- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Brilliant Star Turn For Judy Garland
Admittedly, I'm not as enchanted by this film as most viewers and reviewers seem to be. Too long and filled with too much fluff musical, the concept of Hollywood showing "Hollywood" on the screen is brilliant. Garland is terrific as a singer plucked from obscurity by a famous actor (James Mason). Mason takes charge of building her career, and even ends up marrying Garland. However, her fame as a star quickly eclipses his career, sending him on a downward spiral with tragic consequences. The musical numbers create too much time-filler (unless you absolutely are in love with Garland's voice), taking away from the building drama of the story. Mason is great as a self-destructive drunk and Jack Carson, who co-stars, is reliable as usual. But this film belongs to Garland and is the perfect film to capture why she is truly immortal.
A Star is Born
- Dashiell Barnes
A great musical drama that revived Garland from a stand- still career. Garland earned a well deserved nomination, as did Mason who gives an equally powerful performance. My only complaint for the film is for what makes it better, it's length, I found it too long for a musical. A powerful story that's beautifully mixed with amazing art direction, costumes & cinematography. I give it a 4/5.
This is Judy Garland's film from the beginning to the end. She is superb and there is nobody that could have played her part back then. The one thing I do not like about this film is the casting of James Mason as Judy's love interest and then husband. Firstly, he's English and that accent just doesn't cut it in this film. Secondly, he was too old for the part. I understand that he is supposed to be a fading movie star but you can be that and not be Mason's age which was 45 when this film was released. (William Holden and Tony Curtis come to mind as available choices back then!) We see young stars' careers explode and fade all the time in real life. Back to Judy... It's worth watching the film just to hear her sing so many fantastic songs. What a voice! Her acting here is extraordinary and expressing her vulnerability could be heartbreaking to some viewers. It's a bravura performance worth seeing!
I wonder why Turner Classic Movies hesitates going Hi Def? This film "A star Is born" is one film that can only be appreciated in Hi Def this would insure a better sound track and this film depends almost totaly on it's sound track.
One Of Judy Garland's Best
- Bruce Reber
The 1954 remake of "A Star Is Born" offers on of Judy Garland's very best performances as a rising film star trying to deal with both her newfound fame and her alcoholic husband (James Mason in a terrific performance), a has-been matinee idol whose career has at the same time hit the skids. The songs and dances are great, and Judy gives the role of Vicky Lester/Esther Blodgett her usual energetic effort. However, the film suffers a little because in some scenes photo stills are substituted in place of the footage that could not be found when the film was restored. In spite of that, it's a very entertaining musical. There are two other versions of "A Star Is Born", the 1937 original with Frederic March and Janet Gaynor, and the 1976 second remake with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, but the 1954 version with the great Judy Garland is by far my favorite. Four Stars.
Sound track problems
- Jack The Hat
When this film came out, I worked for Warner Brothers at there theater in Philadelphia. This film had an multi-sound track but since it's release for television the sound track has been awufull. I am not sure why. This movie depends on the best sound track, since most of it's entertainment is based on it's sound. I hope with this new release that Turner is braging about, it includes a sound track improvement
Judy Garland is SUPERB!!!
- David Goldstein
This is Judy Garland's greatest film. She is superb. No one can even come close to her performance. "The Man That Got Away" is one of the greatest songs ever to be put on film. Judy should have won that Academy Award. The supporting cast is wonderful, especially Charles Bickford as Oliver Niles. The cinematography is magnificent. I love the 1937 Janet Gaynor film and Barbra Streisand's film, but Judy's is my favorite. Judy was beautiful in the picture and I'm proud to have it.
Outstanding Unparallelled Performance
- George Bailey
Judy Garland is stupendous. Very few talented people in Hollywood today or of yesteryear could come close to this outstanding performance. It has poignancy, sorrow, light comic moments and heartbreak into a fully integrated musical dramatization.
