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MPAA Rating - NR

    110 Minutes


Original Release Date:
    Feb 8, 2000

    Jack Conway

    Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine

Movie Summary
A Star is Born came into being when producer David O. Selznick decided to tell a true behind-the-scenes story of Hollywood. The truth, of course, was filtered a bit for box-office purposes, although Selznick and an army of screenwriters based much of their script on actual people and events. Janet Gaynor stars as Esther Blodgett, the small-town girl who dreams of Hollywood stardom, a role later played by both Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in the 1954 and 1976 remakes. Jeered at by most of her family, Esther finds an ally in her crusty old grandma (May Robson), who admires the girls pioneer spirit and bankrolls Esthers trip to Tinseltown. On arrival, Esther heads straight to Central Casting, where a world-weary receptionist (Peggy Wood), trying to let the girl down gently, tells her that her chances for stardom are about one in a thousand. Maybe Ill be that one! replies Esther defiantly. Months pass: through the intervention of her best friend, assistant director Danny McGuire (Andy Devine), Esther gets a waitressing job at an upscale Hollywood party. Her efforts to audition for the guests are met with quizzical stares, but she manages to impress Norman Maine (Fredric March), the alcoholic matinee idol later played by James Mason and Kris Kristofferson. Esther gets her first big break in Normans next picture and a marriage proposal from the smitten Mr. Maine. Its a hit, but as Esther (now named Vicki)s star ascends, Normans popularity plummets due to a string of lousy pictures and an ongoing alcohol problem. The film won Academy Awards for director William Wellman and Robert Carson in the original story category and for W. Howard Greenes glistening Technicolor cinematography. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


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