(1955) Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor, William Campbell, Richard Boone, Mara Corday, Jack Elam, Sheb Wooley, Jay C. Flippen, Frank Chase, Eddie C. Waller, Roy Barcroft, Millicent Patrick, Casey MacGregor, Jack Ingram, Ewing Mitchell, George Wallace, William Challee, James Hayward, William Phillips, Malcolm Atterbury, Paul birch, Myron Healey, Mark Hanna, Lee Roberts, Myrna Hansen;
Directed by: King Vidor; Color
Star is a big, sprawling, beautifully photographed Western with an age-old theme–a range war–with barbed wire as an interesting focal point at which the small ranchers are provoked against the “big spread”. Thanks to a script by Borden chase who also wrote Red River, there are enough twists and turns to keep the viewer involved.
Kirk Douglas portrays Dempsey Rae, a wandering cowpoke hired as foreman at a ranch owned by a most captivating woman with a heart of stone (played to perfection by Jeanne Crain) who has moved in with the intention of building her own little empire. When greed for land overtakes her to the point of starving out her neighbors, Kirk becomes repulsed, in spite of having fallen prey to her charms. He dumps her like a hot tater and joins sides with the other ranchers.
Sit back and enjoy a lively, spry, offbeat performance by Douglas who just chews up the screen with his tough-as-nails character softened (only slightly) by his singin’ and banjo-pluckin’, a smoky-hot performance by Crain as sort of an evil Ben Cartwright, a pre-Paladin Richard Boone, William Campbell as “The Ropin’ Kid”doing what amusingly seems to be a film long impersonation of “The Scarecrow” from The Wizard of Oz, and another classy Frankie Laine theme song………………….