A musical remake of the classic 1937 film of the same name, A Star is Born was designed as Judy Garland's comeback vehicle after she had been cruelly axed by MGM studios for professional unreliability. Her erratic moods caused serious production delays this time around, too, but the behind-the-scenes turmoil was certainly worth it--Garland gives just about the greatest one-woman show in movie history. The story is the stuff of pure Hollywood legend. Aspiring actress-singer Esther Blodgett meets fading matinee idol Norman Maine (James Mason), who navigates her to stardom... under the more melodious handle of Vickie Lester. As she rises meteorically, he declines into alcoholic self-pity--and the result, if you haven't guessed, is plenty of heartbreak. Mason lends subtle support in a role Cary Grant refused as too downbeat for his image, but Garland grabs centre stage with an all-out emotional performance that rivets the attention. Director George Cukor was famous for coaxing the very best out of screen divas, and A Star is Born must be counted as his crowning achievement. The lush visual style that he contributes provides a suitable setting for Garland's deep, rich voice--throbbing with melancholy in the Harold Arlen-Ira Gershwin ballad "The Man That Got Away", then capering joyfully in the gargantuan musical number "Born in a Trunk". Moss Hart's script takes many cynical swipes at the pretensions of Tinsel Town--perhaps too many for the taste of studio boss Jack Warner, who ordered drastic cuts in the film after its premiere. --Peter Matthews [show more]
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. 'A Star Is Born' marked Judy Garland's return to movies after a four year absence, director George Cukor's first musical and first colour film, and a showcase for the great Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs in state-of-the-art stereo. One of the most beloved show business stories of all time, it represents a career peak for many involved. Garland is singer Esther Blodgett, an undeniable talent on the rise. She catches the eye of Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic actor in a career decline. Their intense love transforms them both. Only one will survive Hollywood's slings and arrows... Shortened after its premiere, the movie underwent one rebirth in 1983 when film historian Ronald Haver found almost all the cut sequences and supervised a reconstruction to near its original length. Its rebirth on DVD is includes a breathtaking digital surround stereo track and incorporates picture and musical material found in Warner Bros' vaults.
A remake of the 1937 classic, this time as a musical about a Hollywood couple going through bad times. Would-be singer Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland) finds herself taken under the wing of fading star Norman Maine (James Mason) when she saves him from making a drunken fool of himself on stage. Changing her name to Vicki Lester, Esther becomes a star, and is soon married to Norman. However, as Vicki's star rises, so Norman's falls. Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs include 'The Man That Got Away'.