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A Star Is Born
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A Star Is Born (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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A Star Is Born -- Trailer for the classic musical drama starring Judy Garland and James Mason.

Overview

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7.8/10   9,437 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Moss Hart (screenplay)
Dorothy Parker (1937 screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Star Is Born on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 October 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Destiny came at her with a leer! See more »
Plot:
A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(384 articles)
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 (From Digital Spy - Movie News. 13 August 2014, 4:59 AM, PDT)

A Star Is Born (Again)
 (From Keyframe. 4 August 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Oscar that got away... See more (116 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judy Garland ... Vicki Lester / Esther Blodgett

James Mason ... Norman Maine

Jack Carson ... Matt Libby

Charles Bickford ... Oliver Niles

Tommy Noonan ... Danny McGuire (as Tom Noonan)
Lucy Marlow ... Lola Lavery

Amanda Blake ... Susan Ettinger
Irving Bacon ... Graves
Hazel Shermet ... Libby's Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Brown ... Glenn Williams
Laurindo Almeida ... Guitarist (uncredited)
Rudolph Anders ... Mr. Ettinger (uncredited)
David Armstrong ... Soundman (uncredited)
Phil Arnold ... Agent #3 (uncredited)
Nadine Ashdown ... Esther - Age 6 (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Baker ... Father (uncredited)
Richard H. Bauman ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
George Becwar ... Assistant Director (uncredited)

Don Beddoe ... Studio Executive at Premiere (uncredited)
Rodney Bell ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Tom Blakiston ... Young Man (uncredited)
Oscar Blanke ... Vagrant #2 (uncredited)

Willis Bouchey ... McBride (uncredited)
Marshall Bradford ... Academy Awards Attendee (uncredited)
Ruth Brady ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)

Paul Brinegar ... Man at Funeral (uncredited)
Sheila Bromley ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Bartender at Racetrack (uncredited)
Benny Burt ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Kathryn Card ... Landlady (voice) (uncredited)
John Carlyle ... Assistant Director (uncredited)
Ross Carmichael ... Photographer (uncredited)
Chick Chandler ... Man in Car at Diner (uncredited)
Samuel Colt ... Stage Manager / Sammy (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Benefit Comedy Team Member (uncredited)
Charles J. Conrad ... Assistant Director (uncredited)
Tom Cound ... Price Waterhouse Man (uncredited)
Russell Custer ... Courtroom Officer (uncredited)
Blythe Daley ... Ms. Nora Fusselow (uncredited)
Havis Davenport ... Paramount Starlet (uncredited)
Jerry DeCoe ... Autograph Hound (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Assistant Director at Train Station (uncredited)
Alan DeWitt ... Makeup Artist #1 (uncredited)
Joe Dougherty ... Makeup Man #3 (uncredited)
Robert Dumas ... Drummer (uncredited)
Helen Eby-Rock ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Jack Ellis ... Pinkerton Detective (uncredited)
Jean Engstrom ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Rex Evans ... Academy Awards Emcee (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Ray (uncredited)
Timothy Farrell ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Frank Ferguson ... Judge George J. Barnes (uncredited)
Gordon Finn ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
George Fisher ... George (uncredited)
Elizabeth Flournoy ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Academy Awards Attendee (uncredited)
Almeda Fowler ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Nacho Galindo ... José Rodriguez (uncredited)
Wilton Graff ... Shrine Auditorium Emcee (uncredited)
Joe Green ... Agent #1 (uncredited)
Michael Hail ... Rails (uncredited)
Robert Haines ... 2nd Assistant Director (uncredited)
Charles Halton ... Paymaster #1 (uncredited)
Joseph Hamilton ... Agent #2 (uncredited)
Jack Harmon ... Dancer - 'Gotta Have Me Go With You' Number (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Benefit Attendee / Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Michael Hathaway ... Agent (uncredited)
Ray Heindorf ... Himself - at Movie Premiere Party (uncredited)
Percy Helton ... William Gregory (uncredited)
Louis Jean Heydt ... Ocean Scene Director (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Melancholy Baby Number Spectator (uncredited)
Olin Howland ... Charley (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy ... Soundman (uncredited)
James Hyland ... Assistant Announcer (uncredited)
Bob Jellison ... Eddie (uncredited)
Jay Johnson ... Musician (uncredited)
Arlene Karr ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Kenney ... Nightclub Man #1 (uncredited)
Tom Kingston ... Reporter (uncredited)
Cele Kirk ... Reporter at Shrine Auditorium (uncredited)
George Kitchel ... Reporter (uncredited)
Allen Kramer ... (uncredited)
Frank Kreig ... Man at Funeral (uncredited)
Henry Kulky ... Cuddles (uncredited)

