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>
Hugh Martin, who was hired as vocal arranger, stormed off the set after a row with Judy Garland over her interpretation of "The Man That Got Away". Garland's mentor and MGM vocal arranger Roger Edens replaced him. See more »
Vicki and Norman's house is shown, in the distance, as being on top of a bluff overlooking the ocean, but inside the house, it appears that the house is sitting on the beach. 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 »
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
If you haven't seen this in wide screen then you haven't seen this movie
Who would have thought? Cukor, never having worked in colour before AND never having worked in widescreen before did the best piece of work of his career here. 'The Man That Got Away' is always considered one of the best musical numbers to come out of old Hollywood: but wait until you've seen it in widescreen. It's not even the same number, and you get why people who've seen this film in theatres revere the number. Some of the compositions (especially during the opening set piece) aren't just Cukor's best work, they rival anyone's from that era. Let me reitierate: see it in widescreen or trust those of us who have. This musical/ melodrama/tragedy set the bar so high that 50 years later people remember this film but not the musical that got a best picture nomination that year, OR, the performance that won Best Actress that year.
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