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Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor (2018)

Mary Astor has to make a difficult choice after learning her personal diaries have been stolen.

Director:

Alexa Foreman

Writer:

Alexa Foreman
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lee Grant ... Narrator
Molly Haskell ... Herself - Film Critic / Author
Leonard Maltin ... Himself - Film Critic / Historian
Ken Bass Ken Bass ... Himself - Attorney / Author
Kevin Thomas Kevin Thomas ... Himself - L.A. Times Film Critic
Marylyn Roh Marylyn Roh ... Herself - Daughter of Mary Astor
Tracey Marks Tracey Marks ... Herself - Forensic Psychiatrist (as Dr. Tracy Marks)
David Wyler David Wyler ... Himself - Producer
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Storyline

Mary Astor has to make a difficult choice after learning her personal diaries have been stolen.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 2018 (USA) See more »

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Marylyn Roh, Herself - Daughter of Mary Astor: Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke was her maiden name. Mary Astor, being my mother, I should know a lot about her. Right?
[laughs]
Marylyn Roh, Herself - Daughter of Mary Astor: The first thing that comes to mind is that she was very complicated.
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Connections

References The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting but seemingly one-sided.
7 January 2020 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I just watched this documentary on TCM and I enjoyed it...though I also felt that the picture also seemed a tad one-sided and not exactly objective. Still, it is interesting and well worth seeing.

The film is about the famous custody battle between Mary Astor and her ex-husband. But first, the film backs up a bit to tell about Mary's childhood and how she was exploited by her parents. Then, it talks a bit (and only a bit) about the troubled marriage between Mary and her husband. Initially, Mary agreed to give her husband full custody of their daughter and a very healthy settlement....and then you learn it is because he was essentially blackmailing her, as he had her diaries which apparently had some very incriminating content. Essentially, she'd been having an affair while they were married...though to be fair, her husband also had been having an affair AND gave his girlfriend an abortion, as he was an OBGYN! What's next? Watch the film.

As I said, I enjoyed the film but also felt that in a couple ways it was flawed. The daughter, it turned out, did not have a happy childhood. It didn't indicate what sort of father her dad had been, but she described a sad life after going to her mother--growing up in a boarding school. But because this seemed to go against the spirit of the film that Mary was a great lady, it was only briefly mentioned. Additionally, the film really played up her role in DODSWORTH. It was perhaps the best film of the 1930s....possibly even better than GONE WITH THE WIND. But the documentary seems to credit ALL of this to Mary....and the writer (Sinclair Lewis), the great director (William Wyler) and amazing leading man (Walter Houston) were given little credit....or so it seemed to me. All in all, a good but flawed documentary that seemed more concerned with praising Mary Astor instead of giving a more objective overview of the custody battle and her life beyond that. I guess they choose to make it a film about Mary, whereas I was really looking for a film about the custody battle.


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