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Movies: “The Carpetbaggers”

June 13, 1963 - Filming of “The Carpetbaggers” Paramount’s version of Harold Robbins’s novel about Hollywood, began on the West Coast today, with Alan Ladd, George Peppard, Carroll Baker, Robert Cummings, and Martha Hyer in featured roles. Edward Dmytryk is directing. The story centers on Jonas Cord (Peppard), a disagreeable young tycoon who's building planes, directing films, and catting around in 1930s Hollywood. In the U.S., the term “carpetbagger” refers to an outsider relocating to exploit locals. It derives from postbellum Southern U.S. usage, where it referred specifically to opportunistic Northerners who flocked to the occupied southern states in hopes of increasing their political, financial, and social power during Reconstruction. In Robbins' novel, the exploited territory is the film industry, and the newcomer is a wealthy heir to an industrial fortune who, like Howard Hughes, simultaneously pursued aviation and filmmaking avocations. Miss Baker’s character is reported to be loosely based on late film actress Jean Harlow. Elmer Bernstein will compose the film’s musical score.


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