A Star Is Born (1954)
- James Higgins
Although this version of the classic story is outstanding, I still like the earlier 1937 version best. Judy Garland is truly amazing. When she sings The Man That Got Away, it sends chills up your spine. There are so many classic scenes and great songs. The cinematography is unique and quite good, the production is so lavish, the art direction and costumes are amazing. Good work by James Mason. A great film, but at close to three hours, it can be tedious at times.
It is a good remake, as remakes go. I love Judy Garland in whatever she does, and James Mason is just a pleasure to listen to. However, I truly prefer the 1937 version and the simplicity of the story. This version seemed to be more of a Judy Garland musical vehicle rather than a true remake of the story. To hear Judy "belt out" the songs the way only Judy Garland could, is indeed a treat, but I think the studio had just too much Judy which seemed to deter from the story a bit too far. James Mason was superb as Norman Maine and to hear that he was pretty much the last choice for the part is disheartening. Along with George Sanders, James Mason has the kind of voice that is so beautiful and melodic that you could listen to him tell you the world was ending and want him to say more.
Spectacular At Times
- Teddy Kaye
Unfortunately this movie is too long and at times laughably bad. Some of Judys numbers should have been cut. Others are too long. Even the Saratoga Trunk number is too long and silly at times. On the other hand, the Saratoga Trunk number has moments that are as good as Ive ever seen in a musical. Judy Garland was on her game. James Mason was outstanding as a good guy gone drunk. James Masons walk into the ocean is heartbreaking. Id watch this movie again and again because of the spectacular musical and emotional highs. With better editing, oh what this movie could have been.
How could she lose?
I thought that Dorothy Dandridge was great in Carmen but unfortunately at this time she didn't have a chance. Judy Garland was magnificant and How she could lose to Grace Kelly is the biggest farce of all times.
A Performance Lost in the Stars
- Bob Hendrick
If there has ever been a greater miscarriage of justice in the film industry (aside from Edward G. Robinson never being nominated)it escapes my recollection. Judy Garland delivers a once in a lifetime performance, and Hollywood proves again that the Oscars are nothing more than a popularity contest. Grace Kelly winning best actress of 1954 (The Country Girl) instead of Judy, is unconscionable. Oh, "what might have been", if Judy had received the Oscar she most richly deserved. It could have changed her life and it's tragic outcome. To think that this great film almost went the way of 50% of those made before 1950 (we did lose some of it) that are lost forever, adds to the tragedy. On a positive note: The late, great James Mason at least was nominated for the film, though he didn't win. So much for justice.
I hope this movie plays again soon
I have been looking forward to seeing this version of A Star is Born after seeing and loving the original, but about 45 minutes into the movie it went from being a movie to being a series of stills with a few frames of film. The voice dubbing was out of synch following what I am hoping was just a technical difficulty and not a sort of special effect that is supposed to be there. Please TCM, play it again soon.
JUDY GARLANDS FINEST PERFORMANCE!!
- Marilyn Young
This great film is a five star ***** masterpiece in its completed restoration version done in the 1980's. Judy's performance is perfect in every way and is ageless. When she sings the Man who Got Away it breaks my heart and pushes every emotional button. James Mason also gives a suburb performance and I think over the years people have finally notice this as at the time he was over shadowed by the attention that Ms Garland received. I would say that her Oscar loss was a highway robbery similiar to when Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey lossed their respective Oscar nominations for film debut and performances in Steven Speilberg's The Color Purple in 1985. I am very pleased that TCM is finally airing this film so that their viewers will appreciate this fine film. Thanks Marilyn Young Vancouver, B.C.Canada
This is the best Judy movie made. The best example of her range of talent and singing she could deliver, outside of live performances.
Judy Garland Delivers
Judys performance in this film is amazing. Judy sings, dances and acts her heart out, and it shows. Granted, Warner Bros. certainly did mess this one up by cutting out so much, but this is still an excellent peice of work. The story, which has already been told in the earlier version, is brought to life with the addition of music in the film. A Star is Born is definatley one of my all time top 10 movies, and certainly worth picking up.