Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Star Is Born
A Star Is Born is the title of several successful movies. All are variations on the same plot: talented girl meets and falls in love with successful actor. His career wanes as her popularity increases, with their relationship ending in tragedy.
Its earliest incarnation, released in 1932, was based on a story by Adela Rogers St. John and entitled What Price Hollywood? Directed by George Cukor, it starred Constance Bennett as a waitress propelled to fame by an alcoholic director portrayed by Lowell Shermann, and anticipated Cukor's later, more acclaimed 1954 version.
The 1954 release, directed by Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason, is the best known, and in 2000 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. Musical highlights included "The Man That Got Away" and the "Born in a Trunk" sequence. Garland was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for her tour-de-force performance, but lost to Grace Kelly (The Country Girl). This version of the film was re-edited several times. Premiering at 181 minutes, the studio cut the film by 30 minutes despite the objections of director Cukor and producer Sid Luft (then-husband of the female lead). In the early 1980s, all but 5 minutes of the cut footage was found and re-instated, but some of the footage had to be reconstructed using production stills.
The 1976 version, helmed by Frank Pierson and starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, updated the story by bringing it into the rock era. The film was plagued with problems during production but, despite mixed reviews, was a huge box office success and spawned a best-selling soundtrack album. Streisand and co-composer Paul Williams won a Best Song Oscar for the film's main theme, "Evergreen."
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