IMDb > A Star Is Born (1976)
A Star Is Born
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A Star Is Born (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Up 39% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
William A. Wellman (1937 story) and
Robert Carson (1937 story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Star Is Born on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 December 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Musical miscarriage ... See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbra Streisand ... Esther Hoffman

Kris Kristofferson ... John Norman Howard

Gary Busey ... Bobbie Ritchie
Oliver Clark ... Gary Danziger
Venetta Fields ... One of the Oreos
Clydie King ... One of the Oreos
Marta Heflin ... Quentin
M.G. Kelly ... Bebe Jesus

Sally Kirkland ... Photographer

Joanne Linville ... Freddie
Uncle Rudy ... Mo

Paul Mazursky ... Brian
Stephen Bruton ... Speedway
Sammy Lee Creason ... Speedway (as Sam Creason)
Cleve Dupin ... Speedway
Donnie Fritts ... Speedway
Dean Hagen ... Speedway

Booker T. Jones ... Speedway
Jerry McGee ... Speedway
Art Munson ... Speedway
Charles Owens ... Speedway
Terry Paul ... Speedway
Jack Redmond ... Speedway
Bobby Shew ... Speedway
Mike Utley ... Speedway (as Michael Utley)
Montrose ... Themselves
Bill Graham ... Himself
Rita Coolidge ... Herself

Tony Orlando ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Aesop Aquarian ... Recording Engineer - 'Meow-Chow' Catfood Commercial (uncredited)
Brent Carpenter ... Extra (uncredited)

Robert Englund ... Marty (uncredited)

Sandy Helberg ... Kevin (uncredited)
Roslyn Kind ... Table Guest at Grammy Awards (uncredited)

Maidie Norman ... Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Neil Norman ... Record Producer (uncredited)

Susan Richardson ... Groupie in Limousine (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Pierson 
 
Writing credits
William A. Wellman (1937 story) and
Robert Carson (1937 story)

John Gregory Dunne  &
Joan Didion  and
Frank Pierson 

Jonathan Axelrod  uncredited
Jay Presson Allen  uncredited
Alvin Sargent  uncredited

Produced by
Jon Peters .... producer
Barbra Streisand .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Roger Kellaway 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Surtees 
 
Film Editing by
Peter Zinner 
 
Production Design by
Polly Platt 
 
Art Direction by
William Hiney 
 
Set Decoration by
Ruby R. Levitt  (as Ruby Levitt)
 
Costume Design by
Seth Banks 
Shirlee Strahm 
 
Makeup Department
Barbara Lampson .... hair stylist
Kaye Pownall .... hair stylist: Ms. Streisand
Allan Snyder .... makeup artist
Marvin C. Thompson .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Howard Pine .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michele Ader .... second assistant director
Stuart Fleming .... assistant director (as Stu Fleming)
Edward Ledding .... second assistant director (as Ed Ledding)
John Slosser .... additional second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Joe Acord .... construction coordinator
Arthur Friedrich .... property master
Bruce Wayne Mecchi .... leadman (uncredited)
Eugene J. Reed .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Robert Glass .... dubbing mixer (as Bob Glass)
Robert Knudson .... dubbing mixer
Marvin I. Kosberg .... sound effects editor
Tom Overton .... production sound mixer
Josef von Stroheim .... sound effects editor
Dan Wallin .... dubbing mixer
Stephen Katz .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (uncredited)
Phil Ramone .... sound mixer: live recording (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects
 
Stunts
Lightning Bear .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
Spanky Spangler .... stunts (uncredited)
Ron Stein .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Barth .... assistant camera
Jules Fisher .... concert lighting
Daniel R. Jordan .... key grip (as Dan Jordan)
Earl Kennedy .... gaffer
Victor Nikaido .... assistant camera
Charles W. Short .... camera operator
Robert C. Thomas .... camera operator (as Robert Thomas)
Ron Grover .... still photographer (uncredited)
Serge Poupis .... assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
John R. Shannon .... still photographer (uncredited)
Johnny Walker .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Dianne Crittenden .... casting supervisor
Frank Kennedy .... extras casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Seth Banks .... wardrobe
Shirlee Strahm .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Marilyn Madderom .... apprentice editor
Michael E. Polakow .... apprentice editor
Florence Williamson .... assistant film editor
 
Music Department
John Caper Jr. .... music editor
Phil Ramone .... music & live recordings producer
Barbra Streisand .... musical concepts
Paul Williams .... music supervisor
 
