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A Star Is Born (1937)

Not Rated | | Drama | 27 April 1937 (USA)
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 by), (screen play by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Casey Burke - Director
...
Miss Phillips - Central Casting Clerk
Elizabeth Jenns ...
Anita Regis
...
Pop Randall - Landlord
J.C. Nugent ...
Mr. Blodgett
...
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:

Is the price of stardom a broken heart? 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:

Nace una estrella  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The funeral scene was inspired by the funeral of Irving Thalberg, where fans swarmed around his widow Norma Shearer outside the church. A similar scene occurred at Jean Harlow's funeral two months after the film's release. 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

Grandmother Lettie: If you've got one drop of my blood in your veins, you won't let Mattie or any of her kind break your heart, you'll go right out there and break it yourself.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in A Star Is Shorn (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Bye Bye Baby
(uncredited)
Music by Lou Handman
(played by the orchestra at the Academy Awards Party)
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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