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The Star (1952)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 11 December 1952 (USA)
Trailer
1:44 | Trailer
A washed-up movie queen finds romance, but still desires a comeback.

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Writers:

Dale Eunson (original screenplay), Katherine Albert (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Margaret Elliot
Sterling Hayden ... Jim Johannsen aka Barry Lester
Natalie Wood ... Gretchen
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
Learn more

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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:

Twinkle, twinkle klieg-light star...be the woman that you are. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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

When Margaret pulls up to Jim's place in her new Cadillac, lights, equipment and crew are visible in the car's polished left side. See more »

Quotes

Margaret Elliott: Haven't you ever cried because you're happy?
Gretchen: No.
Margaret Elliott: Well, you see, some people cry when they're happy and laugh when they're mad.
See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

Somewhat depressing but fascinating
23 July 2017 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Davis (in an Oscar-nominated performance) plays Margaret Elliot as washed out has been actress. She was big once but now can't get a job. She's divorced and penniless but refuses to give up hope for one more acting job. She also has a man who loves her (Sterling Hayden) and is trying to get her to face reality. There's also a scene or two of Margaret with her daughter played by an impossibly young Natalie Wood.

It's a depressing movie of course but you can't stop watching. It's short (89 minutes) and moves quickly. It does have a ridiculously false but happy ending that had me getting misty-eyed. This is worth seeing for Davis alone. She's just great. She also gleefully said she modeled her character after Joan Crawford! OUCH!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Star See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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