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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.

Director:

Daniel Petrie

Writers:

Harold Robbins (novel), William Bast (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Olivier ... Number One
Robert Duvall ... Loren Hardeman III
Katharine Ross ... Sally Hardeman
Tommy Lee Jones ... Angelo Perino
Jane Alexander ... Alicia Hardeman
Lesley-Anne Down ... Lady Bobby Ayres
Joseph Wiseman ... Jake Weinstein
Kathleen Beller ... Betsy Hardeman
Edward Herrmann ... Dan Weyman
Paul Rudd Paul Rudd ... Loren Hardeman Jr.
Roy Poole ... John Duncan
Richard Venture Richard Venture ... Mark Sampson
Titos Vandis ... Angelo Luigi Perino
Clifford David ... Joe Warren
Inga Swenson ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harold Robbins' The Betsy See more »

Filming Locations:

Detroit, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$17,685,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was a bit of a family affair for Director Daniel Petrie. One of his daughters, Mary Petrie had a credited role as a nurse, and younger son Donald Petrie was credited on-screen as a Production Assistant, but was actually Sir Laurence Olivier's off-screen driver. See more »

Quotes

Loren Hardeman III: I'll tell you this, Angelo: you have the makings of a good Hardeman. God help you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ecstasy Girls (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watchable trash but trash nonetheless
24 January 2006 | by jrs-8See all my reviews

I have always been curious as to how so many big name stars came to agree to appear in "The Betsy". Was Harold Robbins' name alone enough for them to believe they were starring in a hit? Perhaps they all were paid handsomely. I hope it's the latter. As you might expect with Harold Robbins' name on the title "The Betsy" is about sex and greed and sex and power and sex and murder and sex. This is pure trash all the way but if you don't take it seriously and catch yourself in a goofy mood then you might enjoy it.

The story is simple. A family headed by patriarch Laurence Olivier manufacture cars and become wealthy and powerful. That's all you really need to know. This family is one sick group. Take for example one scene early on in the movie. A boy (who would grow up to be Robert Duvall) witnesses his father committing suicide. He runs upstairs to be with his mom (Katherine Ross) only to find her in bed shagging grandpa Olivier. All in a matter of moments for this poor kid. And yet he still grows up and goes to work for Olivier. You can't take the story seriously for a second.

Also on hand are Tommy Lee Jones as a stud race car driver and the beautiful Lesley-Anne Down as his mistress who happens to be Duvall's wife. She is sexy and alluring and almost worth the price of admission. And then there is Duvall's granddaughter who seduces Jones on her 18th birthday. The Carrington family from "Dynasty" almost seem normal next to this clan.

Trash movie lovers unite. This is a film for you. It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me but I still sit there and shake my head at many scenes more then just enjoying the garbage being presented.


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