Star 80Closed Captioning
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Based on the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winner and directed by Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winner Bob Fosse ("Cabaret," "All That Jazz"), this is the gripping true story of Dorothy Stratten, a rising young star and Playboy Playmate of the Year who was tragically murdered by her estranged husband, the small-time hustler who discovered her. Academy Award-nominee Mariel Hemingway ("Personal Best," TV's "Civil Wars") stars with Eric Roberts ("Final Analysis," "The Specialist"), who garnered a Golden Globe nomination for his role as the volatile husband, and Academy Award-winner Cliff Robertson as Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner. The New York Post calls this stylish film "one bruising blockbuster of a motion picture... powerful, harrowing, deeply affecting... unforgettable."
When Realism Goes Too Far...
When Bob Fosse's "Star 80" was released it shocked. Mariel Hemingway is exceptional in the title role, but Eric Roberts is absolutely brilliantly unhinged. For the most part, everything thing about this movie is well done. Almost a bit too well done.
Everyone once in a while a filmmaker aiming for "truth" achieves it. This is an example when a film artist achieves it and ruins the film itself. "Star 80" is an unflinching glimpse at victimization, dreams, ambition, greed, love, insanity and a horrifying result.
This film is almost impossible to watch. The vision is so bleak you want to curl up in a fetal position as the film cuts to black. 32 years later, this film is still just as nightmarish and devastating as it was back in the day.
As great as Eric Roberts is in this role, it is such an extreme performance I suspect it had a great deal to do with the abrupt halt to his career. Mariel Hemingway seemed to fall off the radar as well. This is the only movie that the great Cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, has shot that I have trouble watching. One doesn't really have too much time to get a real sense of the framing of the shots because we all know where this is headed.
This is an exceptionally well-crafted but cruel and horrifying film. It offers no catharsis or redemption. It is just too bleak.
Almost too bleak to watch.
All of this being stated, no one can dismiss a film so well made. I feel it must be ranked as a “good” film, but this is an experience that offers no hope.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 1983
- © 1983 The Ladd Company Package Design 1998 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.