A Star Is Born (1937)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  27 April 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,112 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 28 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.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play), 9 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 April 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nace una estrella  »

Box Office


$1,173,639 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The celebrated final line of the film was an afterthought. The original scene had Esther arriving at the Chinese Theater and collapsing in the forecourt sobbing, "Oh, Norman! Norman!" The scene was reshot two ways: with the familiar "Mrs. Norman Maine" tagline and the oddly irrelevant "Hello, everybody, this is Vicki Lester." 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 »


Matt Libby: That's a charming match. A nice girl like Vicki and Public Nuisance Number One.
See more »


Referenced in Empty Nest: A Flaw Is Born (1990) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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