Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Sad Death of Dorothy Stratten

I just finished watching Star 80, the final film of the great Bob Fosse. Star 80 tells the true story of Dorothy Stratten, 1980 Playmate of the Year who was raped and murdered by her estranged husband Paul Schnieder when she was only 20 years old. Eric Roberts is excellent in the Schnieder role, playing a Svengali whose creation becomes to strong to control, making him come face to face with how worthless he really is. Mariel Hemmingway, as Stratten, wasn't given much to do by Fosse except be so sweet that it's extra-tragic when the murder/suicide takes place. Still, it's great in theat late-70s,/early '80s kind of way, that kind of movie that is about people and takes its time. Nowadays, movies are kinetic frenzies. Even worse is when some half-sack "autuer" misinterprets the slow pace of the '70s as an excuse to be boring.

To get back to the crime, by all accounts Dorothy really was a very, very nice person who just happened to get famous showing off her tits because of her quasi-pimp boyfriend, then he raped and strangled her because his plan worked too well. I think that's the definition of a tragedy.

This all happened in 1980, one year before the Wonderland murders, for those of you keeping track of violence in the adult industries (not that it's fair to compare Stratten with John Holmes, the fucker).


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