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A Star Is Born (1976)

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A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.


Frank Pierson


John Gregory Dunne (screenplay by), Joan Didion (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
501 ( 2)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbra Streisand ... Esther Hoffman
Kris Kristofferson ... John Norman Howard
Gary Busey ... Bobby Ritchie
Oliver Clark ... Gary Danziger
Venetta Fields ... The Oreos
Clydie King ... The Oreos
Marta Heflin ... Quentin
M.G. Kelly M.G. Kelly ... Bebe Jesus
Sally Kirkland ... Photographer
Joanne Linville ... Freddie
Uncle Rudy Uncle Rudy ... Mo
Paul Mazursky ... Brian
Stephen Bruton Stephen Bruton ... The Speedway
Sammy Lee Creason Sammy Lee Creason ... The Speedway (as Sam Creason)
Cleve Dupin Cleve Dupin ... The Speedway


Talented rock star John Norman Howard has seen his career begin to decline. Too many years of concerts and managers and life on the road have made him cynical and the monotony has taken its toll. Then he meets the innocent, pure and very talented singer Esther Hoffman. As one of his songs in the movie says "I'm gonna take you girl, I'm gonna show you how." And he does. He shows Esther the way to stardom while forsaking his own career. As they fall in love, her success only makes his decline even more apparent. Written by A. Lloyd Adams [aadams@airmail.net]

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Road See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kenny Loggins was offered the part of John Norman Howard as well. However he declined due to his touring commitments with Loggins & Messina. Interestingly, his song "I Believe in Love", which he co-wrote with Alan Bergman and his wife Marilyn Bergman, was performed by Barbra Streisand in the film. See more »


Before performing at the charity concert John detaches a label from Esther's jacket twice. See more »


Esther Hoffman: I think I'll do my tour in trash flash.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ms. Streisand's clothes from ... Her Closet. See more »


Referenced in That '70s Show: Battle of the Sexists (1998) See more »


Music & Lyrics by Paul Williams & Kenny Ascher
Performed by Kris Kristofferson
See more »

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User Reviews

Not just for Streisand fans
12 March 2013 | by jimpowellsfSee all my reviews

OK, granted the story of the born star is about Streisand's character, but the love story alone is fairly universal. Can love survive when one partner is seen as more successful than the other? Both Streisand and Kristofferson give solid performances. These characters are in love but are clearly on different trajectories.

The music is important for the forward movement of the film, but it's not really a musical, per se. Both Kristofferson's and Streisand's performances are great (so get the soundtrack if you don't have it).

I think this movie still holds up even almost 40 years (can you believe it?) later. The messages in the movie seem to be stronger once you've lived life, had success, had failure, been in love, and lost love.

Overall, do you need to be a Streisand fan to like the movie? It helps. If you don't like her, you won't likely enjoy the movie, but she doesn't come across as the sole focus of the movie. Her story, his story, and their story seems to be told in equal measure. Haven't seen it? Do. Saw it years ago? See it again soon.

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