A Star Is Born (1937)

WILLIAM A. WELLMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1937.  Screenplay by , , , based on a story by William A. Wellman, Robert Carson.  Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by . Academy Awards 1937.  

Fredric March and Janet Gaynor in A Star Is Born. Both were nominated for Oscars for their performances.

Second version of this story after 1933’s What Price Hollywood has timid  move to Hollywood from her backwater town and try to hit the big time. She meets movie star , they fall in love, and while her star is on the ascendant thanks to his help and influence, he slowly spirals downwards into grief, dispair and alcoholism. Judy Garland’s 1954 version is the best one, but this Technicolour melodrama doesn’t fall very far short, and Gaynor’s marvelous performance is one good reason why that is so. Dorothy Parker contributed to the excellent screenplay.

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