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The Star Photos

Movie Info

Oscar-winning actress Margaret Elliot (Bette Davis) is well past her prime but refuses to retire from the acting business. Despite entreaties from both her daughter, Gretchen (Natalie Wood), and one-time professional colleague Jim Johannsen (Sterling Hayden), Margaret remains convinced that she can regain her former glory. As she sets her sights on a coveted Hollywood role, Johannsen tries doggedly to get his unrequited love to see the folly of her ways.

Cast & Crew

Bette Davis
Margaret Elliot
Sterling Hayden
Jim Johannsen
Minor Watson
Joe Morrison
June Travis
Phyllis Stone
Paul Frees
Richard Stanley
Barbara Lawrence
Barbara Lawrence
Dale Eunson
Screenwriter
Victor Young
Original Music
Ernest Laszlo
Cinematographer
Edward G. Boyle
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for The Star

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for The Star

  • Apr 08, 2014
    Bette Davis tries to recapture former glory but ultimately comes up short in this comeback film. Underwhelming.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2012
    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.
    William D Super Reviewer

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