A Star Is Born (1954)

"I thought I was the answer for Norman, but love isn’t strong enough for him."

By the time 30-year-old Judy Garland was gearing up for her film comeback in George Cukor’s remake of A Star Is Born, she had already had a career full of ups and downs, almost mimicking both of the two main characters in the film. The recent buzz for her wonderful stage shows and for her having cleaned up her act led her new husband, Sidney Luft, to convince Warner Bros. that she was worth taking a chance on with this remake. They thought so too, and the story from 1937 was reborn with Garland and James Mason. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our “A Star Is Born” series with the 1957 Cukor version.

We talk about the nature of musicals and why this musical doesn’t work as well for us. We look at what Garland and Mason both bring to the table and why their relationship works so well in the film. We discuss how the film came to be and why it ended up getting chopped up in the editing stage before being released. And we look at the similarities and differences between the versions so far, noting why this version doesn’t work as well for us as the previous version does.

It’s an interesting film that has strength in the story but gets bogged down in the musical numbers, at least as far as we’re concerned. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in to this week’s show! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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