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The Star


Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Natalie Wood Photo
Natalie Wood as Gretchen
Bette Davis Photo
Bette Davis as Margaret Elliot
Paul Frees Photo
Paul Frees as Richard Stanley
James Anderson Photo
James Anderson as Bailey - Actor playing Jed Garfield in The Fatal Winter
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
829.62 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 12 / 27
1.5 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
P/S 18 / 71

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall7 / 10

"Come on Oscar, let's you and me get drunk!"

Ironic isn't it, that Bette Davis would get a Best Actress Oscar nomination for a role in which she portrays a washed up actress? There's a great 'Sunset Boulevard' moment in the story when she affirms to her daughter Gretchen (Natalie Wood) , "...if you're a star, you don't stop being a star". One has to wonder how many past and present movie celebrities go through the same run of emotions once their individual star has burned out.

More than anything, the story line deals with someone lying to everyone including themselves about hanging on to past glory. I thought the picture hit the proverbial wall when Margaret Elliot (Davis) really believed she could land a role calling for an eighteen year old. That takes some kind of chutzpa when you're in your mid-Forties and haven't aged particularly well. She finally figured it out when she saw the screen test, at least her eyesight wasn't affected along with her poor judgment.

I don't know if there's a quintessential Bette Davis role; Margo Channing in "All About Eve" might come the closest, but of her lesser known films this one comes close to capturing her essence as an actress. It's a good film with a good story that the tabloids of today would eat up in a heartbeat.

Reviewed by planktonrules8 / 10

Like a knife in the back from Bette Davis!

Much of the reason Bette Davis did this movie was because it was apparently a movie based, in part, on the life of Joan Crawford. While this was never announced by the studio for fear of legal action, Bette apparently delighted in doing the part because she loathed Joan so much! Oddly, the movie also COULD have been based on Davis' life as well, as there were also many parallels, but I doubt if Miss Davis noticed this.

The star in the title refers to a down and out and faded movie star who is all but forgotten and given to getting drunk and screwing up her life. As a result, it is a very tough film to watch, as your skin crawls in embarrassment at just how low this actress has fallen. However, despite this, it is an excellent and "in your face" melodrama about the dark side of stardom. Davis' performance is excellent and just plain creepy!

Reviewed by ferbs548 / 10

Once A Star, Always A Star

In 1950, in one of her greatest films, "All About Eve," Bette Davis, in the role of Margo Channing, played a Broadway stage actress "of a certain age" who has become fearful about her future career and personal attractiveness. Two years later, Ms. Davis essayed a similar kind of role--an aging Hollywood actress who can no longer get parts and who is on the edge of bankruptcy--in Stuart Heisler's "The Star." When we first encounter Margaret Elliot, she is standing outside an auction house that is selling off all her worldly effects, the words "Going, going, gone" also serving as a cruel commentary on her vanishing career. A former Oscar winner, Margaret is now divorced, broke and with little in the way of prospects. Her young daughter Gretchen (played by 14-year-old Natalie Wood, here on the cusp of womanhood) still reveres her, but to the rest of Tinseltown, she is "box office poison." After serving a night in the can for a DUI, Margaret is bailed out by her one-time fellow actor Jim Johannsen (played by the great Sterling Hayden). The possibility is held out for a normal life with this gentle and understanding man, but can Margaret resist the urge to try for a comeback, in the form of an "older sister" screen test?

Often seen as a film that closely parallels Davis' own career, "The Star" is only analogous to a certain point. Like that of Margaret Elliot, Davis' career of course had its ups and downs, its Oscar win(s) and its fights with the studio system. But unlike Margaret, Davis would go on to appear in many more great pictures in her later years (such as "The Virgin Queen," "The Catered Affair," "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?," "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte," "The Nanny," "The Whales of August" and on and on). Still, Davis must have identified closely with her character here, and it shows in some truly great work. In a film with numerous compelling scenes, two with Davis especially stand out: her drunk-driving episode while clutching her Oscar in one hand and a bottle in the other, simultaneously giving the imaginary listener a tour of Hollywood ("On your left is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Brinkman...better known to you tourists as Jeanne Crain...."),and the sequence in which she reacts, in horror, to the results of her most recent screen test. Bette, indeed, at her finest, and certainly worthy of her real-life Oscar nomination for her work here. Hayden, of course, is at his sterling best; how nice to see him playing a tender, kindly role, for a change, coming back into Margaret's life as some kind of impossibly understanding guardian angel. In another strange parallel, Hayden, an ex-sailor who became an actor to raise money for a boat, here plays an ex-actor who gives up his career to become a boat mechanic! And how strange to see Natalie, with her well-known fear of ships and the water, here blithely bouncing all over the deck of Johannsen's schooner!

"The Star" is a compact film, coming in at 90 minutes, and Heisler serves it well. Five years earlier, he had directed Susan Hayward in her breakout film, "Smash-up: The Story of a Woman," which also featured a frustrated female entertainer going on a drunken bender. "The Star" is at least the equal of that great film, and indeed features what turns out to be an essential Bette Davis performance. No, it is not as fine a picture as "All About Eve" (few films are),but is still eminently likable, memorable and praiseworthy. All this, and a Hollywood happy ending, too!

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