The aging, retired founder of an auto giant comes out of retirement to try to develop a safe, fuel-efficient car.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Number One
...
Loren Hardeman III
...
Sally Hardeman
...
Angelo Perino
...
Alicia Hardeman
...
Lady Bobby Ayres
...
Jake Weinstein
...
Betsy Hardeman
...
Dan Weyman
Paul Rudd ...
Loren Hardeman Jr.
...
John Duncan
Richard Venture ...
Mark Sampson
Titos Vandis ...
Angelo Luigi Perino
...
Joe Warren
...
Mrs. Craddock
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Storyline

The patriarch of a family-owned corporation hires a young race car driver to help him design a fuel efficient car in secrecy. They face resistance from the president of the company (the patriarch's grandson), who wishes to eliminate the motor car division because of bad blood between himself and his grandfather. During flashbacks, a parallel set of problems is revealed in the family's past, problems that persist into the present, and the race car driver gets deeper into the web of deception and corporate intrigue. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Harold Robbins people. What you dream...they do!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harold Robbins' The Betsy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$17,685,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Jake Weinstein (portrayed by Joseph Wiseman) was loosely based on infamous mob financier Meyer Lansky, who was also the basis for the character of Hyman Roth (portrayed by Lee Strasberg) in The Godfather: Part II (1974), four years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Lady Bobby Ayres: You want the whole f*****g empire, don't you?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Movie Madness (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whaddaya Expect from a Harold Robbin's novel?
11 May 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the Star Trek sequels has Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann referred to as the "Old Masters." Personally, I'm betting that The Carpetbaggers or The Betsy will not be on a high school English class reading list in about 200 years.

The Betsy, by the way, refers to both Kathleen Beller's character and a newly designed car named for her by her great grandfather the patriarch of an automobile pioneer family. Said patriarch is played by none other than Sir Laurence Olivier, arguably the greatest actor the English speaking world has ever produced.

He was certainly thought of as that at the time The Betsy was made. He had nothing to prove as a player in 1978, but Olivier was concerned about leaving a nice sizable estate for his children. So he did take on projects like these that were guaranteed box office.

I have to say Olivier's Loren Hardiman was an offbeat part for him. Prominent in the Olivier bag of thespian tricks is a great ear for accents. Hard to believe that this is the same actor who gave us definitive film versions of Hamlet, Richard III, and Othello.

In filming one of Harold Robbins empire and scandal novels all you can do is ham it up. And following Lord Olivier's cue the rest of the cast hams it up big time. I'm surprised no one in television thought of this as a Dallas like series.

The Betsy has the usual business double dealing and sexual peccadilloes that saturate a Robbins epic. If that's your taste you'll love The Betsy.

An errant thought just struck me. What if someone had thought to hire Sir Laurence Olivier as Jock Ewing in Dallas. I think he'd have done it for the right price and he could have pulled it off.


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