IMDb > A Star Is Born (1937)
A Star Is Born
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A Star Is Born (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   4,686 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Dorothy Parker (screen play) &
Alan Campbell (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Star Is Born on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 April 1937 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Fate Raised Her To Fame - and killed the man she loved ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(14 articles)
Guy Lodge's DVDs and downloads
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 18 January 2014, 4:05 PM, PST)

Oscar Predictions 2012: Best Actor Jean Dujardin
 (From Alt Film Guide. 23 February 2012, 11:01 PM, PST)

Do Movies About Movies Win Oscars?
 (From FilmExperience. 23 November 2011, 7:54 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Swimming with sharks See more (43 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Janet Gaynor ... Esther Victoria Blodgett - aka Vicki Lester

Fredric March ... Norman Maine

Adolphe Menjou ... Oliver Niles

May Robson ... Grandmother Lettie Blodgett

Andy Devine ... Danny McGuire

Lionel Stander ... Matt Libby
Owen Moore ... Casey Burke - Director

Peggy Wood ... 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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean Acker ... Woman at Preview (uncredited)
Eric Alden ... Niles' Assistant (uncredited)
Irving Bacon ... Station Agent (uncredited)

Jane Barnes ... Waitress #1 (uncredited)
Vince Barnett ... Otto (uncredited)
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Mattie (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... Santa Anita Cop (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Burke's Butler (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Niles' Assistant (uncredited)
Lynton Brent ... Reporter (uncredited)
Blanche Bush ... (uncredited)
Buddy Byron ... (uncredited)
Helene Chadwick ... Woman at Preview (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Deliveryman (uncredited)
Billy Coe ... Bartender (uncredited)
Virginia Dabney ... (uncredited)
Billy Dooley ... Film Crewman with Spray Gun (uncredited)
Dora Early ... (uncredited)
Herbert Evans ... Burke's Bartender (uncredited)
Rex Evans ... (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Cuddles (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... William Gregory (uncredited)
Trixie Friganza ... Mabel (uncredited)
Jean Gale ... (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Garcia (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Chubby Previewer (uncredited)
Carlton Griffin ... Cameraman (uncredited)
Jonathan Hale ... Judge George J. Parris (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Cop Outside Courtroom (uncredited)
Lillian Harmer ... Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Woman in Funeral Mob (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Sanitarium Attendant (uncredited)
Leon Holmes ... (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Janice Hood ... (uncredited)
Kenneth Howell ... Milton Rails (uncredited)
Olin Howland ... Judd Baker (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Assistant Makeup Artist (uncredited)
Mary Jane Irving ... (uncredited)

I. Stanford Jolley ... Boxing Ringside Spectator (uncredited)
Armand Kaliz ... (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Burke's Party Guest (uncredited)
Matty Kemp ... Preview Reporter (uncredited)
Claude King ... John (uncredited)
Elaine Koehler ... (uncredited)

Carole Landis ... Girl in Beret at Santa Anita Bar (uncredited)
Myra Marsh ... John's Assistant (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... José Rodriguez (uncredited)

Edwin Maxwell ... Vocal Coach (uncredited)
Buddy Messinger ... Boy Delivering Fan Mail (uncredited)
Willy Morris ... Niles' Secretary (uncredited)
Ferdinand Munier ... Burke's Waiter (uncredited)
Marshall Neilan ... Bert (uncredited)
David Newell ... Sam (uncredited)
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Santa Anita Clubhouse Bartender (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Burke's Party Guest (uncredited)
Ted Oliver ... Santa Anita Cop #2 (uncredited)
Renee Orsell ... (uncredited)
Franklin Pangborn ... Billy Moon (uncredited)
Harvey Parry ... Boxer (uncredited)
Osgood Perkins ... Otto (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Boxing Referee (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Bailiff #1 (uncredited)
Jed Prouty ... Artie Carver (uncredited)
Sally Raynor ... (uncredited)
Tom Ricketts ... Ray (uncredited)
Adrian Rosley ... Makeup Artist (uncredited)
Kathryn Sheldon ... Funeral Spectator (uncredited)
Marla Shelton ... (uncredited)
Paul Stanton ... Academy Award Presenter (uncredited)
Vera Steadman ... (uncredited)
Kay Sutton ... (uncredited)
A.W. Sweatt ... Aleck Blodgett (uncredited)
Margaret Tallichet ... Marion (uncredited)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Black Witness (uncredited)
Tommy Tucker ... (uncredited)
Leonard Walker ... Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Luana Walters ... (uncredited)
Cynthia Westlake ... (uncredited)
Gayne Whitman ... Grauman's Chinese Theater Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Charles Williams ... Hanley (uncredited)
Clarence Wilson ... Justice of the Peace (uncredited)