Nancy Kulp ... Esther's Neighbor (uncredited)
Paul Levitt ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Gloria Lewin ... Oleander Arms Landlady (uncredited)
Carey Loftin ... Signboard Man #2 (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)

Strother Martin ... Delivery Boy (uncredited)
Louis Mason ... Doorman (uncredited)
Nita Mathews ... Dancer - 'Born in a Trunk' Number (uncredited)
Ila McAvoy ... Mother - 'Born in a Trunk' Number (uncredited)
Jack McCoy ... Father - 'Born in a Trunk' Number (uncredited)
Don McKay ... Dancer - 'Gotta Have Me Go With You' Number (uncredited)
Heidi Meadows ... Esther - Age 3 (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Paymaster #2 (uncredited)
Charles Merton ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Benefit Attendee (uncredited)
Nolie Miller ... Dancer (uncredited)
Patrick Miller ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Mort Mills ... Makeup Man (uncredited)
John Monaghan ... Male Secretary (uncredited)
Hal J. Moore ... Racetrack PA Announcer (uncredited)
Monette Moore ... Blues Singer (uncredited)
Charles Morton ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Benefit Attendee (uncredited)
Tom Nolan ... Child Dancer - 'Born in a Trunk' Number (uncredited)
Barry Norton ... Benefit Attendee (uncredited)

Ron Nyman ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Racetrack Spectator (uncredited)
Leonard Penn ... Train Station Scene Director (uncredited)
Barbara Pepper ... Esther's Neighbor (uncredited)
Jack Pepper ... Chef (uncredited)
Hilda Plowright ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Mel Pogue ... Autograph Hound (uncredited)
Ezelle Poule ... Shrine Auditorium Photographer (uncredited)
Frank Puglia ... Bruno (uncredited)
Grandon Rhodes ... Producer at Premiere (uncredited)
Don Richards ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Kay Riehl ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
Larry Rio ... Soundman (uncredited)
Lotus Robb ... Ms. Markham (uncredited)
Walter Rode ... Courtroom Policeman (uncredited)
Riza Royce ... Secretary (uncredited)
Henry Russell ... Studio Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Dick Ryan ... Nightclub Man #2 (uncredited)
Bobby Sailes ... Dancer - 'Born in a Trunk' Number (uncredited)

John Saxon ... Movie Premiere Usher (uncredited)
Patrick Sexton ... Bert (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Wheeler (uncredited)
Joan Shawlee ... Joan (uncredited)
Don Shelton ... TV Director (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Man Trying to Subdue Norman at Banquet (uncredited)
Dick Simmons ... Producer / Benefactor (uncredited)
Elmera Smith ... Pasedena Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Space ... Night Court Clerk (uncredited)
Eileen Stevens ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Robert Stevenson ... Boom Operator (uncredited)
Robert Strong ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Grady Sutton ... Artie Carver (uncredited)

Dub Taylor ... Norman's Driver (voice) (uncredited)
Wayne Taylor ... Autograph Hound (uncredited)
Al Thompson ... Vagrant #1 (uncredited)
Ted Thorpe ... Soundman (uncredited)
Louis Tomei ... Signboard Man #1 (uncredited)
Emerson Treacy ... Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Photographer Pushed Down in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Valerie Vernon ... Marian (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Geraldine Wall ... Esther's Neighbor (uncredited)
Ruth Warren ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Watts ... Harrison (uncredited)
Harte Wayne ... Man at Funeral (uncredited)
Richard Webb ... Wallace (uncredited)
Duff Whitney ... Reporter (uncredited)
Shirley Whitney ... Malibu Party Guest (uncredited)
Josephine Whittell ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Frank (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Stagehand Carrying Poles / Passerby Outside Hotel (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Charles (uncredited)
Jean Woodley ... Shrine Auditorium Reporter (uncredited)
Stephen Wyman ... Nigel Peters (uncredited)
Mary Young ... Boardinghouse Woman (uncredited)
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Directed by
George Cukor 
 
Writing credits
Moss Hart (screenplay)

Dorothy Parker (1937 screenplay) &
Alan Campbell (1937 screenplay) &
Robert Carson (1937 screenplay)

William A. Wellman (1937 story) and
Robert Carson (1937 story)

Produced by
Vern Alves .... associate producer
Sidney Luft .... producer
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ray Heindorf (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt 
 
Film Editing by
Folmar Blangsted 
 
Production Design by
Gene Allen 
 
Art Direction by
Malcolm C. Bert  (as Malcolm Bert)
 
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins 
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis 
Mary Ann Nyberg 
 
