7.7/10
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A Star Is Born (1954)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 16 October 1954 (USA)
Trailer
4:21 | Trailer

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A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

Moss Hart (screen play by), Dorothy Parker (based on the 1937 screen play by) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
967 ( 479)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Judy Garland ... Vicki Lester
James Mason ... Norman Maine
Jack Carson ... Matt Libby
Charles Bickford ... Oliver Niles
Tommy Noonan ... Danny McGuire (as Tom Noonan)
Lucy Marlow ... Lola Lavery
Amanda Blake ... Susan Ettinger
Irving Bacon ... Graves
Hazel Shermet Hazel Shermet ... Libby's Secretary
James Brown ... Glenn Williams
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Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The applause of the world -- and then this! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Star Is Born See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,019,770 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,933,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Transcona Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(premiere) | (restored) | (DVD) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound System) (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The New York premiere was so big it had to be held at two theatres, the Victoria and the Capitol. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Matt Libby: [after being introduced to Esther] Esther Blodgett? Well, we'll do something about that. Anyway, nice to have you with us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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
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Connections

Referenced in The Proud Family: A Star Is Scorned (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)
(uncredited)
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Performed by Judy Garland as part of the "Born in a Trunk" medley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

In Defense of Libby....
21 November 2001 | by patrick.hunterSee all my reviews

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.


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