Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story
|Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story|
Jamie Lee Curtis as Dorothy Stratten
|Written by||Donald L. Stewart|
|Directed by||Gabrielle Beaumont|
|Starring||Jamie Lee Curtis|
|Theme music composer||Roger Webb|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Larry Wilcox|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Wilcox Productions|
|Original release||November 1, 1981|
Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story is a 1981 American made-for-television biographical film was optioned by Larry Wilcox and his Company, Wilcox Productions from the Investigator of the homicide. Wilcox signed the paperwork at midnight and beat out Hugh Hefner and MGM. Later, Wilcox developed the story and pitched it to MGM where he had a production development deal and subsequently to NBC. MGM and Wilcox then hired the director Gabrielle Beaumont. It is a dramatization of the life and the murder of Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The movie was aired on NBC on November 1, 1981. Two years later the same story was developed by director Bob Fosse in his movie Star 80, starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts.
A depiction of the life and times of an up and coming model and actress, Dorothy Stratten, a 20-year-old playboy playmate, whose life is tragically cut short when she becomes involved with and marries a shady man, Paul Snider, who later kills her in a murder–suicide.
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Dorothy Stratten
- Bruce Weitz as Paul Snider
- Robert Reed as David Palmer
- Mitchell Ryan as Hugh Hefner
- Bibi Besch as Hilda Flushing
- Tracy Reed as Mindy
- Gloria Gifford as Jean
- Hugh Gillin as Max Halloran
- Luca Bercovici as Pooch
- Kale Browne as Sidney
- Mark Withers as Billy Compton
The TV Production was optioned and owned by Larry Wilcox of CHIPS fame and then he negotiated a deal with MGM and NBC as a MOW. The Feature film was as revealed by Peter Bogdanovich in his book The Killing of the Unicorn, at the family's insistence, the names and relationships of her mother and sister were altered.
The New York Times critic John J. O'Connor praised the movie, saying: "the movie works remarkably well in building a dramatic momentum. Jamie Lee Curtis's Dorothy is a thoroughly understandable, if not sympathetic figure. And Bruce Weitz is extraordinary". People magazine also praised the film, saying: "Jamie Lee Curtis is just right as Stratten, and Bruce Weitz is a standout as her ex". Movie critic Leonard Maltin described the film as "exploitative".
Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story aired on NBC and finished 27th in the Neilsen ratings. When the film was broadcast a second time on NBC in July 1983, it fared better by finishing 4th in the ratings.
- Maltin, Leonard (1997). Leonard Maltin's 1998 Movie and Video Guide. Signet Books. p. 322. ISBN 0-451-19288-5.
- Peter Bogdanovich (1984). The killing of the unicorn: Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980). W. Morrow. p. 169. ISBN 0-688-01611-1.
- John J. O'Connor (October 30, 1981). "TV WEEKEND; TERROR IN FICTION AND FACT". New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- People November 2, 1981 Vol. 16 No. 18 page 6 "Picks & Pans Tube"
- (3 August 1983). NBC squeezed into the No. 1 spot for network..., UPI (Nielsen ratings for July 1983 airing)