Star 80 (1983)
December 1, 2022 12:09 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] When sleazy Paul Snider (Eric Roberts) stumbles upon pretty high school beauty Dorothy Stratten (Mariel Hemingway), he knows she is star material. Paul becomes her manager and husband, and under his guidance Dorothy grows to fame as a Playboy Playmate. But when Dorothy begins pursuing an acting career, the jealous Paul finds himself elbowed out of the picture by more famous men. Dorothy's career rises as Paul's mental state declines, leading ultimately to tragedy.

Also starring Cliff Robertson, Carroll Baker, Roger Rees, David Clennon, Josh Mostel, Lisa Gordon, Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Written and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Village Voice article "Death of a Playmate" by Teresa Carpenter and is based on the true life story of Canadian Playboy model Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her husband Paul Snider in 1980. The film’s title is taken from one of Snider's vanity license plates.

81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max. Also available for digital rental on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I usually post movies in batches of six, but Fosse only made five.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:10 PM on December 1, 2022

Went through a little Bob Fosse phase last year, starting with the near-perfect All That Jazz and ending with this one.

This is a hard watch, it feels very real and considering that it's based on real life incidents makes it much more tough. Eric Roberts is horrifying in this. Tremendous but horrifying, he plays a skin-crawlingly controlling abuser with such intensity that I found it difficult to get through without pausing.
posted by Neronomius at 1:01 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Roger Rees’ character, the director, is based on Peter Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich would go on to direct The Cat’s Meow, which is about a young starlet, Marion Davies, who is dating William Randolph Hearst, but also seeing film director Charlie Chaplain on the side, which leads to a murder.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:33 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Bogdanovich also married Dorothy's younger sister Louise in 1988 and divorced her in 2001.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:12 PM on December 1, 2022

This movie will make you feel awful.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:46 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Read through Bogdanovich's "The Killing of the Unicorn" and he tore into Hugh Hefner in a way that surprised people at the time. It was clear that he was deeply affected her murder
posted by drewbage1847 at 3:19 PM on December 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

This was the first movie I ever saw Eric Roberts in. Every time I saw him after, I was repelled. I remember a few years later he was in something where he was supposed to be acomic romantic lead, and I kept wanting to yell at the woman "Run! Run away now!"
posted by Gorgik at 5:06 PM on December 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

Interesting tidbit from Wikipedia: '[Roger] Ebert coined the phrase "Star 80 syndrome" after claiming that Gary Oldman's performance as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy was snubbed [by the Oscars] for the same reason as was [Eric] Roberts: "Hollywood will not nominate an actor for portraying a creep, no matter how good the performance is."'

This movie is solidly in my list of "Great movies that I'll probably never watch again."
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:51 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Saw this in the theater with little pre knowledge and was devastated. Affected me for weeks.
posted by sammyo at 6:21 AM on December 2, 2022

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