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Star Is Born, A

director – George Cukor


USA, 1954, 180 min

director – George Cukor

producer – Sidney Luft

script – Moss Hart

based on the screenplay by Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell and Robert Carson for the 1937 film by William A. Wellman

camera – Sam Leavitt

editor – Folmar Blangsted

music – Harold Arlen and Leonard Gersch

production designer – Gene Allen

costume designer – Jean Louis and Mary Ann Nyberg

choreography – Richard Barstow



awards and nominations:

2 “Golden Globe” awards – for actress in musical to Judy Garland and actor in musical to James Mason

6 nominations for “Oscar” – for actress to Judy Garland, actor to James Mason, music, song: “The Man That Got Away”, production design and costume design

Nomination for BAFTA for foreign actress to Judy Garland

Nomination from the Directors Guild of America

Nomination from the Writers Guild of America


Judy Garland (Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester), James Mason (Norman Maine), Jack Carson (Matt Libby), Charles Bickford (Oliver Niles), Tom Noonan (Danny McGuire)

The “birth of a star” has proved to be a durable cinematic conceit. The story of the fading, alcoholic male actor who discovers a talented young woman, fosters her career, marries her, and finally commits suicide was first made in 1937. The 1954 Cukor version represents the basic outline of the previous scenario while transforming the woman into a singer.

Hollywood has made many reflexive films in which it examines its own procedures, manners, and mythology. The trenchant reflexivity of Sunset Boulevard, The Bad and the Beautiful and A Star Is Born is in the intimate exposure of the performer’s craft, a particularly painful exposure when we learn that craft and life are so intimately connected. This film was meant to be the vehicle that re-established Judy Garland as a viable movie star, after her humiliating dismissal from MGM in 1950. The public back then was aware of her personal problems and her suicide attempt. Now, with our knowledge of Judy Garland’s difficulties in Hollywood, on her missed concert dates and her tragic, drug-related death, it is impossible not to see the film’s ultimate reflexivity in the way the figure of the unreliable star is a surrogate for Garland herself.

A Star Is Born is, in fact, a celebration of a dual register of performance – performance as a function of artifice, technique, audience and as the revelation of personal intimacy captured by the movie camera.

Sunday, 17 November 2019, 14:45, Odeon
Sunday, 24 November 2019, 13:00, Lumiere Lidl - Buy a ticket online

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