Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 17, 1940 with Adolphe Menjou reprising his film role. See more »
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 »
Janet Gaynor plays Esther Blodgett beautifully, a girl who leaves for Hollywood with dreams of film magazines and the blessing of her granny. Once there she finds it tough-going until meeting Norman Maine (Fredric March) at a party. We've already seen Norman drunk at a theatre but here he charms Esther and actually gets her into the movies before marrying her and watching his own career crumble. March is excellent in this, and the look of the film is surprisingly modern with its lovely technicolor and gadgets (I particularly like the shower in the motor home Esther and Norman take on honeymoon). Esther's move to become star Vicki Lester, Oscar-winning actress, is unbelievable but as her real-life tragedy unfolds, compelling. And who can stay dry-eyed at the end? Remade with music and Judy Garland in 1954 (very well) but this first version is a jewel amongst other 30s classics.
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