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Star 80 (1983)

A successful young model finds trouble when her obsessive manager-turned-husband becomes dangerously jealous. Based on the true story of 1980 Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten.




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Private Detective
Lisa Gordon ...
Nightclub Owner
Keith Hefner ...
Shelly Ingram ...
Sheila Anderson ...
Exotic Dancer
Meg Davis
Kathryn Witt ...


Paul Snider is a narcissistic, small time hustler who fancies himself a ladies man. His life changes when he meets Dorothy Stratten working behind the counter of a Dairy Queen. Dorothy is a pretty but naive high school senior. Paul immediately falls for Dorothy, who sees in Paul a wise, worldly person unlike herself. Paul believes Dorothy is Playboy material, the magazine he sees as only a springboard to bigger and better things. Paul's dream does become a reality: not only does Dorothy eventually marry him, she becomes the August 1979 Playboy Playmate and ultimately Playboy Playmate of 1979, which does indeed lead to the start of an acting career. As Dorothy's star rises, Paul's life is one of a hanger-on as those in Dorothy's new circle, including Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner and movie director Aram Nicholas, don't much like Paul. Paul is unable to eke out a life of his own without using Dorothy's name, which she increasingly is reluctant to provide to her husband. Those that know ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bob Fosse's Star 80  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$233,312, 13 November 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of two adult dramas with eroticism starring actress Mariel Hemingway that were made and released during the early 1980s. The movies are Star 80 (1983) and Personal Best (1982). Hemingway had also previously appeared in the controversial rape movie Lipstick (1976) and had portrayed a seventeen year-old high-school student who has a liaison with a twice-divorced forty-two year-old man in Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979) in which Hemingway was Oscar nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. See more »


A bloody hand straps a body to the table, but moments later a wide shot shows the body on the floor and the table is nowhere to be seen. See more »


Snider: I do love her.
Dorothy's Mother: What did you say?
Snider: I said I love her.
Dorothy's Mother: Funny - I could've sworn you said 'I love IT.'
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Paddy Chayefsky See more »


Referenced in The O.C.: The Groundhog Day (2007) See more »


Big Shot
Written and Performed by Billy Joel
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Achingly sad and terrifically acted.
29 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's hard to do a review of a movie where the real life events are so tragic AND this movie is sad from the start because you know how it's gonna play out. I will say though that I have seen this many times and that it is a very well done, terrifically acted movie. Obviously, no matter how good this movie was I'd prefer it not to have ever been made because I'd prefer the real life events this is based on, never to have happened at all. Since it WAS made, however I can say without a doubt that the main cast members do their job-Roberts makes you hate,dispise him with a passion and Hemmingway is fragile, lovely and achingly sweet. I have no doubt how easy it was to get swept up in the glamourous lifestyle Stratton lived, I think most people would have myself included. Seeing the story enfold as it did, and knowing the final outcome, it's hard not to yell at the screen at the end,even knowing that you can't go back in time and change the events that happened. Dorothy Stratten was young and lovely and kindhearted and had her whole life in front of her-it's hard to say one "enjoyed" a movie where the ending was so tragic and in this case true so I won't say that. But it IS a movie I have seen more then once and would recomend wholeheartedly. VERY very welldone.

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