7.6/10
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63 user 46 critic

A Star Is Born (1937)

Passed | | Drama | 27 April 1937 (USA)
A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors:

William A. Wellman, Jack Conway (uncredited)

Writers:

Dorothy Parker (screen play), Alan Campbell (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,329 ( 121)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Janet Gaynor ... Esther Victoria Blodgett - aka Vicki Lester
Fredric March ... Norman Maine
Adolphe Menjou ... Oliver Niles
May Robson ... Grandmother Lettie Blodgett
Andy Devine ... Danny McGuire
Lionel Stander ... Matt Libby
Owen Moore ... Casey Burke - Director
Peggy Wood ... Miss Phillips - Central Casting Clerk
Elizabeth Jenns ... Anita Regis
Edgar Kennedy ... Pop Randall - Landlord
J.C. Nugent J.C. Nugent ... Mr. Blodgett
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Posture Coach (as Guinn Williams)
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Storyline

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate Raised Her To Fame - and killed the man she loved ! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Star Is Born See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,173,639 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,360,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Oscar that Janet Gaynor receives in the film is her own Oscar, which she won for her role in 7th Heaven (1927). See more »

Goofs

The Night Court Judge refers to the "commonwealth" of California, but California isn't one of the states with commonwealth status. The judge should have referred to the "state" instead. See more »

Quotes

Grandmother Lettie: If you've got one drop of my blood in your veins, you won't let Mattie or any of her kind break your heart, you'll go right out there and break it yourself.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Telugu Remake See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: A Tsar Is Born (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Préludes
(1848) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
(played by the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best version
16 July 2005 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Fredric March gave a magnificent performance, probably the best of his career, as Norman Maine, the actor whose career is in the descendant as that of his wife, Vikki Lester, is in the ascendant in this, the first 'official' version of "A Star is Born", (the 1932 film "What Price Hollywood" roughly told the same story). March displays just the right degree of brashness, of knowingness, and a combination of ego and a real actor's almost complete lack of ego. It's a miraculous piece of work.

As Lester, Janet Gaynor is touchingly blank but the star quality she is meant to display seems conspicuously absent; (in the 1954 musical remake Judy Garland was almost too much a star). It seems inconceivable that she could eclipse March on screen (even with his drinking). If Lester is a star and possibly a great actress Gaynor keeps the secret to herself.

The script for this version was partly written by Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell and it shows. It's an acerbic and, at times, savage movie about the movies, quite cynical for a major studio picture of it's day. It is very well directed by William Wellman who draws first-rate performances from the supporting cast, in particular Lionel Stander as a heartless, slime-ball studio hack. This remains the best of the three versions to come thus far.


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