Poor Margaret Elliot: A broke actress, past her prime, desperately holding on to her former glory. Were it not for Sunset Boulevard's appearance only two years earlier, people might actually have remembered The Star, a role for which Bette Davis earned an Oscar nomination but which now stands as a barely memorable and largely cliched performance.
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.
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