The Star is a straight-up shot at a washed-up has-been. Her star years behind her, Davis's Elliot tries to fight her way back to the screen, failing to realize she's no longer a sexy vamp (Davis was 44 at the time) and nobody cares about her Oscar (here Davis is seen clutching one of her real statuettes) any more. It ultimately falls to old flame Barry Lester (Sterling Hayden in a remarkably soft and surprisingly quiet performance) to coax her back into reality, though his big idea -- that she should become a salesperson at Saks Fifth Avenue -- comes off as a little bit insulting.
Ultimately, Elliot does get another shot on the silver screen, but it's a disaster. Believe it or not, Saks is looking pretty sweet!
It's a shame that Elliot's character doesn't grow much aside from wringing her hands and learning some hard lessons about failure. The fact that she's a petty has-been that squandered all her money doesn't really endear her to us or make us feel sorry for her plight. Now if she'd gone on a murderous rampage or degenerated into porn, well, that would've been another story.
Run time: 55 mins
In Theaters: Sunday 15th December 2013
Production compaines: 20th Century Fox
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
IMDB: 8.3 / 10
Director: Stuart Heisler
Producer: Bert E. Friedlob
Starring: Bette Davis as Margaret Elliot, Natalie Wood as Gretchen, Sterling Hayden as Jim Johannsen aka Barry Lester, Warner Anderson as Harry Stone, Minor Watson as Joe Morrison, June Travis as Phyllis Stone, Paul Frees as Richard Stanley, Robert Warwick as R.J., Aging Actor at Party, Barbara Lawrence as Barbara Lawrence, Fay Baker as Faith, Herb Vigran as Roy