American Cinema (1995– )
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The Star 



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Episode credited cast:
John Lithgow ... Himself - Host
Kathleen Turner ... Herself - Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joan Crawford ... (archive footage)
Jane Russell ... Herself
John Waters ... Himself


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Release Date:

1995 (USA) See more »

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Good Look at the Movie Star
15 March 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

American Cinema: The Star (1995)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Another very good entry in the American Cinema series, this one taking a look at the movie star and how their control and power has changed over the decades. We get interviews with many famous faces including Jack Lemmon, Julia Roberts, John Waters, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Arthur Wilde, Jane Russell and an archival interview with Joan Crawford. The documentary, for some reason, pretty much overlooks the entire silent movie stars and kicks off with the factory studios in the 30s, which were turning out the likes of Davis, Crawford, Cagney, Bogart and then we move to the 50s and actors like Brando. The documentary does a pretty good job at talking about the changes from the 30s up through other decades and covers a few scandals like the Lana Turner situation with her daughter. We learn how early on the studios could protect who a movie star was in their real lives by paying people off if trouble did happen but once television got involved it was hard to protect stars from themselves. Jack Lemmon talks about being able to work in an older Hollywood and compares it to the current one and even talks about working with Monroe on SOME LIKE IT HOT. Fans of Hollywood and its history might not learn anything they haven't heard before but this is still a very entertaining piece. It's also clear that they wanted to show off Julia Roberts as she's not only interviewed but also gets a lot of talk about being the current star.

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