Directed by
William A. Wellman 
Jack Conway (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Dorothy Parker (screen play) &
Alan Campbell (screen play) &
Robert Carson (screen play)

William A. Wellman (from a story by) and
Robert Carson (from a story by)

Ben Hecht  contributing writer (uncredited)
Ring Lardner Jr.  contributing writer (uncredited)
John Lee Mahin  contributing writer (uncredited)
Budd Schulberg  contributing writer (uncredited)
David O. Selznick  contributing writer (uncredited)
Adela Rogers St. Johns  uncredited

Produced by
David O. Selznick .... producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
W. Howard Greene (photography)
 
Film Editing by
James E. Newcom (film editor)
Anson Stevenson (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Charles Richards (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Lansing C. Holden  (as Lansing Holden)
 
Art Direction by
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Costume Design by
Omar Kiam (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Elizabeth Arden .... makeup artist: screen and stage (uncredited)
Paul Stanhope .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Eddie Voight .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ray Flynn .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eric Stacey .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Edward G. Boyle .... associate art director
Harold Fenton .... construction supervisor (uncredited)
Robert Lander .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Oscar Lagerstrom .... recordist (as Oscar Lagestrom)
 
Special Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Potevin .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera: Technicolor (uncredited)
Melbourne Spurr .... publicity photographer (uncredited)
Fred Williams .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Eddie Schmidt .... wardrobe designer: Adolphe Menjou (uncredited)
Eddie Schmidt .... wardrobe maker: Adolphe Menjou (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hal C. Kern .... supervising film editor
Val Lewton .... editing assistant: David O. Selznick (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color supervisor
Russell Birdwell .... press representative (uncredited)
Barbara Keon .... production secretary (uncredited)
Corynn Kiehl .... production secretary (uncredited)
Mason N. Litson .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
It has been speculated (though never confirmed) since the time of the movie's release that the story was inspired by the real-life marriage of Barbara Stanwyck and her first husband, Frank Fay.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Oliver Niles:[Referring to Norman's accommodations at a sanatorium for treatment of alcoholism] Are you comfortable here, Norman?
Norman Maine:Comfortable? It's positively luxurious! They even have iron bars in the windows to keep out the draft.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Divine Trash (1998)See more »
Soundtrack:
Wah! Hoo!See more »

FAQ

Is "A Star is Born" based on a book?
How does the movie end?
Is it true that another actress took the stage name "Vicki Lester" based on this movie?
See more »
16 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Swimming with sharks, 19 May 2004
Author: jotix100 from New York

Having seen the two later versions of this tale, it was a surprise to find the original one, even if it doesn't compare with the 50s remake with Judy Garland. This one is worth a look because of the great cinematography and the use of color for a film made in the early years of its invention. William Wellman deserves credit for his direction of a Hollywood story about itself.

The mere idea of young and very naive, Esther Blodgett making it big in Hollywood, is stretching the imagination big time. This girl from the heart of the country yearns to be somebody in the pictures that are her escape from the dreary life she leads. To even think that she would have a chance in becoming a bit player, is a stretch of the imagination, but to have her become a star in her own right with her unsophisticated looks, is even harder to believe. Hollywood of those years was a factory of dreams where many went to be part of it, but for one Esther Blodgett, there were thousands who were rejected.

We watch as Esther is transformed into Vicki Lester, a star larger than life, who captures the public's imagination and goes to eclipse bigger stars such as Norman Maine, her discoverer, and the man she falls in love with. Norman's decline is very fast, while Vicki's ascent into glory is even faster. His drinking habit will get the best of him at a time when help agencies such as A.A. didn't exist. Unfortunately for Vicki, she ultimately has to pay for her own meteoric success.

The cast is superb. Not being a fan of Janet Gaynor, I have to confess that she strikes the right note with her Esther/Vicki role. She is totally believable even though we never even see her take an acting class, much less see her waiting tables to help herself. Frederick March brings an intensity to Norman, the self destructive star, that makes us pity him.

Adolphe Menjou is the studio head who sees a winner in the young, aspiring actress, and gives her the chance. Most surprising of all is the star performance of Lionel Standing as Matt Libby, the studio publicist who is behind the creation of the new star. Andy Devine, May Robson, and the rest are equally satisfying.

This film was a happy surprise in many aspects and will not disappoint.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (43 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I haven't seen any remakes. Are they good? krajackex
My favorite scene***Spoilers*** SusanJL
New interview with March biographer amalgamd
Norman Maine as John Barrymore mheckman-1
I honestly thought something different was the case javajk-javajk
What Happened To Aunt Mattie (Spoilers) Chesterfield_Invincible
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