Of the three versions that have been made of A Star is Born, this 1954 version is by far the best! Fans of musicals rejoice, for this is one of the best and most entertaining musicals ever made (check out it’s RT Meter here). The spectacle, the drama, the dancing, the music, and an amazing cast that delivers top-notch performances throughout.
A Star is Born was first produced in 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; then again in 1954 (this version), and finally in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Again, this version of the film starring Judy Garland and James Mason is the one worth seeing.
Judy Garland will always be known for one particular film role: Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). After Oz and before A Star is Born, Garland did 19 other films, many with Mickey Rooney. After being let go by MGM in 1950, Garland was out of work until 1953 when she was cast in A Star is Born. The film that was intended to reboot her career. It worked. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film.
James Mason had been a regular in films since 1935. Aside from his role in A Star is Born as Norman Maine, Mason is usually remembered for his roles in North by Northwest (1959), Lolita (1962), and Salem’s Lot (1979). His role in a Star is Born as an aging actor struggling with alcoholism while he attempts to assist a young woman make it big in pictures is truly a sight to behold.
The entire cast brings their A-game, and director George Cukor delivers a musical of epic proportions that even Cecil B. Demille could appreciate. It’s truly is an epic musical with dozens of locations, actors, extras, and plenty of song and dance to keep any musical lover entranced for the entire 157 minute running time. Along with the musical moments, the film has a solid and engaging story that is beautifully executed by Garland and Mason.
In this Blu-ray edition of the film, you get a booklet about A Star is Born, as well as over four hours of special features, which include:
A Introduction to the Special Features
The Man That Got Away Deleted Scenes
When My Sugar Walks Down the Street Outtake
Film Effects Reel
A Report by Jack L. Warner
Huge Premiere Hails – A Star is Born Newsreel Montage
A Star is Born Premiere in Cinemascope
Pantages Premiere TV Special
A Star is Bored – Looney Tunes cartoon
If you’re a fan of movie musicals, this is your lucky day. I highly recommend A Star is Born starring Judy Garland and James Mason. Definitely worth watching!
A Star is Born (1954) is NOW available on Blu-ray!