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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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:
The Ultimate Wallow for Barbra-philes...Watch Closely Now as the New DVD Has Solid Extras 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


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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:
According to several Barbra Streisand bios, she directed a few minor scenes herself after she and Frank Pierson disagreed over the necessity of those scenes.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: As John is driving from the ranch house, ostensibly to the airport to pick up Brian, the music from his 8-track player begins before the tape is fully inserted.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Queer as Folk: Episode #2.6" (2002)See more »
Soundtrack:
EVERGREEN (Love Theme from A Star is Born)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
The Ultimate Wallow for Barbra-philes...Watch Closely Now as the New DVD Has Solid Extras, 29 November 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

Thirty years after its initial release, the third version of "A Star Is Born" finally comes to DVD in a package that should please the most devoted fans of Barbra Streisand. That would include me since I just saw her in concert singing among other numbers, the feminist anthem "Woman in the Moon" from this 1976 film. Easy to dismiss, the movie's career-polarizing story is such a sturdy pile of Hollywood-style clichés that variations of it exist in other films including Streisand's own "Funny Girl". This time reset to the then-contemporary music scene, the timeworn plot follows self-destructive rock star John Norman Howard on his deep-dive career descent just as he meets club singer Esther Hoffman who is awaiting her big break.

Troubles dog their courtship from the outset, as John Norman (both names please) responds to grasping fans and bloodless DJs with random acts of violence (from which he inexplicably escapes prosecution). To John Norman, Esther represents his last shot at happiness, and in turn, she is drawn to the innately decent, creative musician underneath the façade. In the movie's most pivotal scene, he gives Esther her big break at a benefit concert, and her career takes off. Inevitably, he can't handle the failure of his career in light of her meteoric success, and if you are familiar with any version of this story, you know the rest. Directed by Frank Pierson (although Streisand's budding directorial talents are obviously on display), the film still manages to draw me in, even though I know it is shamelessly contrived and manipulative. It still has a certain emotional resonance despite its numerous flaws.

Although Streisand in her prime seems like the ideal choice to play a rising singing star, her screen persona is simply too strong and predefined to play Esther credibly. The same can be said for her performing style since the script seems to make allowances for her softer Adult Contemporary-oriented material to be accepted within the otherwise hardened world of arena rock. From the moment she pops her head up as the middle of the Oreos, she can't help but come across as an established star. I can forgive the lapse simply because she is an unparalleled vocal talent, but what becomes less forgiving is how she makes Esther more strident than poignant when John Norman's woes become overwhelming. This creates an oddly discomfiting dynamic in the last part of the film when it becomes less about what caused the climactic event than Esther's response to it. This is capped off by an uninterrupted eight-minute close-up of her memorial performance - great except when she regrettably mimics John Norman's style toward the end.

Kristofferson, on the other hand, gives a superb performance throughout, managing a level of honesty that grounds the film and makes palpable his concurrent feelings of love, pride and resentment toward Esther. He makes his vodka-soaked onstage growling work within this context. Otherwise, what always strikes me as strange about this version is how all the supporting characters are relegated to the background as if they didn't exist unless they were interacting with the two principals. The only ones who register are Paul Mazursky as John Norman's level-headed manager Brian and Gary Busey as his cynical band manager Bobbie. Veteran cameraman Robert Surtees provides a nice burnish to the cinematography though a level of graininess persists in the print. A big seller in its day, the soundtrack is a hodgepodge of different styles from the 1970's - some songs still quite good ("Everything", "Woman in the Moon", "Watch Closely Now"), some that have moved to kitsch ("Queen Bee", Kenny Loggins' "I Believe in Love") and of course, the inescapable "Evergreen".

The print transfer on the 2006 DVD is clean and the sound gratefully crisp thanks to digital remastering. Streisand's participation is the chief lure of the extras beginning with her feature-length commentary. She gives insightful information about the genesis of the film, the casting and the reportedly troubled production. She is also refreshingly candid about the megalomania of Jon Peters, her hairdresser boyfriend who became the movie's producer, and her dissatisfaction with Pierson as a director. I just wish she could have provided more scene-specific comments that directly relate to what is on screen. She also tends to repeat the same anecdotes when the mood strikes her, e.g., it gets tiring to hear for the third time how the person playing the chauffeur was a friend of Peters. I think having a second commentator could have drawn out other nuggets from her.

There is a wardrobe test reel that shows some amusing 1970's clothes, especially Kristofferson's mixed-fabric poncho and orange polyester shirt. There are also twelve deleted scenes included with Streisand's optional commentary. One is a comic bread-baking scene which reminded me how much I like Streisand in farcical comedies. Another is an extended scene in which she plays "Evergreen" on the guitar in front of an awestruck Kristofferson who then falls asleep. The most interesting is an alternate take on the musical finale incorporating fast cuts, which I agree with Streisand should have been used. Fittingly, the theatrical trailers for all three versions of "A Star Is Born" are also included.

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