An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.
George Roy Hill
Max von Sydow,
Sorrowful Jones (Walter Matthau) is a cheap bookie in the 1930s. When a gambler leaves his daughter as a marker for a bet, he gets stuck with her. His life will change a great deal with her... See full summary »
Stephanie Anderson (Dame Julie Andrews), a famous violin player married to a composer becomes ill from Multiple Sclerosis. Her whole life goes to pieces. Her career ends abruptly, her ... See full summary »
Apart from Richard Aldrich, a certain amount of dramatic license was taken with the men in Gertrude Lawrence's life. In the movie, her first husband, a stage manager, is called "Jack Roper", and is apparently not much older. In real-life, his name was Frank Gordon-Howley, and he was twenty years older than her. Her upper-class, Guardsman boyfriend was not called "Sir Anthony Spencer", but Captain Philip Astley. He later married Madeleine Carroll. The Wall Street banker she met while on Broadway was named Bert Taylor, not "Ben Mitchell". See more »
In the number "Burlington Bertie" the banana skin thrown onstage by Gertie disappears. See more »
Unfortunately, my darling, you can't take a whole audience home to bed without being accused of immorality on rather a grand scale.
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The only credits seen at the beginning of the film are those for a fictional black-and-white short subject about Gertrude Lawrence. The film's real credits all appear at the end. However, the Twentieth-Century Fox logo is shown only in black-and-white, and with tinny 1940's-style sound recording, as part of that fictional newsreel. We never see the logo in color and stereophonic sound, although Twentieth-Century Fox released "Star!" See more »
When business didn't meet expectations, the studio suggested some shortening, and Robert Wise offered about 20 minutes of cuts that were literally scissored out of the prints while the film played to initial reserved seat audiences. The studio also tried revamping the ads to appeal to a younger audience, even including a shot of Julie posing with a motorcycle that was just an on-location joke and not a scene in the film. Another idea was to make up a couple print ads that tried to make the movie look like a soap opera, adding "Loves Of A..." to the title. The "Loves Of A Star!" ads were only tested briefly in a few papers, and never used widely. This prompted a politely shocked letter from Robert Wise to the studio, who sheepishly admitted it was a desperate attempt that failed. That title was never put on the actual film. In the spring of 1969, the studio withdrew the film from release entirely and decided on a drastic edit and total new identity. After removing many of the musical numbers and preparing new ads that deliberately made the picture look like The Sound of Music, a two-hour version was released under the title "Those Were the Happy Times". At his own request, The credit "A Robert Wise Film" is not present on this version. The short version did no business. See more »
*THUD* Like that the romance between box office and Julie Andrews was over.
There are a variety of answers. Tastes had changed. Big-budget musicals were on their way out (and continued to fall out of favor as the decade proceeded--see "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Camelot," and "Paint Your Wagon" for further evidence). And the public had mysteriously cooled on Julie Andrews as well, although the reason behind that eludes those of us who still carry the torch for her.
Caught in the downward spiral, unfortunately, was "STAR!" the musical that was supposed to recapture the magic of "The Sound of Music" by allowing Andrews, Wise, and Chaplin the opportunity of working again. According to critics and box-office receipts, this reunion failed miserably.
But there has been a revisionist feel to "STAR!" over the past few years, as evidenced by the VHS and laser releases, and that's a good thing. This treasure certainly didn't deserved to remain buried forever.
Andrews gives a tour de force performance, tackling a barrel full of unforgettable songs from some of the world's greatest composers/lyricists. She's also given amply opportunity to show off her acting chops, as her Gertie is alternately dazzled and dazzling, enraged, funny, drunk, enamoured, witty, urbane, base, coy, and even sad, lonely, and depressed.
Last, Julie/Gertie is dolled up in some of the most exquisite costumes to ever grace a screen--the Donald Brooks outfits and Cartier jewels will knock your eye out.
That Andrews voice... that Andrews face... that Andrews talent... that Andrews dancing... All up on the screen with nobody to appreciate it in 1968. Luckily, it's now all within grasp.
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