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A Star Is Born (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 October 1954 (USA)
4:21 | Trailer

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A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.



(screenplay), | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Danny McGuire (as Tom Noonan)
Lucy Marlow ...
Lola Lavery
Susan Ettinger
Hazel Shermet ...
Libby's Secretary
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Glenn Williams
Dorothy Martinson


Norman Maine, a movie star whose career is on the wane, meets showgirl Esther Blodgett when he drunkenly stumbles into her act one night. A friendship develops, then blossoms into romance before tensions increase as Esther's career takes off while Norman's continues to plummet. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Destiny came at her with a leer! See more »


Drama | Musical | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein neuer Stern am Himmel  »

Box Office


$5,019,770 (estimated)


$4,355,968 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(premiere) | (restored) | (DVD) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System) (magnetic prints)| (optical prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The restored version received its world premiere at the Radio City Musical in New York on July 7, 1983. As soon as the lost musical numbers appeared, the audience started applauding. At the end, the audience gave the film a standing ovation. Both of Judy Garland's daughters, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, were in the audience. Afterwards, they had to be taken to a dressing room, where it took them 20 minutes to stop crying. See more »


While Vicki and Oliver are talking on the patio as Norman is listening in bed the seascape reflected on the glass doors behind them keeps resetting as though the film loop started over. See more »


Matt Libby: [after being introduced to Esther] Esther Blodgett? Well, we'll do something about that. Anyway, nice to have you with us.
See more »


Referenced in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) See more »


aka "My Melancholy Baby"
Music by Ernie Burnett
Lyrics by George A. Norton
Performed by Judy Garland as part of the "Born in a Trunk" medley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Special praise for Turner Classic Movies!
23 August 2003 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

On a brief getaway this past weekend, the hotel where I was staying had TCM (Turner Classic Movies) on its cable roster and, lo! and behold, there was Judy singing and acting her heart out in letterbox and stereo sound. TCM...you're the best!

It was the restored version, thank the good Lord, with that sad reminder of Warner Brothers' pathetic timidity in trashing Cukor's original cut, but recalling for us his masterful use of the widescreen ratio. (A "formatted" version would be simply unwatchable, what with numerous scenes played by actors perched on the outer reaches of the screen, opposite each other.)

James Mason turns in an absolutely brilliant performance, especially when one recalls the rigors of production, with filming going months over schedule, due to Judy's unhappy vicissitudes (so evident in her appearance even within the same scene!) With the very able support of Charles Bickford, as the most benign studio head ever, and Jack Carson proving why Warners kept him employed so often for so many years.

Plus musical direction taking fabulous advantage of Warners' studio orchestra (and WB's sound technicians who were, for several decades running, the envy of all the other major studios), and arrangements that must have overwhelmed first-run audiences with their incredible richness.

It's a must-see, all right, and is in a class by itself, among the several screen versions of this beloved Hollywood saga.

34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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