MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,432 this week

Star! (1968)

G  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  22 October 1968 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,454 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 14 critic

Film based on life of actress Gertrude Lawrence, on- and offstage, takes the opportunity to feature extravagant musical production numbers with 'Julie Andrews' , acting, singing and dancing.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

"Hand of God" - What to Watch

IMDb sits down with the cast of the thriller drama "Hand of God," including Ron Perlman, Julian Morris, Garret Dillahunt, and Alona Tal.

Watch our interview

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 08 Mar 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 11 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 16 Jul 2014
 
a list of 24 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Star!" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Star! (1968)

Star! (1968) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Star!.
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Darling Lili (1970)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set during WWI, this movie is a cute spin on the Mata Hari legend.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, Jeremy Kemp
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore
Hawaii (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Abner Hale, a rigid and humorless New England missionary, marries the beautiful Jerusha Bromley and takes her to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But ... See full summary »

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sorrowful Jones is a cheap bookie in 1930's. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her arrival and his ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Bernstein
Stars: Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews, Tony Curtis
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American naval officer's talent for living the good life in wartime is challenged when he falls in love and is sent on a dangerous mission.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During a Caribbean holiday, a British civil servant finds herself falling in love with a Russian agent.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle
Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston
Victor/Victoria (TV Movie 1995)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A woman pretending to be a man impersonating a woman.

Directors: Matthew Diamond, Blake Edwards, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Julie Andrews, Tony Roberts, Michael Nouri
S.O.B. (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A movie producer who made a huge flop tries to salvage his career by revamping his film as an erotic production, where its family-friendly star takes her top off.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, William Holden, Marisa Berenson
One Special Night (TV Movie 1999)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Robert, a general contractor, is visiting his ailing wife in a nursing home. When it's time for him to leave, he has problems getting a taxi home, because of an intense snow storm. ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Young
Stars: James Garner, Julie Andrews, Patricia Charbonneau
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man returns home with his bride-to-be, an actress, who turns out to be the sister of his family's maid.

Director: Eric Styles
Stars: Julie Andrews, Edward Atterton, William Baldwin
That's Life! (1986)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Harvey and Gillian Fairchild face a very difficult weekend. Harvey, celebrating his 60th birthday, is stressed and depressed. Gillian is awaiting the results of a throat biopsy. Their lives... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Julie Andrews, Sally Kellerman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Richard Aldrich
Michael Craig ...
Sir Anthony Spencer
Daniel Massey ...
...
Charles Fraser
Bruce Forsyth ...
Arthur Lawrence
Beryl Reid ...
Rose
John Collin ...
Jack Roper
...
Andre Charlot
Richard Karlan ...
David Holtzmann
Lynley Laurence ...
Billie Carleton
Garrett Lewis ...
Anthony Eisley ...
Ben Mitchell
Jock Livingston ...
...
Dan
Edit

Storyline

Film based on life of actress Gertrude Lawrence, on- and offstage, takes the opportunity to feature extravagant musical production numbers with 'Julie Andrews' , acting, singing and dancing. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When everyone was singing a happy song...When a girl wasn't afraid to show her heart...When all the world was this lady's stage...Those Were the Happy Times! [1969 re-issue] See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Loves of a Star!  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Massey plays Noel Coward, his own godfather. Massey made his film debut as a young boy, playing Noel Coward's son in the wartime drama, In Which We Serve (1942). See more »

Goofs

In the number "Burlington Bertie" the banana skin thrown onstage by Gertie disappears. See more »

Quotes

Noel Coward: Close personal relationships are bloody difficult, my darling but they do get easier with time. Loneliness gets harder.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only credits seen at the beginning of the film are those for a fictional black-and-white short subject about Gertrude Lawrence. The film's real credits all appear at the end. However, the Twentieth-Century Fox logo is shown only in black-and-white, and with tinny 1940's-style sound recording, as part of that fictional newsreel. We never see the logo in color and stereophonic sound, although Twentieth-Century Fox released "Star!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Silver Star! (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Piccadilly
Music by Walter Williams
Lyrics by Paul Morande and Bruce Sievier
Performed by Julie Andrews, Bruce Forsyth and Beryl Reid
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not a star; just a gas giant.
16 June 2007 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'The Sound of Music', starring Julie Andrews and directed by Robert Wise, became (for its time) the biggest box-office smash in movie history. 'Star!', a big-budget musical tailor-made for Andrews and directed by Wise for the same studio (20th Century-Fox), was expected to be a second bite of the cherry ... but it sank like a stone. This film flopped so thuddingly, one critic joked that Andrews's next movie would be a musical biography of Al Capone, titled 'Scar!'.

