A Star Is Born Review

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A nearing-the-end Judy Garland memorably disintegrates as the singing starlet whose beloved actor husband drinks himself to destruction.


This heartbreaking musical remake of William Wellman's 1937 Hollywood melodrama starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor (remade a third time in 1976 by Frank Pierson, with Babs Streisand and Kris Kristofferson), is here finally restored to its full length (casual viewers should be aware of the photo-still/audio tape reconstruction of one major sequence - after impatient studio head Jack Warner removed almost 30 minutes from its original running time back in 1954, cutting two whole numbers by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin). Judy Garland, by now well on her way to meltdown, belts out songs and acts her socks off, but it's James Mason's performance as a star eclipsed by his new wife's fame that is the film's true glory.

Hollywood over-indulgence at its best.