7.8/10
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A Star Is Born (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 October 1954 (USA)
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ON DISC
A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

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Writers:

(screen play by), (based on the 1937 screen play by) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
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Director: George Sidney
Stars: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, John Hodiak
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Danny McGuire (as Tom Noonan)
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Lola Lavery
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Susan Ettinger
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Graves
Hazel Shermet ...
Libby's Secretary
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Glenn Williams
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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:

Destiny came at her with a leer! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein neuer Stern am Himmel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,019,770 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,933,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judy Garland was on her best behaviour during the early days of shooting, but she slowly lost control. She first called in sick on November 9, which kept her off the film for four days. She got sick again shooting outdoor locations and missed three more days. She was sick again for two days in December. Then they had to postpone a scene because she didn't like her costume. Other days, she had to leave early because she was too tired or sick to go on. By February, they were 41 days behind schedule. In late March, she took two weeks off to get herself off all prescription medications. Ultimately, the production would drag on for nine months. 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

Vicki Lester: [seeing Norman drunk] Mr. Maine is feeling no pain!
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Connections

Referenced in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Here's What I'm Here For
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Judy Garland
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Be sure to see the restored version

Much has been written about this movie (to extremely great length) in other reviews, so I'll try to keep this fairly brief and concise.

First, the restored version runs at 176 minutes. The movie originally ran at 181 minutes, but was cut to 154 minutes when theater owners complained that they were losing money due to the excessive length. The cut destroyed the integrity of the movie - director Cukor never saw the movie again. However, the restored version contains stills to replace some of the cut footage, and gives a better sense of the film's power and scope.

Second, all four major studio versions of the story (including "What Price Hollywood?") have their own merits and differ greatly from one another. If you like the story, see them all and compare for yourself. It's quite fun to compare!

Third, definitely see this version for Judy. Sure, Judy's "The Man That Got Away" may be the greatest musical moment on cinema, but it's her dramatic performance that will keep your attention over almost three hours. James Mason is on target, and the supporting cast is fine, but Judy just dominates the screen. It's an opportunity to see a true genius in action at the absolute height of her powers. For more dramatic Judy, see her in "The Clock".

George Cukor was acclaimed as the great director of actresses, and he raises Judy to the height she deserves. I love Judy. This is a 10 out of 10.


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