The Star (1952)
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as Margaret Elliot
as Mrs. Morrison
as Mrs. Adams
as Peggy Morgan
as Keith Barkley
as Richard Stanley
Critic Reviews for The Star
Bette Davis received her ninth Oscar nomiation for this formulatic melodrama about a fading, alcoholic movie star, saved by the help of a young actor (Sterling Hayden).
Nearly washed-up Davis essaying completely washed-up Davis.
The Star is good for that one Saturday night or some kind of gathering among friends...
The fact that she's a petty has-been that squandered all her money doesn't really endear her to us or make us feel sorry for her plight
Audience Reviews for The Star
Bette Davis tries to recapture former glory but ultimately comes up short in this comeback film. Underwhelming.
Bette Davis's 10th Oscar nomination for Best Actress came in 1952 for "The Star," when, incidentally, Joan Crawford was also nominated (for "Sudden Fear"). Both lost to Shirley Booth, for "Come Back, Little Sheba." "The Star" is not a great film by any stretch, but it's a good one. It tells the story of a movie star terrified of losing her stardom after turning 40. Melodramas like this helped build a myth that women could never work in Hollywood after 40. This was just a melodrama, but the country started believing it -- even though there was plenty of evidence to the contrary. In a strange way, people the world over started equating the character in this movie with Davis herself, believing the melodrama. Melodramas like "The Star" were so good that much of the country (and even the world) took them for reality. Weirdly, I think "The Star" helped bring Davis's screen career to an end because audiences couldn't differentiate between Davis and the character she was playing! It may not be a great film, but it's a superb melodrama -- so good that I think a large segment of the American public couldn't shake it from their consciousness. Davis and other middle-aged actresses (such as Crawford) would never be able to shake the association of themselves with the lead character in "The Star." This movie helped build a mythos that is still powerfully alive. One could say that "The Star," a silly melodrama, killed the careers of middle-aged actresses for decades because it so effectively presented women of a certain age as over the hill. A classic case of American culture confusing movies with reality. Life imitating movies.
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