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The Carpetbaggers

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The Carpetbaggers (1964)

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This is adult entertainment!

It is unlikely that you will experience in a lifetime all that you will see in... THE CARPETBAGGERS.

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

The Carpetbaggers is a 1964 American film based upon the best selling novel The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins. The film stars George Peppard as Jonas Cord, a character based loosely on Howard Hughes, and Alan Ladd as former western gunslinger turned actor Nevada Smith, featured the following year in a prequel starring Steve McQueen in the part. Carroll Baker portrays an actress inspired by Jean Harlow, who appeared in Hughes' film epic Hell's Angels.
The film was directed by Edward Dmytryk. Filmed in 35mm Panavision, this was one of the first movies to be blown up to 70mm ("Panavision 70") for premiere screening. The picture was Alan Ladd's final film; Ladd died some months before its release.
In her 1978 autobiography Past Imperfect, Joan Collins claims she had a firm offer to play Rina Marlowe but had to decline because of pregnancy. Dmytryk followed this film with another Harold Robbins story, Where Love Has Gone.
The supporting cast features Robert Cummings, Martha Hyer, Elizabeth Ashley, Lew Ayres, Martin Balsam, Ralph Taeger, Archie Moore, and Leif Erickson.

The Carpetbaggers was a massive commercial success. It grossed $28,409,547 at the domestic box office,[2] making it the 4th highest grossing film of 1964. Variety reported that the film earned $13 million in domestic rentals. At the worldwide box office, the film grossed $40,000,000 against a $3 million budget.[1]
The movie was one of the 13 most popular films in the UK in 1965.

Release Date: July 1, 1964

Distrib: Paramount

Boxoffice: $23,765,000 2013: $169,765,456

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