A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

George Cukor (1954)

168min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This remake of the 1937 Janet Gaynor movie is one of the superlative melodramas in Hollywood's history, and it contains the greatest ever performance by Judy Garland, paired with the brilliant James Mason - two stars at the height of their powers. Their portrayals, together with fine cinematography by Sam Leavitt and superb direction from George Cukor, ensure that this film enriches more lives each time it is screened. But on first release, the movie suffered from being overlong and was trimmed. The original release version was restored in 1983 by film historian Ronald Haver, who found much of the missing material - minus some scenes that he re-created using stills. This "restoration", though of historical value, doesn't especially help the movie, and can alienate a first-time viewer. It's rather like seeing the Venus de Milo with her arms stuck back on: it may be complete, but didn't everybody prefer her the other way? This stunning movie shows Hollywood at its self-centred best, and when Garland lost that year's Oscar to Grace Kelly (for The Country Girl), Groucho Marx immortally quipped, "it's the biggest robbery since Brink's!"

Summary

A Hollywood movie star with a drinking problem is captivated by an aspiring singer's performance. He falls in love with her and helps her become a star, but as her career blossoms, his falls into ruin. Musical drama, starring Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson and Charles Bickford. Directed by George Cukor, with songs by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin.

Cast & Crew

Esther Blodgett / Vicki Lester Judy Garland
Norman Maine James Mason
Matt Libby Jack Carson
Oliver Niles Charles Bickford
Danny McGuire Tommy Noonan
Lola Lavery Lucy Marlow
Susan Ettinger Amanda Blake
Graves Irving Bacon
Miss Wheeler Hazel Shermet
Glenn Williams James Brown (1)
Miss Markham Lotus Robb
Announcer Joan Shawlee
Driver Dub Taylor
Director George Cukor
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD
Music