7.2/10
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43 user 10 critic

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:
... Margaret Elliot
... Jim Johannsen aka Barry Lester
... Gretchen
... Harry Stone
... Joe Morrison
... Phyllis Stone
... Richard Stanley
... R.J., Aging Actor at Party (as Robert Warrick)
... Barbara Lawrence
... Faith
... 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

At least two different Oscar statuettes were used in the "c'mon, Oscar, let's you and me get drunk" sequence. For the first 18 years, Oscar statuettes had a short base. Starting with the 1946 awards (presented in 1947), Oscar statuettes had a taller pedestal base with a brass collar designed for personalized engraving. The statuette that Maggie holds in her apartment and in front of her old house have the pre-1946 base. The one she sets on the dashboard of her car has the newer pedestal base. The switch was made because the Oscar had to rest its head on the backside of the car's rear-view mirror in order to balance on the dashboard while Maggie drove around. Davis' two pre-1946 Oscars were too short, so a newer Oscar was used during shots of the car's interior. See more »

Goofs

When Margaret Elliot goes out to drive with her Oscar, in the shot from inside the car she puts it behind the far side of the rear-view mirror. In the next shot, from outside the car, it has suddenly moved to the mirror's side nearest to her. See more »

Quotes

[to her Oscar statuette]
Margaret Elliott: Come on, Oscar, let's you and me get drunk!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hamlet (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Over The Top...What A View!
28 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is Bette Davis in all her tempestuous, splendid fury and indignation. As Oscar-winning actress Margaret Elliot, she is now given the go by from her own studio in favor of younger Hollywood fillies like Barbara Lawrence who is thrown at the viewer like a new car off the assembly line.

Margaret Elliot is down to cases,bankrupt, with no prospects and is suffering the ignominy of seeing her former household possessions being sold on the auction block to satisfy her creditors,with rock bottom bids at that. Even her relatives are still putting the bite on her for monthly touches she can no longer provide, resulting in an explosive scene which only Miss Davis could deliver.

One of the most searing moments occurs when Margaret takes her "Oscar"(even more unsettling knowing that statuette is,indeed, one of Miss Davis's Best Actress awards) on a drunken odyssey through residential Hollywood. Behind the wheel,she grazes fenders, screams like a wounded banshee at motorists who happen to be driving on the same road as she is and lashes out verbally in front of the house where Barbara Lawrence resides. Her subsequent incarceration for DUI is as demoralizing as the clearly visible toilet inside the cell photographed in publicity stills.

'The Star' has a seedy look to it, which is desirable for this flick as we get a glimpse of Hollywood's underbelly during the early 1950's. One can almost imagine rows of palm trees rooted in used coffee cans with the scent of chicory mixed with cigarette butts. Even Miss Davis's wardrobe is downright frumpy, straight off the Woolworth's rack. Only when she does her screen test for an possible bit part in a movie does she try to project herself as a sexy tart with disastrous results.

The only jarring note to this movie is the appearance of Natalie Wood as Margaret Elliot's teenage daughter. She is bubbling with youthful enthusiasm, quite startling against this cynical, world weary backdrop. Sterling Hayden provides the obligatory beefcake and an ample shoulder for Margaret to cry on.

'The Star' radiates like the hood ornament on the Cadillac Margaret Elliot drives on approval before the studio dashes her dreams yet again and the repo man chases after yet another falling 'Star'.

Rate this *** out of **** stars.


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