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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1981, Haver enlisted the help of writer Fay Kanin, president of the Motion Picture Academy® and a member of the National Committee for Film Preservation. She pitched the restoration project to Warner Bros. chairman Robert Daly, who gave Haver the go-ahead. Haver went through film storage vaults on both coasts and dug up leads about private, illegally obtained footage held by private collectors. He even had to call the police to track down one collector who had a 35mm negative of "Lose That Long Face. Eventually he assembled about 20 minutes of the missing half-hour, including both cut musical numbers and the proposal scene. Along the way, he also found a negative and print of The Animal Kingdom (1932), a film long thought lost; a pristine 35mm print of Of Human Bondage (1934) and the original negatives for A Star Is Born (1937), along with costume and photographic tests for the 1954 version. Other treats he found included newsreel footage and kinescopes of the film's premieres in Hollywood and New York and the first CinemaScope version of "The Man That Got Away." See more »
At the recording session for "Here's What I'm Here For", Esther runs across the studio to Norman during the chorus break, whereby a sound man moves his boom mic over to them to pick up their conversation already in progress. However in the playback, their conversation begins at scratch, immediately after the beginning of the chorus break. See more »
[after being introduced to Esther]
Esther Blodgett? Well, we'll do something about that. Anyway, nice to have you with us.
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I was disappointed with many aspects of a Star is Born. The restored version of the film is more than an hour too long. There are so many drawn out scenes and musical numbers that any tension between the characters is completely dissipated by the time we come to the tragic ending. The two great scenes -- Judy Garland's night club performance of the Man that Got Away and her song and dance routine in her living room using a lamp shade as a Chinese hat -- don't make up for all of the other overly long and unnecessary (as far as the plot or the character development is concerned) musical numbers. This is a showcase for Garland's considerable musical talents, it is not a well scripted movie. It's ashame because James Mason is terrific in his scenes.
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