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As Margaret, Bette Davis got yet another good picture and earned her ninth Academy Award nomination. Davis?s confident, perceptive performance lends absolute authenticy, as did a prop she provided. An Oscar stautette set noticeably on the car dashboard during Margaret?s drunken spin through Beverly Hills ? was one of two Davis owned. Sterling Hayden and Natalie Wood co-star in this gripping story that has many moments of truth (Leonard Maltin?s Movie Guide). The Star shines.
DVD Features:Featurette:New Featurette How Real is The Star? - RT: 7:45Theatrical Trailer:
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"Come on, Oscar--let's you and me get drunk." This caustic Bette Davis line is not aimed at a co-star but at the Academy Award itself, which down-on-her-luck actress Margaret Elliot cradles bitterly at the beginning of an inebriated evening. As you can guess, Davis is at full-throttle in his ripe melodrama, which came a couple of years after All About Eve and serves as a kind of less-classy companion piece to that classic. As the movie begins, Margaret has lost her career and family because of her own demanding nature. Rescued by a roughhewn boatbuilder (Sterling Hayden) she once befriended, she confronts what's most important--being a star, or being a (ahem) woman.
The rickety script and cut-rate production values betray The Star as a product of Davis's post-Warners wanderings. It does have some sunny location shots of San Pedro, plus a young Natalie Wood before she broke out of child-star roles. But the biggest draw, other than Davis, is the Hollywood behind-the-scenes juice, and the guessing game of how close the material was to Davis's own career (rumor has it the character, who wants to glamorize herself for a supporting part as a slatternly housemaid, was based more on Joan Crawford). It ain't art, but it's an artifact of a different era, skipping between backstage expose and camp. --Robert Horton
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