The Carpetbaggers

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  • Drama, Period, Romance, Silent , produced in 1964 USA
  • Actors: George Peppard, Alan Ladd
  • Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
  • Rating: 6.3 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Power and sex are at the heart of this adaptation of Harold Robbins's soap opera bestseller, set in the 1930s and loosely based on the life of Howard Hughes. George Peppard stars as Jonas, a hard-drinking young aircraft tycoon who starts going off the deep end when his tyrannical father (Leif Erikson) dies. After reclaiming the girl his father stole from him (Carroll Baker), Jonas starts producing movies--at first to help his old friend, a silent-film star struggling to make the transition to sound (Alan Ladd) but eventually to placate his out of control ego. After numerous failed marriages and ever-worsening alcoholism, Jonas finally makes an effort to face the demons of his past, but it may be too late.

    Director Edward Dmytryk (THE YOUNG LIONS, RAINTREE COUNTY) enlivens this sprawling film with his sense of character and period detail. Peppard is fine as the lead, and Alan Ladd unusually accessible as the aging cowboy star, Nevada Smith. The women in the cast, though, have little to do except manipulate the men for money and sex. Fans of this sort of thing, however, should find such shallowness merely part of the racy, sudsy fun.
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