Star 80 (1983)

Directed by Bob Fosse

Starring Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, and Cliff Robertson

I saw this film too young to understand all the tragedies that happened in this story. Once again money showing to be the principal villain in many ways.

The film is based on the true story of Playmate Dorothy Stratten and her murder at the hands of estranged husband Paul Snider. Paul is looking to make a name of himself and is a pimp of some kind. He meets in a fast food place Dorothy and asks her out. They started going out and he started to take pictures of her and got her to pose nude to reach fame through Playboy. His behavior gets worse until Dorothy decides to break ties with Paul.

This is a sad story because I don’t think Dorothy would have chosen this path without the manipulation of Snider and how he got her mother to sign the papers is hard to tell, maybe she did not and he faked it I think he was capable. But he was only using her to live his Hollywood fantasy, similar to the Linda Lovelace story. The film itself is shocking and disturbing to see this character and how he was (and to know he existed). I can’t say is a great film, but because it is based on a true story it has the value of people seeing what happened to this girl and hopefully learns from it from all perspectives. I think the film is not made as a tribute or an as a way to remember Dorothy because the focus seemed more on Paul and showing how crazy he was, even before what he did.

Eric Roberts truly shines in this picture. I can’t say if he resembled the real Snider because I have not seen footage of his, Roberts did nail the look and the creepiness of Paul. Mariel Hemingway was food as Dorothy, I think she was able to portray the sweetness and innocence of the character as she is being thrown into that world by Paul. Cliff Robertson as Hugh Hefner was great, he looked like the real Hugh.

I was amazed at how well the film was received critically and that Roberts was nominated for a Golden Globe and that tv critic Roger Ebert thought he should have been nominated for an Oscar. I would agree with that, I think Robert was great but he had a tough and ugly character to play.

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