Makeup Department
Del Armstrong .... makeup creator: Miss Garland
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Helen Young .... hair stylist: Miss Garland
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair designer: Ms. Garland (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Earl Bellamy .... assistant director
Edward Graham .... assistant director
Russell Llewellyn .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Irene Sharaff .... art director: "Born in a Trunk" sequence
Gil Kissel .... props (uncredited)
Weldon H. Patterson .... props (uncredited)
Saul Steinberg .... set decorator: "Lose That Long Face" sequence (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles David Forrest .... sound (as David Forrest)
Charles Lang .... sound (as Charles B. Lang)
 
Special Effects by
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
 
Visual Effects by
Lisze Bechtold .... still photograph sequences (1983 restoration) (as Lize Bechtold Blyth)
Eric Durst .... still photograph sequences (1983 restoration)
Kevin Kutchaver .... photo enhancement (1983 restoration) (uncredited)
Ken Rudolph .... animation camera operator (1983 restoration) (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Louise Montana .... stunts (uncredited)
Montie Montana .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Pat Clark .... still photographer (uncredited)
Al Green .... camera operator (uncredited)
Burt Jones .... best boy (uncredited)
Milton R. Krasner .... photographer: CinemaScope test sequences (uncredited)
Gene Polito .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Richard Thoessen .... best boy (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Richard L. Wilson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Robert Wyckoff .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Warren Yaple .... grip (uncredited)
 
Animation Department
Hoyningen Huene .... special color design advisor (as Hoyningen-Huene)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene Sharaff .... costumes: for song "Born in a Trunk"
Jack Delaney .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Henry Field .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Lillian House .... wardrobe: ladies (uncredited)
Orrell Johnson .... wardrobe: ladies (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Craig Holt .... editor: reconstructed sequences (1983 restoration)
D.J. Ziegler .... assistant editor: reconstructed sequences (1983 restoration)
 
Music Department
Jack Cathcart .... vocal arranger
Ray Heindorf .... musical director
Skip Martin .... orchestrator
Hoyt Bohannon .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Buddy Cole .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Roger Edens .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Nick Fatool .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Ray Heindorf .... composer: music cues (uncredited)
Howard Jackson .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet soloist (uncredited)
Babe Russin .... musician: tenor sax (uncredited)
Hal Schaefer .... musician: piano (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Richard Barstow .... dance creator
Richard Barstow .... dance stager
Mitchell Kovaleski .... technicolor color consultant (as Mitchell G. Kovaleski)
Hal Bell .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
Nelson Cordes .... technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Gloria DeWerd .... dance-in (uncredited)
Jack Harmon .... assistant dance director (uncredited)
Robert Heasley .... business manager (uncredited)
Eugene Loring .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
Alma Young .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
181 min (premiere version) | USA:154 min | USA:176 min (restored version) | Germany:169 min (DVD) | West Germany:177 min (cut version: 120')
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound System) (magnetic prints) | Mono (optical prints)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:S | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:7 (re-release) (1984) | UK:U | UK:A (original rating) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (PCA #16751, General Audience) | USA:PG (re-rating) (1983) | West Germany:6 (cut version) | West Germany:12 (uncut version)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A torch song supreme which was nominated for an Oscar, "The Man That Got Away" (music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) had been photographed in three diverse schemes on a nightclub floor using distinctly different camera setups, lighting, placement of the band members and furniture, costuming for Judy Garland and the musicians, hairstyles for Miss Garland, and bits of business before she sings. (In the initial footage, Tommy Noonan lightly shoves Judy off the piano bench. In the next design, Judy serves coffee to Tommy and the on-screen trumpeter.) Ultimately, the "dark" version was chosen - with the club appearing somewhat cavernous in mostly dark-brownish hews, plus Judy wearing a navy-blue dress. The various permutations of this famous film number can be compared on the DVD from Warner Home Video.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: Although the interior of Esther's apartment appears to be situated on a hill with a panoramic view of Hollywood, the address she gives Norman is in the flatlands of Hollywood with, at best, a second story view of nearby buildings.See more »
Quotes:
Esther Blodgett:[Norman has finished looking through Esther's scrapbook] You know as much about me as I do myself. But...you see how long it's taken me to get this far. Now, all I need is just a little luck.
Norman Maine:What kind of luck?
Esther Blodgett:Oh, the kind of luck that every girl singer with a band dreams of--one night a big talent scout from a big record company might come in and he'll let me make a record.
Norman Maine:Yes, and then?
Esther Blodgett:Well, the record will become number one on the Hit Parade, it'll be played on the jukeboxes all over the country...and I'll be made
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "At the Movies: Episode #9.1" (2012)See more »
Soundtrack:
SwaneeSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How does the movie end?
Why is the movie interspersed with still photos?
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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
The Oscar that got away..., 26 August 2002
Author: rondine (susan.rondine@cox.net) from Mesa, AZ

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!!

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