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Star 80


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, Cliff Robertson, Carroll Baker, Roger Rees
  • Directors: Bob Fosse
  • Writers: Bob Fosse, Teresa Carpenter
  • Producers: Grace Blake, Kenneth Utt, Wolfgang Glattes
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 10, 1998
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305161895
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,494 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Star 80" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Legendary director/dancer/choreographer Bob Fosse may have been a consummate entertainer, responsible for popular productions on the Broadway stage, but he was also an uncompromising filmmaker who wasn't afraid to explore the dark side of humanity. After the autobiographical intensity of All That Jazz, Fosse's final film was this honest and painfully authentic biography about Dorothy Stratten, who was Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 1979 and had just begun a promising film career when her jealous boyfriend took a shotgun to her head. Fosse tackles this brutal reality head on, opening the film with the aftermath of murder and telling the story in flashback, beginning in Vancouver when slick charmer Paul Snider (Eric Roberts, in a chilling performance) discovers Dorothy (Mariel Hemingway) and makes her his ticket to fame and unearned glory. He's a loser and a user, and when Dorothy rises to success and glamour at the Playboy mansion, Hugh Hefner (Cliff Robertson, perfectly cast) urges the blonde beauty to drop her troublesome boyfriend. Jealousy and rejection push Paul over the edge, but Star 80 (the title is taken from Snider's vanity license plates) is no simple tale of male ego gone bad. Fosse explores the chasm between fame and obscurity, and the self-destructive lengths to which some people will go to bridge that gap. The film is a darker telling of the kind of story Boogie Nights would tell nearly 15 years later--both films are set in the late '70s and early '80s, and both deal with the inevitable loss of innocence in a world where innocence cannot survive. In a bleak but fascinating way, Star 80 is masterful in its refusal to look away from the tragedy of its true story. It's a farewell statement from a director who clearly understood the high cost of stardom. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

The story of Dorothy Stratten, Playmate of the Year, who died a tragic death.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 2-NOV-2004
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
28
4 star
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See all 49 customer reviews
This is Eric Roberts best performance.
Moonbaby345
The style serves him very well, for the film quickly develops such intensity that at times it becomes extremely difficult to watch.
Gary F. Taylor
I feel it shows how she was torn between loyalty to him, and breaking free of him.
sherman1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2002
Format: DVD
Dorothy Stratten received considerable attention for her 1980 Playboy centerfold spread, which showcased her girl-next-door beauty and personality to remarkable effect. Most who knew her described her as a very sweet, kind, and strangely innocent young woman, and although her name as such was not well known to the public at large, many industry insiders felt she was on the fast-track to Hollywood stardom. We will never know if she could have made the career many expected of her, for little more than a year after her debut in Playboy her promoter, manager, and husband Paul Snider blew her head off with a shotgun.
Mariel Hemingway gives the performance of her career as Stratten, capturing the mixture of wholesome beauty and vulnerability that so many of Stratten's acquaintances described. But STAR 80 is actually less about Stratten than it is about Paul Snider, the small-time hustler who discovered, promoted, and married her--and then lost her through a combination of his own hysterical insecurity and her rising fame. Eric Roberts is simply bone-chilling in the role; it is a performance that should have earned him an Academy Award. The supporting cast is equally fine, with Cliff Robertson and Carroll Baker as Hugh Hefner and Dorothy's mother respectively. But the film goes beyond offering exceptional performances in a tragic story of promising youth cut short.
Director and writer Bob Fosse begins his story with Stratten's death and then presents the history of the Stratton-Snider relationship in a semi-documentary style through flashbacks and flash-forwards. The style serves him very well, for the film quickly develops such intensity that at times it becomes extremely difficult to watch.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 1999
Format: DVD
The reason I think Eric Roberts is one of the most underappreciated actors in Hollywood is due to this film. His performance as the husband of doomed Playboy Playmate, Dorothy Stratten, is one of the most psychologically disturbing and eerie portrayals that I have ever seen. It is the masculine counterpart to that of Glenn Close's portrayal in "Fatal Attraction". If you enjoyed that film, this is a "must see".
Although the movie is primarily about the late Dorothy Stratten, it is really about Paul Snider, her obsessed and self centered husband. Snider, a small time promoter and part time pimp, discovered Dorothy Stratten in 1978 when she was working at a ice cream parlor in Vancouver B.C.. He courted the naive young beauty, dated her and convinced her to pose for nude pictures that he would send in to Playboy. Playboy, impressed with what they saw, made her the Playboy Playmate of the Year. This landed her television and motion picture work. Because she felt she "owed" him, Dorothy married Paul Snider; however, she fell in love with the director of her last movie (I won't mention this director's name here but he is quite famous and his name was changed in "Star 80"). When Snider found out she was having an affair and he was losing her, he brutally raped and murdered her and subsequently killed himself. All of this, from her discovery, rise to stardom and death happened only in the span of two years. This is an amazingly short time frame for any talented beauty looking for a career in Hollywood.
Mariel Hemmingway delivers a lighter role as Dorothy and portrays her as the quintessential child-woman (Dorothy Stratten was only 20 when she died).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John H. Rasmussen II on July 31, 2006
Format: DVD
** Dec08 UPDATE NOTE regarding WIDESCREEN FORMAT DVD **
At the time of this writing, the only widescreen format DVD available of this incredible film is the Australian version (I don't know the region number, but it is indeed the "Land Down Under" version). I waited 25 years to once again see the film in all it's widescreen splendor and it did not disappoint: sharp, beautiful picture transfer and superb, highly-nuanced audio. I should note that the speed of the transfer is a touch faster than the theatrical, VHS & previous DVD releases. It's most noticable in the audio, particularly when music is playing in the background. The added speed pitches the audio a whole step higher and shortens the film by several minutes. As someone who has seen this film literally 50 times, I noticed it immediately and was somewhat dismayed....but as the film rolled along, I felt less-and-less troubled by this. It's just SO GOOD to have "Star 80" in widescreen!!
** END of UPDATE NOTE **

I went to see this film in the theatre literally a dozen times and over 20+ years I've watched it on VHS/DVD probably three dozen times more. With the exception of the films of James Dean, I don't believe I've obsessed over any other films to the degree that I did with "Star 80". Admittedly, the film is rather grim and, on one hand, is an awful thing to become fixated with; on the other hand, the film's haunting power and the terrible beauty of Eric Roberts' performance was & is a pretty potent combination and definitely justifies the repeated viewings. I remember being quite shaken and virtually unable to speak coming out of the movie theatre the first time I saw it.
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