American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him... See full summary »
Steven Hilliard Stern
LA cops Gould and Blake get in over their heads when they don't heed orders from above and go after a big crime boss. While higher ups in the police department want the cop duo to just ... See full summary »
In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.
A successful but stressed mathematics professor (Clayburgh) goes to her father's wedding and falls in love with her father's bride's son (Douglas), a prematurely retired pro baseball player... See full summary »
The 18th June 1982 edition of show-business trade paper "Daily Variety' reported that the 20th Century Fox film studio developed a new piece of lighting equipment especially for this picture. The lighting unit, which reportedly could shine up the same as "ten of the industry's largest arc lamps", took about one month to build, and was nick-named "The Big Fox Light". The light had the following technical specifications: it was made of aluminum, it operated via a hydrocrane remote control, it had a light emission capacity of up to a level of eighteen million candle power units, was capable of eliminating any shadows produced during daytime shooting, it could facilitate location filming when illumination was required, and its length and width dimensions measured 11 x 11 feet. See more »
At the Atlanta Braves game Michael Douglas is sitting next to Hal Holbrook to Holbrook's left. In two wide angle shots of the seats Michael Douglas does not appear. Just Holbrook's wife and Douglas' wife. See more »
Dr. Harold Lewin:
How can someone torture a child? How do you erase that sound from your head? Those two are creatures, they're not human beings.
See more »
Actress Fritzi Burr's performance as Judge Alice McCardle was accidentally left of the movie's credits. The 10th August 1983 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety' reports that Peter Hyams, producer Frank Yablans and the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation ran an advertisement apologizing for this mistake and oversight and praising Burr for her acting contribution to the movie. See more »
They were making a cerebral vigilante movie and an action film broke out.
When "The Star Chamber" was released to theaters in 1983, the movie bombed at the box office. I was lucky to see the movie in its second week of release. I have seen the movie several times on cable TV and video and even though the movie had some good ideas, it was ruined by turning it into a mindless, sometimes laughable action thriller.
The story (by Roderick Taylor with the script co-written by Taylor and director Peter Hyams) rose slightly above the usual vigilante movie clichés. The movie asks what if some judges, frustrated by the law that they are supposed to uphold, took matters into their own hands? Despite strong evidence that would incriminate the accused, the judges have to reject the evidence on technicalities, freeing the accused individuals.
Though the film has a strong cast, I though Michael Douglas was a little too young to play a judge (he was 39 at the time the movie was released). Hal Holbrook is essentially playing the same role he played in Hyams other "what if?" conspiracy thriller a few years earlier (Capricorn One): the veteran judge who is involved in this conspiracy and gets the Douglas character involved.
Yaphet Kotto does what he can in the underwritten role of the L.A. police detective investigating the case. Sharon Gless is wasted as Douglas' understanding wife. Veteran character actors Don Calfa and Joe Regalbuto (Frank Fontana from "Murphy Brown") played the unsympathetic, cartoon criminals who are on the Chamber's hit list.
Only James B. Sikking's performance as a victim's father who finds himself in prison when he tries to take the law into his own hands, came through. It was a very sympathetic and heartbreaking. In retrospect, it's interesting that Sikking played the SWAT commander on "Hill Street Blues" when the movie was released.
Hyams' films (including "2010", "The Presidio", "Outland", the previously mentioned "Capricorn One", even the Jean Claude Van Damme flicks "Timecop" and "Sudden Death") are interesting to look at. "The Star Chamber" is no exception. But many of his films tend to disappoint and, sadly, "The Star Chamber" is also on that list.
Update (July 2006): The current DVD cover of the movie is misleading. It has Michael Douglas holding a gun. In the film, his character never used a gun. What's up with the 20th Century Fox marketing department trying to mislead potential viewers of this movie?
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