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>
The New York premiere was so big it had to be held at two theatres, the Victoria and the Capitol. See more »
Norman's final minutes take place just as the sun is about to set. Yet when he walks on the beach, the shadows indicate that particular scene was shot in the late afternoon. See more »
[after being introduced to Esther]
Esther Blodgett? Well, we'll do something about that. Anyway, nice to have you with us.
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 »
Contrary to popular belief, the film was not originally at 181 minutes, but rather 196 (3hrs. and 16mins.) at a post-premiere shown on August 8, 1954 in Huntington Park, California. After its second post-premiere - the very next day - two scenes of 15 minutes total were deleted; making the film run its original world debut length at 181 minutes. One was a number called "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" that came after Judy's take of "I'll Get By" in the 'Born in the Trunk' sequence, the other was a scene where Garland and James Mason's characters (Vicki and Norman) were picnicking on the beach; production stills and promotional advertisements are the only thing left in existence of the footage. After its world premiere on September 29, 1954, 27 minutes was cut, bringing it down to a mediocre 154 time length. Those scenes were:
1) Esther quitting the band
2) The Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo
3) Esther working at a drive-in
4) Norman being driven away drunk in his car
5) Norman inquiring Esther's old landlady
6) Spotting Esther on the TV commercial
7) Tracking down Esther at her new boarding residence
8) Driving down the strip - Esther getting sick
9) "Here's What I'm Here For" musical number - Norman proposes
10) "Lose That Long Face" musical number - Vicki breaks down
Count me among those who love this film, but am I the only one who feels for Libby, played by Jack Carson? Yes, he's snide and spiteful, but for God's sake, who wouldn't be in his shoes? When he says, "Norman Maine's charm escapes me." I tend to agree with him. What makes this violent drunk so special anyway, except that he's played by James Mason? And, although she's played by Judy Garland at her radiant best, isn't Esther a classic co-dependent wife? Have any of you adoring fans ever actually dealt with a close one who's alcoholic?
When the studio mogul says, after Norman Maine dies, "you didn't know him at all," I feel like arguing the point. Libby should say, "Maybe YOU didn't know him, Oliver. Did he ever insult you for making him do his job? Did he ever punch you out? Did you ever have to continually face his dirty side, as I did, which he--and you too, Oliver--refused to confront?"
Maybe I'm a poop. But I had to say it.
And, yes, it's a brilliant film.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this