The Star Maker (L'uomo delle stelle) (1995)

The Star Maker (L'uomo delle stelle)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This Italian film was released in 1995 and slowly made its way around the world; its English title is The Star Maker. Like the Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso by the same writer-director, Guiseppe Tornatore, it's drenched in the filmmaker's love for cinema. In Sicily in the early 1950s, Joe Morelli (Sergio Castellitto) is a con man who travels by truck from village to village posing as a film company representative. For a fee, he offers the rubes screen tests, using passages from a script of Gone … More

Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Giuseppe Tornatore
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 4, 2003



as Joe Morelli

as Mastropaolo

as Mute Man

as Anna's mother

as Bordonaro

as Primo Badalamenti
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Star Maker (L'uomo delle stelle)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (14)

The movie is not as special as Cinema Paradiso, but in its own way it is enchanted, too. Mother of God, what faces.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The central story, belatedly introduced, may prove rudely downbeat for viewers who lapped up Paradiso's sentiment.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 21, 1995
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Star Maker (L'uomo delle stelle)


Who is that woman in the poster? This movie about movies is nice but not nearly as well-put-together as Cinema Paradiso. Some of the villagers' screen tests/confessions are moving and revealing, but there are too many commonplace ones that slow down the pace at the beginning. As such, Joe and Beata's love story doesn't have time to develop. Who IS Beata? Why does she seem to be the only audition to move Joe? The sex scene is pretty hot though.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

'Tomorrow is another day.' A memorable and heart wrenching tribute to Sicily! This film captures the soul of the Sicilian post-WWII experience, candidly revealing its peoples joys and sorrows, desires and dreams. The Roman con-man, Morelli, drives through Sicily posing as a film talent scout, charging 1500 lire for a screen test. Traveling through the island‚??s rugged, natural beauty, we observe an agricultural economy, devastated by war and peppered with villages dominated by a church, piazza and, sometimes, a tiny cinema. This is an older, harder way of life, entrenched in poverty and corruption. And, the faces, the faces stamped by experience, so many, varied and revealing faces: the young and old, rich and poor, crazy, the ‚??seduced and abandoned,‚?? whore, and homosexual; the carabinieri, the mafia, monarchists, anarchists, fascists, communists, and Christian Democrats. Every townsperson has a dream to escape for a better life.

Appearance and performance are embedded in Italian culture: All Italians are born actors! Many American viewers may not realize that the possibility of starring or participating in movies was a very real one at the time. By definition, the neo-realist directors used natural settings and non-actors in their films; People were selected for their faces and distinct characteristics. Female, Italian screen stars, such as Magnano, Bose, Lollobrigida, Loren and Cardinale, launched their film careers by winning regional beauty contests. Some auteurs actually preferred non-professional actors to achieve their cinematic visions because they required minimal coaching and could be directed. Rossellini tied a string to a non-professional‚??s toe and tugged on it when he wanted him to move. Fellini was notorious for providing no dialogue until shooting the scene and posing his characters, earning him the moniker of puppet master.

So, although Morelli exploits the Sicilians‚?? hopes, he also makes no promises. His crime is not the swindle, but his disrespect for his inadvertent role of confessor. He is imprisoned for violating trust and dishonoring the Sicilian people. Morelli‚??s return to the mainland of Italy is a poignant, poetic, unifying and redemptive montage of Sicilian experience, national identity and humanity. This film is deserving of much more acclaim and credit than it has earned.

Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


Joe Morelli is a scoundrel who cheats illiterate sicilian villagers with dreams of stardom, shooting faux screen tests from town to town until unusual circumstances force his prosperous swindling business to end on sour note.

Great performance by Sergio Castellitto, as an irascible demagogue who stirs up the masses. Arousing the wishes of peasants, criminals and officials, gaining tremendous popularity among them, especially in a young, beautiful and impressionable girl named Beata.

Follows the same tread of "cinema paradiso" and though it can't reach the level of poetry and pathos of that film, it has wonderful moments too.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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