Star Struck

Star Struck (Gillian Armstrong, 1982) aka Starstruck; prod. David Elfick, Richard Brennan for Palm Beach Pictures, ed. Stephen Maclean, dp Russell Boyd, design Brian Thomson, ed. Nicholas Beauman; Jo Kennedy, Ross O'Donovan, Margo Lee, Pat Evison, Geoffrey Rush, Max Cullen, Melissa Jaffer; musical; Eastman colour, 35mm, 105 min.

One of the very few non-Luhrmann musicals made in Oz, it tries very hard, but ...

... the jokes and the stunts are not funny. The music is annoying and the dance numbers are very dull, resembling the 1980s American television show, Solid Gold. The acting style is, one supposes, meant to be farcical, but this does not come off, either. It's not funny; it just looks like bad acting. Even Russell Boyd, usually a brilliant director of photography, fails to do anything worthy for this picture. The garish costumes designed by Luciana Arrighi and Terry Ryan are the final straw. Anna Gul, Murray 112.

Starstruck is certainly a courageous attempt at an Australian musical, but it is not entirely successful. There is an awkward opening reel which was much improved by further cutting for the American release of the picture. the abundance of musical numbers tends to overwhelm the slight plot; a nude love scene is totally unnecessary; and a ghastly scene of gay men in a swimming pool with plastic sharks represents a low point in Australian cinema. David Stratton: 150.

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