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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
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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! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis reported that she modeled her performance as the aging, has been, drunken 'star' actress in the film after Joan Crawford, a real actress who was Bette Davis' contemporary, competition, and a lifelong enemy which she publicly ridiculed throughout both their careers; to what extent this is true could be argued, but there's no question about her wearing the famous Crawford ankle strap shoes when she views her disastrous screen test. Joan Crawford was not impressed with Davis' portrayal commenting, "Of course I had heard she was supposed to be playing me, but I didn't believe it. Did you see the picture? It couldn't possibly be me. Bette looked so old, and so dreadfully overweight." See more »

Goofs

When Margaret goes to work in a department store, she descends an escalator and all sorts of electrical cables from the film production can be seen on the floor beneath. 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

Remade as Lux Video Theatre: The Star (1956) See more »

User Reviews

 
C'mon Oscar, let's you and me go get drunk!
9 March 2001 | by Boyo-2See all my reviews

Bette Davis is doing a dry-run/out of town opening for her own future in "The Star". Playing a actress down on her luck and getting it from all sides (creditors are selling her possessions, her ex-husbands' new wife is constantly condescending and her sister is always at the door for a crisp $20.), her only refuge is her daughter, played by Natalie Wood in what appears to be her gawky, teenage phase.

Bette smokes as much as usual, completely blows her top at least five times, and in the most memorable scene, takes her Oscar on a drunken tour of all the young actresses houses - good thing they all live on the same street!

This character is a step below Margo Channing, well on her way to Baby Jane Hudson. Davis received her second-to-last Oscar nomination - her last being for "Baby Jane". She owns the screen because she brings a humanity to the character - she still has her pride, even though that doesn't get you very far in a town with a short memory.

I believe the Oscar used was one of Bette's - at least they didn't use one of those phony ones. Its a symbol in the movie of what once was.

I give Davis a lot of credit for playing characters close to her own life ( I would imagine even she felt the ageism of Hollywood ) and when she says that she's directed more than one director, you can tell she knows what she's talking about.

Its also poignant and a little disturbing to see Natalie Wood on a sailboat at one point.


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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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