- 2 hr 5 min
The Betsy is a 1978 film directed by Daniel Petrie, written by Harold Robbins and starring Laurence Olivier, Tommy Lee Jones, and Robert Duvall. Filmed on location at Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, The Betsy follows the shenanigans and tawdry affairs of Angelo Perino and the Hardeman family, owners of a crumbling automobile manufacturing company. Angelo Perino, around whom the story centers, is a race car driver of local renown. The year is 1969: Angelo has recently survived a car crash during a race and undergone a major facelift. While recuperating, the CEO of Bethlehem Motors, Loren Hardeman, contacts Angelo. He explains his company is trying to make a comeback in the market, as sales and stock have plummeted in recent years. Hardeman intends to do this by creating a brand new sports car of the future, The Betsy, named after his beautiful, pampered 18-year-old great-granddaughter. Angelo reluctantly accepts the commission, seeing it as a way to compensate for his racing career, which is undoubtedly finished. Not that he's without sufficient distraction. He's courting a British royal, Lady Bobby Ayres, and also Betsy Hardeman herself, set to inherit the car named after her and her great-grandfather's dwindling empire. Betsy is no stranger to scandalous affairs, nor is the Hardeman family. Great-grandfather Hardeman has sired a child with his own son's wife. In retaliation, his son, Loren II, has placed interim control of the company into the hands of his romantic partner. Loren I and Loren II quarrel frequently, often in the board room. Angelo busies himself with the assigned project, proposing to bring alive Loren Hardeman's conception: a brand new car with a turbine engine. He endures much resistance from the Hardemans, though Loren I often relents, squashing minor arguments to keep the creative/business process flowing. Exciting and fast paced, The Betsy is a glitzy tale of men and women who endeavor to manifest a legacy they can all be proud of.