The Carpetbaggers

2.0 2
Director: Edward Dmytryk

Cast: Edward Dmytryk, George Peppard, Alan Ladd, Martha Hyer


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Edward Dmytryk brings Harold Robbins' trashy, dirt-dishing Hollywood best-seller to the screen with George Peppard starring as Jonas Cord, a rancidly-sketched portrait of Howard Hughes. In 1925, when his father dies of a stroke, Jonas inherits the Cord Chemical factory, a manufacturer of dynamite and other explosives. Jonas proceeds with several cut-throat…  See more details below


Edward Dmytryk brings Harold Robbins' trashy, dirt-dishing Hollywood best-seller to the screen with George Peppard starring as Jonas Cord, a rancidly-sketched portrait of Howard Hughes. In 1925, when his father dies of a stroke, Jonas inherits the Cord Chemical factory, a manufacturer of dynamite and other explosives. Jonas proceeds with several cut-throat transactions, making a settlement with his sexy stepmother Rina (Carroll Baker) and liquidating the stock owned by cowhand Nevada Smith (Alan Ladd, in his final American film role). With the help of Mac McAllister (Lew Ayres), his father's attorney, Jonas builds his father's company into a multi-million dollar business, expanding into plastics and aeronautics. Meanwhile, Rina has become a top fashion model and movie star and Nevada Smith has parlayed his laconic demeanor into a career as a popular silent film cowboy idol. Jonas then marries, then ignores, the well-meaning Monica Winthrop (Elizabeth Ashley), and ruins her father's company in the process. Then, with the advent of sound films, Jonas helps Nevada Smith through the sound film crisis by offering financial backing for a film to star both Nevada and his ex-mother-in-law Rina. Jonas decides to direct the film himself, hoping to seduce Rina. But Jonas's insensitive and egomaniacal behavior causes Monica to leave him. Jonas invests all his time in film production but the alcoholic Rina dies in a car accident. The owners of the film studio -- Bernard B. Norman (Martin Balsam) and Dan Pierce (Robert Cummings) -- want to sell the studio to Jonas but hide the fact that Rina, the studio's biggest star, has died. Jonas buys the studio and when he finds his biggest asset is gone, he goes on a drunken binge. But Jonas quickly meets call girl Jennie Denton (Martha Hyer), who he decides to turn into a superstar modeled upon Rina. Despite having made her a star, Jonas's vile treatment of Jennie repulses both her and his old friend Nevada Smith, and Smith decides it's time to beat some sense into Jonas's head.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of the most popular pulp novels of the early 1960s was Harold Robbins' The Carpetbaggers, a steamy mix of power, sex, business, and Hollywood. The 1964 movie version was directed by Edward Dmytryk and had an introduction by Joan Collins. Many consumers didn't realize that the playboy-tycoon protagonist played by George Peppard was a parody of Howard Hughes. In this telling, Peppard's friend is a silent film cowboy named Nevada Smith, played by Alan Ladd in his last film role. Carroll Baker has the lead female role. It's a glossy, pandering feast of Hollywood melodrama that succeeds brilliantly in its acerbic portrait of its principal character. Two years later, a prequel called Nevada Smith was released, with Steve McQueen taking Ladd's part; it bombed. But The Carpetbaggers remains a symbol of the heyday of the Hollywood blockbuster.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount (Pmt)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Peppard Jonas Cord, Jr.
Alan Ladd Nevada Smith
Martha Hyer Jennie Denton
Elizabeth Ashley Monica Winthrop
Carroll Baker Rina Marlowe
Lew Ayres "Mac" McAllister
Martin Balsam Bernard B. Norman
Ralph Taeger Buzz Dalton
Archie Moore Jedediah
Leif Erickson Jonas Cord, Sr.
Arthur Franz Morrissey
Tom Tully Amos Winthrop
Audrey Totter Prostitute
Anthony Warde Moroni
Charles Lane Denby
Tom Lowell David Woolf
John Conte Ed Ellis
Vaughn Taylor Doctor
Francesca Bellini Cynthia Randall
Victoria Jean JoAnn Cord
Don "Red" Barry Sound Man
Lynn Borden Starlet
Frankie Darro Bellboy
Donald Diamond Gambler
Ann Doran Woman Reporter
Peter Duryea Assistant Director
Gladys Holland French Nurse
Tony Regan Theater Manager
Lisa Seagram Moroni's Secretary
Joe Turkel Reporter
Robert Cummings Dan Pierce

Technical Credits
Edward Dmytryk Director
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Frank Bracht Editor
Frank Caffey Producer,Production Designer
John Michael Hayes Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Arthur Krams Set Decoration/Design
Paul K. Lerpae Special Effects
Joseph E. Levine Producer
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Hal Pereira Art Director
Walter Tyler Art Director

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The Carpetbaggers 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great-bad movies are fun because they're so inane it's impossible to tell whether the filmmakers themselves realized they were creating trash--and decided to make it as beautifully sordid as trash can be--or if they truly thought they were turning out a serious picture, and were totally surprised when the audiences laughed in all the wrong places. Great-bad movies are entertaining because they're so bad, they're good everything in them is so extreme, so hollow, so overdone that instead of just run-of-the-mill, respectably mediocre failures, they turn out to be in their own way, unforgettable--impressive in the extent of their awfulness. In the first half of the Sixties, one film towered above all others as the era's most enjoyably terrible film, and that was Joseph E. Levine's "The Carpetbaggers", one of the biggest moneymakers of 1964. "The Carpetbaggers" emerged as a kind of off-color comic book for adults, with ugly undercurrents of drama that meant nothing and led nowhere. Worst of all was the decision to make Jonas Cord, the heel of a non-hero, repentant at the finale, as compared to the far more realistic and meaningful situation of the very believable Sixties heel, Hud Bannon, who appeared more alienated at the end at the end than at the beginning of that film. "The Carpetbaggers" delivered none of the scintillating between characters its heavy advertising campaign promised, but it did provide viewers with some astonished chuckles at the seriousness with which these ridiculous (but entertaining, if you were in the mood to go slumming) antics were carried on. The movie grossed millions because people paid to see if it was as smutty as the book by Harold Robbins. It wasn't. Carroll Baker, who portrays platinum blonde bombshell Rina Marlowe (in a dry run for her title role in the following year's mega-bomb "Harlow") manages the not-inconsiderable feat of coming across the screen as utterly sexless. George Peppard, who portrays the head heel, went on to better things alas Alan Ladd (whose last movie this was) did not. [filmfactsman]
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a horrible movie it sucked so bad no body should see it i hated it