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Simply the Worst: Bob Fosse’s “Star 80”

Simply the Worst: Bob Fosse's "Star 80"

In Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Bob Fosse’s heroines live to fight—and sing—another day: to live, in the words of Shirley MacLaine’s indomitable taxi dancer, “hopefully ever after.” In 1983’s Star 80, Dorothy Stratten (Mariel Hemingway) exits this world naked and face down in a pool of her own blood, killed by her estranged husband, Paul Snider (Eric Roberts), in the midst of their latest attempted reconciliation. The last moments of Fosse’s last film (he died in 1987) feel like a logical endpoint in the career of an artist who regarded show business with a wary eye; after a bloody, distanced tableaux of two people destroyed by their starry-eyed aspirations, was there really anything left to say? Read Adam Nayman’s entry in Reverse Shot’s “Simply the Worst” symposium.

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