'Star!' is the alleged life story of Gertrude Lawrence. In 1968, few movie-goers knew her name: Lawrence was primarily a stage performer, and her few films are seldom revived. In 'Star!', the only reference to Lawrence's screen career is a brief shot of Andrews wearing a copy of Lawrence's costume from 'Rembrandt'. Next offence: During the overture, there is a long long boring static shot of an orchestra against a backdrop emblazoned with some seemingly arbitrary phrases: 'Susan and God', 'Tonight at 8.30', 'Nymph Errant' and so forth. (I'm omitting one phrase from this description; I'll return to it later.) Movie-goers in 1968 were unlikely to recognise these phrases. In fact, these are the titles of Lawrence's stage vehicles (some from Broadway, some from the West End) ... and, after the overture, most of them are never mentioned anywhere in this film!

We get that hardy cliché of movie bios: the subject is first seen in middle age, then the rest of the film is in flashback from the subject's youth or childhood. Most biopics do this as a technical necessity: James Cagney was in his forties when he played George M Cohan in 'Yankee Doodle Dandy', so we first see Cagney (in appropriate make-up) as the older Cohan; then, after the audience have accepted that Cagney is Cohan, we see the middle-aged Cagney portraying Cohan in his younger years. But this device wasn't necessary in 'Star!': Julie Andrews was young enough and fit enough to give a convincing portrayal of the young Lawrence. Yet the opening sequence gives us Andrews in dowager make-up (lamb dressed as mutton?), playing Lawrence at the oldest we'll ever see her in this movie, cueing the flashback to her youth. Also cueing an excellent title song: the only original song in this movie.

Gertrude Lawrence was a notorious scene-stealer, reluctant to share the limelight. 'Star!' appears to have scripted as if seeking Lawrence's personal approval. In real life, Lawrence became a Broadway star in 'Charlot's Revue', co-starring with Jack Buchanan and Beatrice Lillie. In 'Star!', Buchanan is a mere dancing footnote, while Lillie (whom Gertrude Lawrence despised in her later years, after their early friendship) isn't even mentioned. When Andrews as Lawrence stars in 'Lady in the Dark', there's no mention of Danny Kaye ... who became a star in that production, and who famously had to defend himself against Lawrence's scene-stealing techniques. (Andrews gives a splendid and sexy rendition here -- surely much sexier than Lawrence's original -- of 'The Saga of Jenny', Lawrence's show-stopper from 'Lady in the Dark'.)

I was delighted by Julie Andrews's performance (in male drag) of 'Burlington Bertie from Bow' ... but this song is not to my knowledge a Gertrude Lawrence speciality. The song was written for Vesta Tilley, referencing an earlier song performed by Ella Shields. Bunging it into a movie about Gertrude Lawrence would be like casting James Cagney as George M Cohan but then having him sing 'Mammy' and 'If You Knew Suzie'.

Any biopic of Gertrude Lawrence must include Noël Coward. He's brilliantly played here by his godson, Daniel Massey. Massey's duet with Andrews on 'Has Anybody Seen Our Ship?' is delightful. On the one and only occasion when I met Noël Coward, his eyes lighted up with pleasure when I asked him about Gertrude Lawrence. It was clear that he deeply and sincerely loved her ... other factors in his personal life notwithstanding.

This too-long movie falters when the music stops and Andrews as Gertie Lawrence descends into soap-opera argle-bargle. We get Gertie in a scene with the teenage daughter whom she has largely ignored in her pursuit of the limelight. The daughter is touchingly played by the young Jenny Agutter, unfortunately in an outfit that displays the birthmark on her sternum. After we've seen Lawrence shove aside everyone who got between her and the spotlight, we now hear her lamenting that all she ever really wanted was (pause, wistful smile, half-formed sob) to be truly LOVED!

I mentioned that the overture curtain contained one phrase that modern audiences would recognise. That's 'The King and I', Gertrude Lawrence's last Broadway vehicle (now perceived as a vehicle for Yul Brynner). That phrase on the curtain is the ONLY time that 'The King and I' is mentioned in 'Star!'. We never see Lawrence performing in a scene from that musical. Were Fox unwilling to have Julie Andrews share the screen with Yul Brynner? Or unwilling to have another actor impersonate Brynner? Lawrence's stint in 'The King and I' is especially poignant, as she was dying of cancer during the Broadway run ... but you'd never know it from watching 'Star!'. The biopic ends arbitrarily, with Gertrude yammering during a motor trip: 'Lady in the Dark' behind her and 'The King and I!' still unmentioned.

In the original production of 'The King and I', Gertrude Lawrence was billed over Yul Brynner. On her deathbed, Lawrence's dying request was that Brynner be given top billing. All the people who knew the selfish Lawrence were awed by this act of generosity. To which I say: Rubbish! It wasn't generosity at all, since giving top billing to Brynner would have meant taking it away from Lawrence's replacement (Constance Carpenter), not from Lawrence herself. The real Gertrude Lawrence was phony and superficial ... and so is this movie. I'll rate it 4 in 10, for the superb production values ... and for Julie Andrews's passion for this period in showbiz history.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Underated movie ringostarr-1
it gets better with time petersj-2
The King and I brandg56
The Curtain Club missgoddess1907
Fantastic chris_scott7-1
'Star!' and 'Funny Girl' - Who stole from whom? tgas
Discuss Star! (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?