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A Star Is Born

Released Apr 27, 1937 1h 51m Drama List
100% Tomatometer 23 Reviews 78% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
When a young actress (Janet Gaynor) arrives in Hollywood with hopes of stardom, a chance encounter places her under the wing of older actor Norman Maine (Fredric March). Adopting the stage name Vicki Lester, she co-stars with Norman in a major motion picture, but his success is clearly fading even as her career begins. After the couple wed, Vicki's fame continues to grow, but Norman descends into alcoholism, and she must decide between pursuing her dream and caring for him. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (23) Critics Reviews
THR Staff Hollywood Reporter Does the industry a marked service. Without missing its comedies or its fascinations of whitewashing its follies and its heartbreaks it contrives to give an essentially authentic and a wholesome portrait. Oct 10, 2018 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader this 1937 William Wellman-David O. Selznick production (itself a partial remake of Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood?) is extremely watchable, not least because of the Technicolor portrait it paints of art deco Hollywood. Oct 3, 2018 Full Review Variety Staff Variety The highly commendable results are achieved with a minimum of satiric hokum and a maximum of honest story telling. Aug 28, 2008 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Gives Hollywood a brush of dazzle by filming it with its new 3 strip Technicolor process. Rated: B Apr 17, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Those who expect this version to be softer and more sentimental than its remakes might be surprised at its harshness. Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 1, 2022 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies A Star Is Born is no doubt a powerful story--after all, Hollywood wouldn't keep remaking the film if there wasn't something there. Aug 15, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (103) audience reviews
Jithin K I've seen the modern Bollywood version, Aashiqui 2 from 2013 and and the modern Hollywood version from 2018 before, so I was already pretty familiar with what's gonna happen in this movie and maybe it helped me enjoy this more in some ways. This first version of A Star is Born is about actors instead of singers unlike most of the remakes, but it seems that this is a partial ripoff of What Price Hollywood?, which came out in 1932 which I couldn't find anywhere online. With the use of Technicolor in the 30s, I expected it to be a bit more flashy but it had enough moments of Hollywood grandness of the time to justify it. I was very surprised to see that there were many specific dialogues that are retained in what should've been the vastly different unofficial Bollywood version too. It really shows the impact this made even after all this time. But some aspects of addiction, even though modern films have a better way of showing the changes, just from the writing perspective, did a much better job in conveying the exact moments that affect people. Other than the famous ending shot and line, my favourite shot is when Norman Maine stands alone in the crowd of people who all have misjudged him. In so many ways this felt very raw that it went on showing so many of the realities of the time without too much exposition even when it holds a belief of magic that can be found in life. As a whole, it does feel very 30s in its execution. Maybe it's due to the time period but it felt like this script could've been made into a masterpiece with a truly great director of that time. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/05/24 Full Review Alec B The satire is pretty light, but you really wouldn't expect a hard hitting take-down of Hollywood from a Selznick production. Compared with the two remakes that followed, this one is actually the funniest (no doubt due to Dorothy Parker's involvement with the screenplay) and its that coupled with the performances of Gaynor and March that makes the whole thing worthwhile. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/05/24 Full Review Georgan G My favorite version of this film. All the characters are well written & acted. The best is Gaynor & March but several of the minor parts are excellent, too. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Love this old 1937 version of a star is born. Yes I recommended James Welch, Henderson, Arkansas January 27, 2023. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Tiago S Vicki Lester a grande estrela! No começo o filme traz a atriz na busca do estrelato, passando por várias dificuldades, sofrendo até da descrença da própria família. Mas aos poucos foi conseguindo e batalhando pelo seu espaço na indústria, um fato interessante: em uma parte do filme eles tentam mudá-la para se adequar nos filmes, algo também presente na versão recente deste filme estrelado pela Lady Gaga. Entre altos e baixos, Vicki Lester e seu marido Norman Maine e um deles mais chocantes é quando Norman chega na hora que ela recebe o prêmio do Oscar, e ele totalmente alterado sem querer bate nela, e entre outros problemas ele se mete numa briga e acaba na prisão, e é liberado sob a atenção de Vicki. Sem dar mais spoilers, o roteiro conseguiu trabalhar bem a história, trazendo desde como é difícil começar uma carreira mas com persistência ela foi conseguindo, sobretudo com alguns problemas como ter um marido alcoólatra que depois acaba falecendo (desculpem os spoilers), porém no fim ela recebe a vó e as duas se abraçam em um momento lindo. Uma reflexão final traz, mesmo para a época, que a mídia quer alterar a essência do artista, para ele poder se inserir na mídia, e como nem tudo são flores toda a fama tem seus poréns, como eu mesmo disse, não deixa de ser um filme incrível mas foi legal trazer esta atenção aos olhos da imprensa. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/22 Full Review Audience Member I believe this as one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. I enjoyed the story, the dialog and above all I enjoyed the atmosphere and the actors. All of them are great but to me Fredric March is outstanding. Norman/Alfred is a wonderful character: frail, undignified, touchy, weak and able to love Vicki/Esther so much, with all his heart. Fredric March brings all of it on the screen, providing one of his best performances here. If you would like to become an actor, I believe you should watch this movie and Mr. March's way of acting. Pay attention to his eyes, his hands, his face and his moves, especially when he interrupts his wife thanking everybody for the Oscar she got and claims he deserves three statues for the worse performances. He is overcome by himself and starts dying. I just shivered. To me, this version can't be compared to its remakes. The allure and the fascination of Hollywood have been perfectly represented here, together with an unpleasant and creepy feeling of emptiness. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Read all reviews
A Star Is Born

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Cast & Crew

Our Daily Bread 79% 67% Our Daily Bread The Barefoot Contessa 100% 71% The Barefoot Contessa Elmer Gantry 94% 87% Elmer Gantry The Fugitive Kind 53% 63% The Fugitive Kind These Three 100% 76% These Three Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis When a young actress (Janet Gaynor) arrives in Hollywood with hopes of stardom, a chance encounter places her under the wing of older actor Norman Maine (Fredric March). Adopting the stage name Vicki Lester, she co-stars with Norman in a major motion picture, but his success is clearly fading even as her career begins. After the couple wed, Vicki's fame continues to grow, but Norman descends into alcoholism, and she must decide between pursuing her dream and caring for him.
Director
William A. Wellman
Producer
David O. Selznick
Screenwriter
Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell, Robert Carson
Distributor
United Artists
Production Co
Selznick International, United Artists
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 27, 1937, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Aug 7, 2015
Runtime
1h 51m
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