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A Star is Born [1937]

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Director:William A. Wellman
Writer:Alan Campbell
Dorothy Parker
Robert Carson
Composer:Max Steiner
Length:111 minutes
(1 hour 51 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Drama
IMDB Rating:7.6/10
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Classifications:
  • Drama
  • Romance
  • Family
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Synopsis: A young lady heads to Hollywood to become an actress. While there, she falls for an actor who may be past his prime.


Reaction: The tendency is to think this is a movie about 'Vicky Lester'. In truth, it's actually more about Norman Maine and what Hollywood can do to those who they don't care about any more.


Personal Rating: 6/10

Select Cast and Crew
William A. Wellman => Director
Alan Campbell => Writer
Dorothy Parker => Writer
Robert Carson => Writer
Max Steiner => Composer
Adolphe Menjou => Oliver Niles
Andy Devine => Daniel 'Danny' McGuire
Edgar Kennedy => Pop Randall, landlord
Elizabeth Jenns => Anita Regis
Fredric March => Norman Maine
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams => Posture coach (as Guinn Williams)
J.C. Nugent => Mr. Blodgett
Janet Gaynor => Esther Victoria Blodgett, aka Vicki Lester
Lionel Stander => Matt Libby
May Robson => Grandmother Lettie
Owen Moore => Casey Burke, director
Peggy Wood => Miss Phillips, Central Casting clerk

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Sometimes erroneously stated as [?] Lana Turner's film debut as an extra in the scene at Santa Anita, but Turner's daughter [?] Cheryl Crane has confirmed that Turner did not appear in this film.
  • When the drunken Norman Maine character raucously interrupts the Oscar presentation, it was déja vu for Janet Gaynor. She had brought her sister to the Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, when she won the first Best Actress Oscar ever awarded, for 7th Heaven. Her sister became very drunk and completely out of control, thoroughly embarrassing Gaynor.
  • The Oscar that Janet Gaynor receives in the film is her own Oscar, which she won for her role in 7th Heaven.
  • The funeral scene was inspired by the funeral of [?] Irving Thalberg, where fans swarmed around his widow Norma Shearer outside the church. A similar scene occurred at [?] Jean Harlow's funeral two months after the film's release.
  • Plans were announced in 1938 for a sequel entitled Heartbreak Town, about a child actor but it was never made.
  • The character of Norman Maine was based on several real actors, including [?] John Barrymore, [?] John Gilbert, and [?] John Bowers, who drowned off Malibu during the film's production.
  • [?] David O. Selznick originally rejected the story, as films about Hollywood had generally failed, but was persuaded to do the film by his wife [?] Irene Mayer Selznick. Writer-director William A. Wellman had alternately suggested a sequel to The Public Enemy, titled Another Public Enemy.
  • The movie's line "Hello, everybody. This is Mrs. Norman Maine." was voted as the #52 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by [Premiere] in 2007.
  • The celebrated final line of the film was an afterthought. The original scene had Esther arriving at the Chinese Theater and collapsing in the forecourt sobbing, "Oh, Norman! Norman!" The scene was reshot two ways: with the familiar "Mrs. Norman Maine" tagline and the oddly irrelevant "Hello, everybody, this is Vicki Lester."