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The Betsy (1978)

R | | Drama | 9 February 1978 (USA)
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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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Hardeman
Alicia Hardeman
Jake Weinstein
Paul Rudd ...
Loren Hardeman Jr.
John Duncan
Richard Venture ...
Angelo Luigi Perino
Joe Warren


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>

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




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Release Date:

9 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harold Robbins' The Betsy  »

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Did You Know?


This movie was the third of four films which featured Jane Alexander (Alicia Hardeman) and Edward Herrmann (Dan Weyman), the most famous of which, were the two Eleanor and Franklin (1976) television movies, in 1976 and 1977. See more »


Angelo Perino: I gather you didn't enjoy being a racer's wife.
Lady Bobby Ayres: Well, let's just say I was a widow long before my husband died.
See more »


Referenced in American Masters: Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the all time great Bad Movies We Love
18 March 2000 | by See all my reviews

This is one of my two favorite Bad Movies I Love, the other one being "Trapped by the Mormons." I watch this after seeing nothing but Italian Neorealism and French tragedies for a couple weeks, to remind myself of what really bad films look like, and how wonderful they can be when life has gotten too serious.

Think of this film as being "Dynasty" with a bigger budget. The basic concept is American Excess At Its Finest. If it had been shown during the Communist era in Russia, I'm sure it would have been great propaganda for the evils of capitalism.

"The Betsy" involves cars instead of oil (as in "Dynasty"). Olivier has the Blake Carrington part, except that John Forsythe is much better in the role. (I read Olivier's bio, and in it he does indeed state that when he got older and had to support one current and two former wives, that doing things for the money was a fine thing.) Leslie Anne Down has the Joan Collins role. Katherine Ross has the Linda Evans role. I don't know whose role Tommy Lee Jones has, but it's the General Stud Muffin Deluxe part, and yes, in his youth, he could pull it off.

Anyhow, this is the perfect film to see when you've had a bad week and need pure, stupid escapist fare -- sort of like why we all were addicted to "Dynasty" and "Dallas" for years!

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