Original Australian Daybill Poster The Carpetbaggers
The Carpetbaggers is a 1964 American drama film directed by Edward Dmytryk, based on the best-selling novel The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins. It stars George Peppard as Jonas Cord, a character based loosely on Howard Hughes, and Alan Ladd in his last role as Nevada Smith, a former western gunslinger turned actor. Carroll Baker, Martha Hyer, Bob Cummings, and Elizabeth Ashley also star. The film is a landmark of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, venturing further than most films of the period with its heated sexual embraces, innuendo, and sadism between men and women, much like the novel, where "there is sex and/or sadism every 17 pages". Filmed in 35mm Panavision, this was one of the first movies to be blown up to 70mm ("Panavision 70") for premiere screening. The Carpetbaggers premiered in Denver, Colorado on April 9, 1964 and went on to be a large commercial success. It grossed $28,409,547 at the domestic box office making it the 4th highest-grossing film of 1964. Due to its success, a prequel was filmed and released two years later. Ladd's part was taken by Steve McQueen. McQueen was chosen for the role of Smith as a much younger man named Max Sand who makes up the name Nevada Smith when he infiltrates the gang of a man he intends to kill.