- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Intro to the film tonight was a bit inexact
- Elizabeth Willingham
The announced "irony" of Janet Gaynor's star being on the wane and Frederic March's in the ascendancy is not quite on point. March's career had been in a steady mode for about five years by 1937, and he got top billing or shared it in many (perhaps most) of his films through the 1960s. His highly recognizable voice narrated documentaries, he worked in the early year of television, but March's career in film cannot really be said to go "well into" the 1970s. He got third billing for Tick...Tick...Tick (1970) and second billing behind Lee Marvin in The Iceman Cometh (1973). He is notable for his versatility-comedy, manly drama, romance, pathos, all superbly done-and he played leads in several films based on successful (award-winning, classic) stage plays. Unlike some of Hollywood's romantic leads, March took mature leading roles appropriate to his age as he grew older. It's a little misleading to say that Janet Gaynor's star was on the wane 1937, but maybe I am mis-remembering the introduction. Gaynor starred (with top billing) in two films in 1938 and retired in 1939. She married again-a whole other story, but a lifetime marriage-, eventually had a child, had several homes, and dedicated herself to other interests. Her showing us all that life has its stages and interests, and that one can return to the interest of youth in later life is a valuable model.
musings about the only two worth musing about
- don letta
I always look forward to this film, primarily because of the early thirties Technicolor. Likewise Nothing Sacred. It's like watching a watercolor print come to life. Unfortunately time has taken it's toll, and now most of the color is reduced to a murky maroon...UCLA...it's time for a complete restoration! I used the loss of color for observing closer, the performances, and I conclude that they are all spot on... superb. All but by the performance of Mr. March. His work on this picture is beyond superb. It's like watching a tightrope walker waltz on the rope. Never too much in one direction or the other, he gives a nuanced performance, that blew the other nominees for Oscar out of the water that year. Of course he lost to an actor that made a mockery of broken English.It also dawned on me why the Garland version never quite jelled... too much Garland (three hours), so they cut chunks out of it... but most of the chunks were of costar James Mason who was amazingly miscast. The edited and released product was a great one-woman show with a side story about an alcoholic actor she's sweet on. There's not a hint as to why, who he really is or why she should love him. He remains a mystery.Pieces have been found of the cut stuff, and patched into the film. The final item does explain her feelings for him, but considering this is primarily an American story, a nasal Brit just doesn't fit. That's why it was not a success.Had they called on Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire for the part, it might have been a real winner
comparing the Libby's
- Bill Smith
Of course Mr. March & Miss Gaynor are superb, but I find the difference in the 2 'Libby's to be interesting.Lionel Stander in this version is a lot kinder than the Jack Carson in the 1954 version-boy was he a nasty creep.Anyone else here agree?
Always loved this version,and Judy's is very good,too!May Robson steals this picture which isn't easy with the fine actors in this cast.
I saw this movie once and asked my sister if she knew about it. She told me it had starred Judy Garland, but I was certain that was not the version I had seen. Now that TCM is showing 31 days of Oscars, and the 1954 remake of "A Star is Born" is on TCM, I finally realize that the version I had so loved and had tried so hard to find was the 1937 version. I remember it having had such an impact upon me. Not being a great fan of Judy Garland, I chose not to watch the 1954 version featured this evening, February 3, 2014. I did catch the end and was sorry I had not watched the entire film since James Mason has always been one of my favorite actors. How young and handsome he was in this film. Thankfully, the 1937 version is going to be on TCM on Valentine's Day morning this year. I've sent myself a reminder. After not having seen this film for so long, I'm really looking forward to it.
Best of all versions!
There is no comparison between this and all the other versions of this film. This is THE one everybody should see! The acting by Gaynor cannot be matched in the others and March gives a heartbreaking realistic performance of living with an alcoholic. The writing by William Wellman and Dorothy Parker just brings this film to life and, of course, Wellman directing cannot be matched either. The very end of the film, the last line by Vicky Lester, is delivered with such passion that your heart soars. It is no wonder that this film was nominated for seven Academy Awards but the travesty is that Gaynor lost her nomination to Grace Kelly that year. This definitely should have been Gaynor's award!
the real jolson story
- will ramage
after read x number of books about al jolson and ruby keeler ,seeing this film, educated guess? it looks pretty obvious the characters were based on mr. and mrs. jolson. its creepy when norman goes to answer the front door. al jolson had the same experiance when the delivery man asked if he was mr. keeler. ouch! norman jumped into the bottle, where as jolie became withdrawn, kept to himself or talked about the good old days when singers had to really sing.watch janet gaynor do( what i call a brilliant portrayal, look alike of ruby keeler)right down to the familiar smile and even the hat ruby so often wore in the early 30s. jolson got into a sparring match with a famous writer for writing about his and ruby s private life, at of all places, watching a boxing match. this is not a put of jolson and keeler. the film i beleive is excellent. acting, directing, still the best adation of this story.it sends chills up my back watching it. fame is fleeting.
THE BEST VERSION
- Star Let
Great movie,enjoyed Freddie in this
The Best Star By Far
This is the standard by which all the remakes fail to live up to.Grat acting!Best scenes are with Flora Robson,so touching.Let Norman's detractors eat crow.Tragic fall from grace,or publicity.How quickly they stab one in the back.
March is magnificent!
Frederic March is magic on screen in this film. Even his smallest lines and shortest scenes are still sheer genius. In 1937, the acting style was still often "theatrical", but March is so believable; his hurt, pain, and frustration are quite endearing. I do love this original because the story and acting shine without the added layer of music.
A Star is Born (1937)
- Mark Sutch
- John Demsys
This version is my favorite of all three of them. Fredric March is excellent. Good early cinematography
Truly love this movie
and this version. This is a great movie with a very great ending. You will definitely find it funny with a good bit of sentiment. If you're not coldhearted you will shed a tear or two. It is much better than the remakes that came after, nobody could ever out act Frederick March. I became his fan because of this movie. I hate what happens, but that'a what makes it this movie. If you've never seen this version, you need to see it.
You'll laugh and cry
Fredric March should have won the Oscar for his fine performance (one of many) in this film. Keep your Kleenexes ready for the ending!