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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WILHELM SCREAM: In the projection room while playing the western. See more »
After Vicki comes home and she performs in her house for Norman, the doorbell rings and he goes to the door to accept a package for Vicki. His hair is all mussed up when he goes to the door, but after he closes it and the camera goes back to him, there isn't a hair out of place. Then he walks over to where Vicki is and his hair is all mussed up again. See more »
[Norman has returned to find her in a nightclub. She walks over to him with a small laugh]
Hello, Mr. Maine. You turn up in the strangest places.
Don't I now?
[stops laughing, suddenly shocked]
And you're cold sober.
Well, you'd better make the most of it!
See more »
As Matt Libby (Jack Carson) dictates the cancellation/resignation of Norman Maine's (James Mason) contract, a theater marquee featuring "Black Legion" starring Norman Maine, outside his window is being taken down. "Black Legion" was a 1937 movie starring Humphrey Bogart, one of the actors that turned down the role of Norman Maine for this picture. See more »
In 1983 the film was restored to 176 minutes by Ron Haver. However, although all of the original soundtrack was available, some visual footage couldn't be found: the restored version resorts to a montage of stills, dialogue and music in place of the missing scenes. Director George Cukor died the day before the opening of the restored version. See more »
In a career of classic performances this may be Judy Garland's best role and one that certainly uses her many talents to the hilt. James Mason gives an Oscar caliber performance as well and I believe in almost any other year that he wasn't up against Brando's "On the Waterfront" performance he would and should have won.
This George Cukor film features gorgeous color and beautiful cinematography, but does suffer from choppy editing that may be the result of restored footage. The project to restore over an hour of missing footage scrapped by the producers after the original length was in excess of four and a half hours may have been done with the best intentions, but is still incomplete and leaves the film disjointed and obviously lacking. I certainly wish the original footage was never scrapped, but this spotty attempt at restoration makes you feel like your watching more of a project than a classic film. Sometimes less is more and definitely in this case.
Whatever you do make sure you see the widescreen version of this film that was originally shot in Cinemascope or you will only see about a third of the actual picture and I assure you, you won't want to miss any of it.
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