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The Star (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 11 December 1952 (USA)
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A washed-up movie queen finds romance, but still desires a comeback.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jim Johannsen aka Barry Lester
...
Warner Anderson ...
Harry Stone
Minor Watson ...
Joe Morrison
June Travis ...
Phyllis Stone
Paul Frees ...
Richard Stanley
Robert Warwick ...
R.J., Aging Actor at Party (as Robert Warrick)
Barbara Lawrence ...
Barbara Lawrence
Fay Baker ...
Faith
Herb Vigran ...
Roy
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Storyline

Middle-aged Oscar winning actress Margaret Elliot - Maggie to those that know her - is a Hollywood has-been. Her life is in shambles. She clings to the hope of resurrecting her past movie stardom as a leading ingénue. No one will hire her, she's penniless with creditors selling off anything that she owns that is of monetary value, and she has no one to turn to that can see her through financially. She has in the past supported her sister and brother-in-law, who still want to use her as their meal ticket. Divorced from her actor husband, she shares joint custody of their teen-aged daughter Gretchen, from who Maggie tries to hide her problems. When it looks as if Maggie has hit rock bottom, Jim Johannsen re-enters her life. Jim, who once had the stage name Barry Lester, got his big break in Hollywood movies by Maggie. He came to the quick realization that he was neither good as an actor or that he wanted to do it as a profession. He now works as a boat parts supplier and mechanic. Jim ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a woman...who thought she was a star so high in the sky no man could touch her!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estrela  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fox starlet Barbara Lawrence's presence is felt even though her actual screen time is brief. Besides her fleeting cameo appearance, she is referred to at least five other times as the young nemesis to Bette Davis' aging star. She is mentioned as an up-and-coming prospect by an agent, a drunken Davis drives by her house in a mock tour of stars' homes, her image appears in a drugstore ad that confronts Davis, Davis stops to stare at a huge portrait of Lawrence before entering her prospective producer's office, and she spitefully uses Lawrence's vacant dressing room to change alter her make-up before her screen test. For added Hollywood verisimilitude, references are made to other contemporaneous Fox stars including Victor Mature, Debra Paget, Mitzi Gaynor, and Jeanne Crain. Curiously there is a reference to an actor named Ralph Bellows, who's playing the rich, stuffy second lead. This is an obvious reference to the screen persona of Ralph Bellamy, who was not under contract to Fox at the time. See more »

Goofs

Late in the movie there is a scene at the home of Harry Stone, Margaret's agent. As he is telling his wife, Phyllis, about the poor results of Margaret's screen test, the two are walking through the house. The shadow of the boom mic can be seen on the wall behind them as they are walking. See more »

Quotes

Jim Johannson aka Barry Lester: [while at the zoo, a seal is barking loudly] Listen to that seal!
Margaret Elliott: Sounds like my brother-in-law!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
1952 Davis Earns Her 9th Oscar Nomination . . .
18 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

During "The Star," Bette Davis commands the lead as Margaret Elliott, a Hollywood, Oscar-winning has been. The show is about handsome Jim Johannson (Sterling Hayden), a boat mechanic & fan of Elliott's, teaching her that there's more to life than being an actor. The adorable adolescent, Natalie Wood, plays Gretchen, Elliot's beloved daughter.

Elliot can't deal with the mid-life transition off the set & into retirement. She's so resentful she becomes a drunkard. During a classic scene, Davis uses one of her own Oscars, propped on the dashboard of Elliot's car & heads for the posh homes of the stars in Beverly Hills saying, "Come on, Oscar, let's you & me go get drunk!" Davis' portrayal of a fallen actor makes her seem older than she actually was. Of all the characters Davis embodied, I think she got Margaret Elliot spot-on! After she gives a faux sight-seeing tour of the stars' mansions to no one while drunk & driving, she lands in jail. That's when Jim bails her out, then takes her to his home on the ocean docks. The rest of the story is worth knowing.

Interestingly, this 1952 performance earned Davis her 9th Oscar nomination at 44yo. She was anything but washed up like the character she played, with 43 years of acting in movies & many more nominations & awards left to go. Davis was less than half-way into her acting career!


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