MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 5,715 this week

A Star Is Born (1954)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,291 users  
Reviews: 116 user | 64 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), , 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Boyhood

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director Richard Linklater and actors Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke about their movie Boyhood.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 02 May 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 18 Jan 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 May 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "A Star Is Born" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Star Is Born (1954)

A Star Is Born (1954) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Star Is Born.

User Polls

Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey
Cabaret (1972)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.

Director: Bob Fosse
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem
42nd Street (1933)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and at the last moment a chorus girl has to replace the star...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley
Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young girl separated from her lover by war faces a life altering decision.

Director: Jacques Demy
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon
Yentl (1983)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.

Director: Barbra Streisand
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Amy Irving, Mandy Patinkin
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
Show Boat (1951)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo
Pal Joey (1957)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl ("She used to be 'Vera...with the Vanishing Veils'") and now ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak
Street Girl (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A homeless and destitute violinist joins a combo to bring it success, but has problems with her love life.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Betty Compson, John Harron, Jack Oakie
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. ... See full summary »

Directors: John Cromwell, A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Hal Skelly, Nancy Carroll, Dorothy Revier
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

"IT IS SOMETHING TO SEE THIS 'STAR IS BORN'! STUNNING!" N.Y. Times (original ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nace una estrella  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,019,770 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,355,968 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene after the movie premiere, Matt Libby is at a party where he passes a man and says, "Hey, Ray! Great score, the best!" The man is Ray Heindorf, musical director for this film. See more »

Goofs

When Esther and Norman are in Norman's Lincoln convertible, in the closeups the seats have a blanket over the backrest, but in earlier and later shots only the car's standard upholstery is visible. See more »

Quotes

Matt Libby: This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, with a whimper.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Little Voice (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Commercial jingle performed by Judy Garland
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Oscar that got away...
26 August 2002 | by (Mesa, AZ) – See all my reviews

This movie is not without its flaws, but overall, it is a masterpiece.

The quintessential story of a couple, one who's career is on the rise, the other on the decline- is made extraordinary by the performances.

Ester Blodgett, aka: Vicki Lester (Judy Garland) plays the unknown talent with pipes that would put an organ to shame. Her singing in this movie is definitely a HUGE reason to watch it- especially the show stopper, "The Man that got away." Ester meets, by chance & some help from the bottle, the cinematic icon, Norman Maine (James Mason.) Even though he's drunk, he is taken with her. Much later that night, he finds her at a club just "kickin' it" with the boys in the band. In what is probably the best 5 mins of music in the history of musicals- Judy lets it all out in "The Man that got away." Sincerely, I MYSELF, have never heard singing like that. So absolutely raw, almost uncontrolled and full-out and all heart that it always gives me goosebumps! And an unobserved Norman Maine comes out of the shadows to tell Ester that he TOO has never heard singing like that. He tells her, (completely sober after sleeping off a little) that she has a great talent. And he makes her believe it.

She eventually gets her chance with some help from Norman, and makes a big hit movie. She starts to make a lotta hit movies. Meanwhile, Norman gets cut from the studio by his longtime friend & boss, Oliver Niles. One thing leads to another & even though he is happily married now to Ester, his drinking starts up again. In a scene that is almost too awful to watch, he stumbles in on her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. I dunno if that slap was real, but it looked real. And the ashamed look on his face afterwards looks real.

I won't give away the ending, but I will tell you why I liked this movie. First of all is Judy's singing. There are many memorable songs and moments. She always gives it her all when she sings. Or to paraphrase Ester in the movie, it's when she is her most alive. Her acting is terrific too. In a scene that is so well written and ahead of its time (and timeless), Ester tells her friend & studio head that she is worried about what's happening to her & Norman. That she hates him for the lies, for the promises to quit, and for failing. That she too feels like a failure. This scene encapsulates the ripple effect caused by alcoholism. Judy is absolutely mesmerizing as the wife who has discovered that love is not enough.

James Mason delivers one of the best & most convincing performances of an alcoholic on the decline that I've ever seen on screen. First of all, his charm & sincerity are apparent. When Libby (his Publicity Agent) says that his appeal & charm escape him, it's because he didn't see this side of him. He only saw the mean drunk and that wasn't who Norman Maine really was. James Mason is LOOKS so convincing that you'd swear he had a quick 6 or 7 drinks before the shoot. And his pain is real. In the scene where she gets him out of night court, his self-disgust and shame are vividly on his face. And the scene where he over-hears Ester & Oliver talking about him is enough to make anyone reach for the hankies. He has so much chemistry with Judy that you'd swear they were really in love. Many a reviewer has mentioned this- and I won't speculate on it- suffice to say that it adds tremendously to the movie, because it seems palpable how much Ester & Norman care about each other & are desperately in love. Definite Oscar-calibre performance by Garland & Mason here. This is the story of the Oscar that got away. In any world that was just, they both would've gotten one.

All the supporting roles are well done and not too obtrusive. My only complaint with the movie is the editing. I'm happy to have the restored version, but the editing could've made a more intense, compact version of the film. I will give one of many examples: The scene towards the end where her friend from the band arrives at her house to take her to the benefit. It is a very important scene. The next scene is at the benefit location. We have several minutes of them showing the backstage bustle before Ester & her friend enter. They already showed in the beginning of the film all the backstage confusion- it slows down the story. They could've cut directly to the part where she & him walk in. You still get a sense of what's going on around them without that long lead-in. That is just an example, there are more. But it is a minor complaint - I have a DVD & can scan when I need to. Overall this is a timeless movie with outstanding performances. A must see!!


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Cutting 'Loose That Long Face' robert7510
didn't anybody care how judy LOOKED in this movie? robertinlosangeles
This vs. 1937 version. rfm-1
A Note of Appreciation for Mason IrishHeart45
Jack Carson BigIdeasMolitz
Was that Jane Powell ? robert7510
Discuss A Star Is Born (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?