Transportation Department
Alan Falco .... transportation
 
Other crew
Scott Conrad .... special sequences
Betty Crosby .... script supervisor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Gene Levy .... production auditor
Joan Marshall .... assistant: Ms. Streisand (as Joan Marshall Ashby)
Jeff Werner .... special sequences
David Winters .... choreographer
Laura Ziskin .... assistant: Mr. Peters
Dominic Santarone .... caterer (uncredited)
Ruth Santarone .... caterer (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Grace Davidson .... special thanks
Joyce Sullivan .... special thanks
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
139 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Kris Kristofferson did not get along with the director. According to Kris, Frank Pierson, himself a WW2 veteran, looked down on Kristofferson for being in the army, but not going to war in Vietnam. Kristofferson later said: "I was too drunk to give a shit."See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the swimming pool scene after the motorcycle accident at the stadium concert, John N Howard has Ace bandages on his foot and right hand. Yet, he is shown using the right hand to use a pair of crutches (would be too painful with a wrist sprain). He is also shown swimming, which is also painful to sprained joints. He is not shown wincing at all while swimming. He also puts weight on his right hand as he is getting out of the pool, pushing up on his fingertips on a straightened wrist. This would not be possible without severe pain, if the wrist is in fact damaged enough to require an Ace bandage.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Blue Nude (1977)See more »
Soundtrack:
LOST INSIDE OF YOUSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
49 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Musical miscarriage ..., 1 January 2006
Author: Merwyn Grote (majikstl@aol.com) from St. Louis, Missouri

To grasp where this 1976 version of A STAR IS BORN is coming from consider this: Its final number is sung by Barbra Streisand in a seven minute and forty second close-up, followed by another two-and-half-minute freeze frame of Ms. Streisand -- striking a Christ-like pose -- behind the closing credits. Over ten uninterrupted minutes of Barbra's distinctive visage dead center, filling the big screen with uncompromising ego. That just might be some sort of cinematic record.

Or think about this: The plot of this musical revolves around a love affair between two musical superstars, yet, while Streisand's songs are performed in their entirety -- including the interminable finale -- her costar Kris Kristofferson isn't allowed to complete even one single song he performs. Nor, though she does allow him to contribute a little back up to a couple of her ditties, do they actually sing a duet.

Or consider this: Streisand's name appears in the credits at least six times, including taking credit for "musical concepts" and her wardrobe (from her closet) -- and she also allegedly wanted, but failed to get co-directing credit as well. One of her credits was as executive producer, with a producer credit going to her then-boyfriend and former hairdresser, Jon Peters. As such, Streisand controlled the final cut of the film, which explains why it is so obsessed with skewing the film in her direction. What it doesn't explain is how come, given every opportunity to make The Great Diva look good, their efforts only make Streisand look bad. Even though this was one of Streisand's greatest box office hits, it is arguably her worst film and contains her worst performance.

Anyway, moving the melodrama from Hollywood to the world of sex-drugs-and-rock'n'roll, Streisand plays Esther Hoffman, a pop singer on the road to stardom, who shares the fast lane for a while with Kristofferson's John Norman Howard, a hard rocker heading for the off ramp to Has-beenville. In the previous incarnations of the story, "Norman Maine" sacrifices his leading man career to help newcomer "Vicky Lester" achieve her success. In the feminist seventies, Streisand & Co. want to make it clear that their heroine owes nothing to a man, so the trajectory is skewed; she'll succeed with or without him and he is pretty much near bottom from scene one; he's a burden she must endure in the name of love. As such, there is an obvious effort to make the leading lady not just tougher, but almost ruthless, while her paramour comes off as a henpecked twit.

Kristofferson schleps through the film with a credible indifference to the material; making little attempt to give much of a performance, and oddly it serves his aimless, listless character well. Streisand, on the other hand, exhibits not one moment of honesty in her entire time on screen. Everything she does seems, if not too rehearsed, at least too controlled. Even her apparent ad libs seem awkwardly premeditated and her moments of supposed hysteria coldly mechanical. The two have no chemistry, making the central love affair totally unbelievable. You might presume that his character sees in her a symbol of his fading youth and innocence, though at age 34, Streisand doesn't seem particularly young or naive. The only conceivable attraction he might offer to her is that she can exploit him as a faster route to stardom. And, indeed, had the film had the guts to actually play the material that way, to make Streisand's character openly play an exploitive villain, the film might have had a spark and maybe a reason to exist.

But I guess the filmmakers actually see Esther as a sympathetic victim; they don't seem to be aware just how cold-blooded and self absorbed she is. But sensitivity is not one of the film's strong points: note the petty joke of giving Barbra two African American back up singers just so the film can indulge in the lame racism of calling the trio The Oreos. And the film makes a big deal of pointing out that Esther retains her ethnic identity by using her given name of Hoffman, yet the filmmakers have changed the character's name of the previous films from "Esther Blodgett" so that Streisand won't be burdened with a name that is too Jewish or too unattractive. So much for ethnic pride.

The backstage back stabbing and backbiting that proceeded the film's release is near legendary, so the fact that the film ended up looking so polished is remarkable. Nominal director Frank Pierson seems to have delivered the raw material for a good movie, with considerable help from ace cinematographer Robert Surtees. And the film did serve its purpose, producing a soundtrack album of decent pop tunes (including the Oscar-winning "Evergreen" by Paul Williams and Streisand). But overall the film turned out to be the one thing Streisand reportedly claimed she didn't want it to be, a vanity project.

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