|Daniel Massey, Julie Andrews, Richard Crenna|
It must have seemed like a good idea back in the sixties. Let's take the director of the mega hit The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, and team him up with Julie Andrews, the star of not only that film but of Mary Poppins. This was the period of big, long "road show" movie musicals, and everyone must have figured Star! would be one of the biggest and most successful of them all. Boy, were they wrong! Let's get one thing straight at the start. Star! didn't fail because tastes had changed (even if they had); it failed because it was bad.
|"Poor Jenny" from Lady in the Dark|
|Spending spree at Cartier's|
|"He Never Said He Loved Me"|
The movie makes the mistake of proceeding as a documentary of Lawrence's life which the lady herself is watching and commenting on. Although this is a widescreen picture, about half the movie uses about only a third of the screen to reproduce black and white newsreels. It's a dumb and pointless approach. But then the whole project was ultimately pointless, laying an egg at the box office, almost killing off Andrews' career, incurring the wrath of bored critics, and doing little to revive interest in the real Gertrude Lawrence, considered one of the greatest theatrical talents of the 20th century -- more's the pity. The movie never even mentions her appearance in the film version of The Glass Menagerie, nor --shockingly -- her triumph in The King and I.
Verdict: Ten good minutes out of three hours (!) is not enough to save this movie. **.