman who only wants his money. When Tommy's father dies at the wedding party, she and her son from a previous marriage (actually her husband, making her marriage to Tommy's father illegal) comment how it's better than her original plan of living with him for one year and then divorcing him. In the end, she sets her eyes on another target.
  • Valentine: Dorothy's boyfriend Campbell is a male example; Dorothy is a lonely rich young woman who's never had anyone interested in her, so she quickly fell for Campbell, who's a Con Man only interested in her father's money. Her friends and stepmother point out that she's only known Campbell for a month and she doesn't know his last name. Shortly after Campbell is revealed to be a Gold Digger, he winds up murdered by the killer.
  • The World Is Not Enough: A rare gender inversion with Sir Robert King and his Azeri wife; Robert married her to gain access to oil-rich lands near the Caspian Sea that her family owned. According to Elektra, her father was nothing before he married her mother. As a British man with a foreign wife, he was able to seize control of the assets which should've rightfully belonged to Elektra's mother, but the sexism and racism which existed at the time meant that she couldn't reclaim what her husband stole.

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