A Star Is Born

( 3 )

Overview

A Star is Born came into being when producer David O. Selznick decided to tell a "true behind-the-scenes" story of Hollywood. The truth, of course, was filtered a bit for box-office purposes, although Selznick and an army of screenwriters based much of their script on actual people and events. Janet Gaynor stars as Esther Blodgett, the small-town girl who dreams of Hollywood stardom, a role later played by both Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in the 1954 and 1976 remakes. Jeered at by most of her family, Esther...
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Overview

A Star is Born came into being when producer David O. Selznick decided to tell a "true behind-the-scenes" story of Hollywood. The truth, of course, was filtered a bit for box-office purposes, although Selznick and an army of screenwriters based much of their script on actual people and events. Janet Gaynor stars as Esther Blodgett, the small-town girl who dreams of Hollywood stardom, a role later played by both Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in the 1954 and 1976 remakes. Jeered at by most of her family, Esther finds an ally in her crusty old grandma (May Robson), who admires the girl's "pioneer spirit" and bankrolls Esther's trip to Tinseltown. On arrival, Esther heads straight to Central Casting, where a world-weary receptionist (Peggy Wood), trying to let the girl down gently, tells her that her chances for stardom are about one in a thousand. "Maybe I'll be that one!" replies Esther defiantly. Months pass: through the intervention of her best friend, assistant director Danny McGuire (Andy Devine), Esther gets a waitressing job at an upscale Hollywood party. Her efforts to "audition" for the guests are met with quizzical stares, but she manages to impress Norman Maine (Fredric March), the alcoholic matinee idol later played by James Mason and Kris Kristofferson. Esther gets her first big break in Norman's next picture and a marriage proposal from the smitten Mr. Maine. It's a hit, but as Esther (now named Vicki)'s star ascends, Norman's popularity plummets due to a string of lousy pictures and an ongoing alcohol problem. The film won Academy Awards for director William Wellman and Robert Carson in the "original story" category and for W. Howard Greene's glistening Technicolor cinematography.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
A Star is Born showcased Janet Gaynor's last great performance and established one of the screen's most enduring tales of tragic love. A triumph of top-grade production values, writing, and acting, it represented the zenith of efforts from United Artists in the late 1930s, and remains entertaining and relevant when viewed by current-day audiences. This is one of the best films of the 1930s, particularly notable for the acting and the high level of technical work, as director William Wellman adroitly combines a rich visual style with the luminous performances of the film's stars. An honorary Oscar selected by a panel of cinematographers went to Howard Greene's Technicolor work, helping to change Academy rules two years later to recognize color cinematography as a separate category from Black & White. The film received seven Oscar nominations overall, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for Gaynor, and Best Actor for Fredric March, winning for Wellman and co-scripter Robert Carson as "Best Original Story."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2003
  • UPC: 089218603494
  • Original Release: 1937
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:51:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 48,867

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Janet Gaynor Esther Blodgett
Fredric March Norman Maine
Adolphe Menjou Oliver Niles
May Robson Lettie
Andy Devine Danny McGuire
Lionel Stander Matt Libby
Elizabeth Jenns Anita Regis
Edgar Kennedy Pop Randall
Owen Moore Casey Burke
Clara Blandick Aunt Mattie
A.W. Sweatt Esther's Brother
Peggy Wood Miss Phillips, a clerk
Arthur Hoyt Ward
Vince Barnett Otto Friedl
Irving Bacon Station Agent
Jane Barnes Waitress
Wade Boteler Cop
Helene Chadwick
George Chandler Delivery Boy
Billy Coe
Billy Dooley Painter
Pat Flaherty Cuddles
Francis Ford Prisoner
Trixie Friganza Waitress
Carlton Elliott Griffin Cameraman
Jonathan Hale Night Court Judge
Harry Hayden Makeup man
Robert E. Homans
Ken Howell
Olin Howland Rustie
Olin Howlin
I. Stanford Jolley
Eddie Kane People at Burke's Party
Ursula Kent
Claude King
Carole Landis Girl in beret (Santa Anita bar)
Chris-Pin Martin Prisoner
Edwin Maxwell Voice Only
Ferdinand Munier Headwaiter
Marshall Neilan Bert
David Newell
J.C. Nugent Theodore Smythe
Robert E. O'Connor Bartender at Santa Anita
Dennis O'Keefe Party Guest
Franklin Pangborn Billy Moon
Lee Phelps Bailiff
Jed Prouty Artie Carver
Adrian Rosley
Paul Stanton Academy Awards Speaker
Fred "Snowflake" Toones Black Prisoner
Lana Turner Marion (Santa Anita bar)
Leonard Walker Orchestra Leader at Hollywood Bowl
Gayne Whitman Announcer at Chinese Theater
Charles Williams Assistant Cameraman
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams Posture Coach
Clarence H. Wilson Justice of the Peace
Technical Credits
Jack Conway Director
William Wellman Director, Screenwriter
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Alan Campbell Screenwriter
Robert Carson Screenwriter
Robert Carson Screenwriter
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Howard Greene Cinematographer
W. Howard Greene Cinematographer, Screenwriter
Lansing C. Holden Production Designer
Hal Kern Editor
Omar Kiam Costumes/Costume Designer
Ring Lardner Jr. Screenwriter
John Lee Mahin Screenwriter
James Newcom Editor
Dorothy Parker Screenwriter
Budd Schulberg Screenwriter
David O. Selznick Producer, Screenwriter
Adela Rogers St. John Screenwriter
Eric Stacey Asst. Director
Max Steiner Score Composer
Anson Stevenson Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [18:13]
2. Chapter 2 [17:04]
3. Chapter 3 [18:50]
4. Chapter 4 [17:35]
5. Chapter 5 [19:31]
6. Chapter 6 [19:28]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Index
   Catalog
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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