The Carpetbaggers (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Carpetbaggers1964

The Carpetbaggers (1964)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set in the '20s and '30s and based on Harold Robbin's book, this drama chronicles the life of millionaire Jonas Cord, Jr. (George Peppard) who inherits his father's business and who has no scruples in romance nor business until his older friend, Nevada Smith (Alan Ladd--whose performance here was his last) knocks some sense into him. Robbins insists that his story was not based on the life of Howard Hughes.

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George Peppard
as Jonas Cord
Carroll Baker
as Rina Marlowe Cord
Bob Cummings
as Dan Pierce
Alan Ladd
as Nevada Smith
Martha Hyer
as Jennie Denton
Elizabeth Ashley
as Monica Winthrop
Lew Ayres
as McAllister
Martin Balsam
as Bernard B. Norman
Ralph Taeger
as Buzz Dalton
Archie Moore
as Jedediah
Leif Erickson
as Jonas Cord Sr.
Arthur Franz
as Morrissey
Tom Tully
as Amos Winthrop
Audrey Totter
as Prostitute
Tom Lowell
as David Woolf
Francesca Bellini
as Cynthia Randall
Gladys Holland
as French Nurse
Lynn Borden
as Starlet
Lisa Seagram
as Moroni's Secretary
Don Diamond
as Gambler
Ann Doran
as Woman Reporter
Don 'Red' Barry
as Sound Man
Peter Duryea
as Assistant Director
Tony Regan
as Theater Manager
Joe Turkel
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Carpetbaggers

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1)

The film was a blockbuster back in 1964 and could have been seen as the last word in silver screen sleaze ... at least as far as mainstream America was concerned.

April 19, 2003 | Full Review…

Even the downright smuttiness of The Carpetbaggers has an engaging period innocence.

March 16, 2020 | Full Review…

The one bit of life in the film, the wife (Elizabeth Ashley) is played with a Broadway flippancy that spares us the feeling that something good may be getting hurt.

January 24, 2020 | Full Review…

The Carpetbaggers has the outsize awfulness of Holly- wood at its worst, multiplied by a large cast and much supposedly shocking action that clearly comes from the much more outspoken novel.

July 12, 2018 | Full Review…

The sleazy pulp film was a blockbuster smash hit upon its release, proving to Hollywood that bad taste pays big dividends.

March 30, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…

One of the all-time great potboilers featuring a powerhouse performance by the always underrated George Peppard.

October 8, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Carpetbaggers


Glossy junk.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


It would be so fucking awesome if TCM and my cable company could synchronize their watches so I won't miss the end of any movies my DVR records. Because of this I invested 2 1/2 hours of my life only to miss the last 2 minutes of The Carpetbaggers. This isn't to say I completely wasted my time because I really dug what I saw. Picture Russ Meyer making a cleaned-up, yet trashy mixture of Citizen Kane, Written on the Wind and The Aviator. George Peppard plays a megalomaniacal asshole, Carroll Baker plays the opportunistic slut trying to do right and Alan Ladd plays the leathery, alcoholic father figure. The score is good and you know you're in for some fun from as early as the sensationalist title sequence--because really, what can you expect from shots of clouds at 10,00 feet with oversaturated red lettering flying at you?

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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