A Star Is Born (1937 film)

A Star Is Born (1937 film)

Infobox_Film
name = A Star Is Born


image_size = 150px
caption = DVD cover
amg_id = 1:46638
imdb_id = 0029606
director = William A. Wellman
writer = William A. Wellman
Robert Carson
Dorothy Parker
Alan Campbell
starring = Janet Gaynor
Fredric March
Adolphe Menjou
producer = David O. Selznick
music = Max Steiner
cinematography = W. Howard Greene
distributor = Selznick International Pictures
United Artists
released = April 20, 1937 (U.S. release)
runtime = 111 min.
language = English
budget = $1,173,639 (estimated)

"A Star Is Born" (1937) is a romantic drama film produced by David O. Selznick and directed by William A. Wellman, with a script by Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell. It stars Janet Gaynor as an aspiring actress who travels to Hollywood to become a movie star. Other members of the cast include Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine and Lionel Stander.

Plot summary

Vicki Lester, played by Janet Gaynor, meets actor Norman Maine (Fredric March) and they marry but soon after his career develops difficulties while hers flourishes.

Cast

Janet Gaynor as Vicki Lester
Fredric March as Norman Maine
Adolphe Menjou as Oliver Niles
May Robson as Grandmother Lettie
Andy Devine as Daniel 'Danny' McGuire
Lionel Stander as Matt Libby
Owen Moore as Casey Burke
Peggy Wood as Miss Phillips

Production

"A Star Is Born" was filmed from October to December 1936 with an estimated budget of $1,173,639, and premiered in Los Angeles, California on April 20, 1937. The scene in the film where Menjou offers the fading star a supporting role was added at the suggestion of George Cukor, who directed the 1954 remake.

Early in their careers, Budd Schulberg (then a script reader for David O. Selznick) and Ring Lardner, Jr. (who was working in Selnick's publicity department) were assigned to write some additional dialogue for the film, a collaboration which produced Janet Gaynor's final words, "This is Mrs. Norman Maine." The line was used again in the 1954 Warner Bros. musical remake starring Judy Garland. [ [http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft138nb0zm&chunk.id=d0e10398&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e10398&brand=eschol] Ring Lardner, Jr. Interview]

Background

Some cinematic theorists believe that the marriage of Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay was the film's real-life inspiration. John Bowers has also been identified as inspiration for the Norman Maine character and the dramatic suicide by drowning scene at the end of the film (he drowned during November 1936). The film contained several inside jokes, including Gaynor's brief imitations of Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo, the "Crawford Smear" (referring to Joan Crawford's lipstick), and the revelation that the glamorous Norman Maine's real last name was Hinkle. (Hinkle was the real last name of silent film star Agnes Ayres.) The film also has some similarities to the earlier film "What Price Hollywood?," whose creators actually considered suing, but never did.

Academy Awards

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning the award for Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (March), Best Actress (Gaynor), Best Assistant Director, and Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay. It won a special Academy Award for its Technicolor cinematography for W. Howard Greene.

Remakes

"A Star Is Born" has been remade twice, in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The financial and critical failure "Glitter" with Mariah Carey heavily borrowed plot elements from all three films.

References

External links

* [http://www.archive.org/details/A_Star_Is_Born_1937 "A Star Is Born" (1937)] at the Internet Archive, downloadable in various formats.
* [http://tesla.liketelevision.com/liketelevision/tuner.php?channel=1081&format=movie&theme=guide Watch the film in full at liketelevision.com]
* [http://moviesinyourhome.com Watch the film in full at moviesinyourhome.com]
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