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Star 80

Promotional poster
Directed by Bob Fosse
Produced by Wolfgang Glattes
Kenneth Utt
Starring Mariel Hemingway
Eric Roberts
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) November 10, 1983
Running time 100 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English

Star 80 is a 1983 film about the true story of Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her estranged husband Paul Snider in 1980. Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts co-star, directed by Bob Fosse.

The film was shot on location in Vancouver, British Columbia and Los Angeles, California; the death scene was filmed in the apartment in which the murder actually took place. The story is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Village Voice article "Death of a Playmate" by Teresa Carpenter; the film's title was taken from the vanity license plates of Paul Snider.

The fictionalized director Aram Nicholas is based on Stratten's real-life lover, Peter Bogdanovich. Hugh Hefner sued the producers of the film because he did not like the way he was portrayed, perhaps in part because the article the film was based on suggested that Stratten was as much a victim of Hefner and Bogdanovich as she was of Snider. Hefner also later sued Bogdanovich for the negative portrayals in Bogdanovich's book about Stratten, The Killing of the Unicorn. In a 1998 interview, Hefner stated that he still disliked the film on account that it was a poor portrayal of Dorothy Stratten, although he did commend Eric Roberts for "an excellent portrayal of the sick husband who murdered her."

Star 80 was not the first movie to be based on the murder of Dorothy Stratten. It was preceded by the 1981 television film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story in which Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed Stratten and Bruce Weitz portrayed Paul Snider.

Roberts earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Dramatic Actor for his performance in the film. Star 80 was the last film Fosse directed.



The film received a mixed reception upon release. The Washington Post called it "Bob Fosse's latest stylish stinker." Gene Siskel placed the film on his top ten list of the best films of 1983, taking into account that the film was very unpleasant to watch. It was generally agreed, however, that Eric Roberts gave a startlingly impressive performance as Snider. [1] Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars.[2]



  • Bob Fosse - Director/Screenwriter
  • Wolfgang Glattes - Producer
  • Kenneth Utt - Producer
  • Sven Nykvist - Director of Photography
  • Grace Blake - Associate Producer


  1. ^ "The Best of 1983", Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, 1983.
  2. ^ :: :: Reviews :: Star 80 (xhtml)

External links

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