A Star Is Born

The applause of the world... and then this!

Drama Music Romance
176 min     7.142     1954     USA


A movie star helps a young singer-actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.


CinemaSerf wrote:
One cannot watch this nowadays without seeing parallels between the James Mason role as "Norman Maine" and Judy Garland's own later life. He is the falling star of Hollywood kept afloat by booze and the ceaseless efforts of his studio boss "Oliver Niles" (Charles Bickford) to keep him from complete self-destruction. Meantime "Esther Blodgett" (Garland) is a struggling chanteuse taking any job she can until good fortune strikes. One night, serendipity takes a hand in this and their paths cross. He hears her sing "The Man That Got Away" with her band in a bar and is smitten both professionally and emotionally. As the title suggests, a star is well and truly born. Soon "Maine" is but an appendage to the newly renamed "Vicki Lester" which sees him spiral even more out of control, despite her addictive love for him. It's long (over 2½ hours) so inevitably, it sags at times - I could have done with more singing, but it is still a fine, touching, piece of cinema.