Thirty-nine years ago today, the film Star 80 premiered. Based off of a tragic true crime story, staring amazing cast of my personal favorites, AND Bob Fosse directed and wrote the screenplay. You have to see this movie.
Title: Star 80
Directed by: Bob Fosse
Produced by: Wolfgang Glattes, Kenneth Utt
Screenplay by: Bob Fosse
Based on: Death of a Playmate by Teresa Carpenter
Starring : Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, Cliff Robertson, Carroll Baker, Roger Rees, David Clennon
Music by: Ralph Burns
Cinematography: Sven Nykvist
Edited by: Alan Heim
Production Company: The Ladd Company
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Release Date: November 10, 1983 (limited) February 3, 1984
Running time: 103 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $12 million
Box office: $6,472,990
In 1980, Dorothy Stratten lies dead as her husband rants to himself about the events that led up to this. Through a series of flashbacks which are interspersed by the murderer’s rants, the story is told. Two years earlier, Stratten was working at a Dairy Queen in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia when she met Paul Snider, a brash small-time scam artist and pimp. Snider charms Stratten into letting him take her to her high school prom. He wins over Stratten with attention and flattery, getting her to pose nude for Polaroid photographs. Snider uses the photographs to persuade a professional to create a portfolio of her. Snider forges the signature of Stratten’s mother on a consent form and sends the portfolio to Playboy. Playboy invites Stratten to Los Angeles to pose for a professional photographer.
Playboy founder and publisher Hugh Hefner makes Stratten Playmate of the Month for the August 1979 issue. Hefner provides lodging for Stratten and gives her a job as a bunny at an L.A. Playboy Club. Snider pressures Stratten into marrying him. She begins an acting career with small film and television roles and is made 1980’s Playmate of the Year.
Snider purchases a Mercedes with the vanity license plate STAR 80, but feels dejected after losing money on failed business ventures and being eclipsed by Stratten’s success. At the Playboy Mansion Stratten catches the eye of movie director Aram Nicholas (modeled on Peter Bogdanovich), who lets her read for a film role. Snider hires a private investigator to follow Stratten and learns Stratten and Nicholas are sleeping together. Snider buys a shotgun after Stratten insists she is going to leave him. Disregarding Nicholas’ plea for her to not see Snider again, Stratten agrees to meet with him to arrange a financial settlement. Snider pleads with Stratten not to leave him, but she says the marriage is over. Enraged, he rapes and shoots her. As he then turns the gun on himself, the screen turns to black with the gunshot.
Small Town Girl in the Playboy Mansion. Today, there are books that discuss Playboy’s Hugh Heffner in some not very appealing light. They tend to focus on the seedy side of the ongoing items at the mansion and Ignore that, for most of these women, the real villain is drug addiction and it’s impact on insecure women. Dorthy’s situation was tragic. And her Pimp/Boyfriend is a classic example of the sort of bottom feeder that attaches himself to someone in pursuit of a Sugar Mama. These are the kinds of guys that need to be locked up and keys thrown away
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