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A Star Is Born (1937)

 -  Drama  -  27 April 1937 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,509 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 23 critic

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 9 more credits »
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Title: A Star Is Born (1937)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Grandmother Lettie Blodgett
...
...
Owen Moore ...
Casey Burke - Director
...
Miss Phillips - Central Casting Clerk
Elizabeth Jenns ...
Anita Regis
Edgar Kennedy ...
Pop Randall - Landlord
J.C. Nugent ...
Mr. Blodgett
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Posture Coach (as Guinn Williams)
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Storyline

Esther Blodgett is just another starry-eyed farm kid trying to break into the movies. Waitressing at a Hollywood party, she catches the eye of alcoholic star Norman Maine, is given a test, and is caught up in the Hollywood glamor machine (ruthlessly satirized). She and her idol Norman marry; but his career abruptly dwindles to nothing Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate Raised Her To Fame - and killed the man she loved ! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Star Is Born  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,173,639 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Norman Maine was based on several real actors, including John Barrymore, John Gilbert, and John Bowers, who drowned off Malibu during the film's production. See more »

Goofs

In the night court scene, the judge refers to the "commonwealth" but the movie is set in California which isn't one of the states to have commonwealth status. The judge should have referred to the "state" instead. See more »

Quotes

Esther Blodgett: Some day you won't laugh at me! I'm going out and have a real life! I'm gonna be somebody!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Hollywood (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
(variations in the score as Esther arrives in Hollywood)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The best version
16 July 2005 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Fredric March gave a magnificent performance, probably the best of his career, as Norman Maine, the actor whose career is in the descendant as that of his wife, Vikki Lester, is in the ascendant in this, the first 'official' version of "A Star is Born", (the 1932 film "What Price Hollywood" roughly told the same story). March displays just the right degree of brashness, of knowingness, and a combination of ego and a real actor's almost complete lack of ego. It's a miraculous piece of work.

As Lester, Janet Gaynor is touchingly blank but the star quality she is meant to display seems conspicuously absent; (in the 1954 musical remake Judy Garland was almost too much a star). It seems inconceivable that she could eclipse March on screen (even with his drinking). If Lester is a star and possibly a great actress Gaynor keeps the secret to herself.

The script for this version was partly written by Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell and it shows. It's an acerbic and, at times, savage movie about the movies, quite cynical for a major studio picture of it's day. It is very well directed by William Wellman who draws first-rate performances from the supporting cast, in particular Lionel Stander as a heartless, slime-ball studio hack. This remains the best of the three versions to come thus far.


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