A Star is Born

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Released 1937

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Movie Summary

Director:
William A. Wellman
Released:
1937
Rating:
Not Available
A Star is Born is a musical, directed by William Wellman and released in 1976. It tells the story of Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic movie star on his way out and Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland) a rising starlet with a beautiful voice. After meeting Esther, Norman works to get her the professional screen test which could be her big break. The couple weds, but all is not well in paradise. As Esther's popularity grows, Norman sinks further into depression and drinks more to cover the pain. The couple struggles to move forward as Norman single-handedly destroys their life and holds Esther back from greatness in her most promising moments. The film attempts to show the ugly truth of what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood marriages, while maintaining a traditional musical format with upbeat songs and memorable dance routines. It contains songs by the famed musician Ira Gershwin.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Frank S. Nugent

    The original beauty. Not as glittery as Garland-Mason but in some ways even more golden.

  • 90

    Variety

    Although not the first film which has attempted to capitalize the international reputation of Hollywood, it is unquestionably the most effective one yet made. The highly commendabl...

  • 75

    Slant Magazine Jaime N. Christley

    William Wellman's 1937 version of this oft-told tale, of the rising starlet and the plummeting alcoholic has-been she refuses to cast aside, is usually regarded as the second-best ...

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Categories

Drama

Themes

Showbiz, Classics