A Star Is Born 1937

A Star Is Born

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,686

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A Star Is Born Photos

Movie Info

When a young actress (Janet Gaynor) arrives in Hollywood with hopes of stardom, a chance encounter places her under the wing of older actor Norman Maine (Fredric March). Adopting the stage name Vicki Lester, she co-stars with Norman in a major motion picture, but his success is clearly fading even as her career begins. After the couple wed, Vicki's fame continues to grow, but Norman descends into alcoholism, and she must decide between pursuing her dream and caring for him.

Cast & Crew

Janet Gaynor
Esther Victoria Blodgett
Fredric March
Norman Maine
Adolphe Menjou
Oliver Niles
May Robson
Lettie Blodgett
Andy Devine
Danny McGuire
Owen Moore
Casey Burke
J.C. Nugent
Mr. Blodgett
Dorothy Parker
Screenwriter
Alan Campbell
Screenwriter
Robert Carson
Screenwriter
Max Steiner
Original Music
W. Howard Greene
Cinematographer
Charles Richards
Casting
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Critic Reviews for A Star Is Born

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (20)

  • Does the industry a marked service. Without missing its comedies or its fascinations of whitewashing its follies and its heartbreaks it contrives to give an essentially authentic and a wholesome portrait.

    October 10, 2018 | Full Review…
  • this 1937 William Wellman-David O. Selznick production (itself a partial remake of Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood?) is extremely watchable, not least because of the Technicolor portrait it paints of art deco Hollywood.

    October 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The highly commendable results are achieved with a minimum of satiric hokum and a maximum of honest story telling.

    August 28, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Wellman's non-musical version, though starting more sentimentally with Gaynor as a wide-eyed innocent dreaming every girl's dream of stardom... develops a much more caustic edge, maintaining a bitterly critical distance from the dream factory.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Good entertainment by any standards, including the artistic, and convincing proof that Hollywood need not travel to Ruritania for its plots; there is drama aplenty in its own backyard.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…
  • One of the most humanly revealing pictures of the movie colony that the screen has ever produced.

    August 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Star Is Born

  • Oct 06, 2018
    For a film about acting, it is frustrating that we never see how Esther's evolves or Norman's gets worse; besides, this feels completely dated now, shifting focus halfway through from its weak female protagonist to a selfish male and coming off as awfully sexist with its traditional values.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2014
    This oft repeated film started off here with all the guts and determination of a woman who must make it in Hollywood. This remakes the best version.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2014
    The satire is pretty light, but you really wouldn't expect a hard hitting take-down of Hollywood from a Selznick production. Compared with the two remakes that followed, this one is actually the funniest (no doubt due to Dorothy Parker's involvement with the screenplay) and its that coupled with the performances of Gaynor and March that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2014
    The original. 1937. Typical of Hollywood, it's slick and flush with warnings of the dangers and lies of Hollywood while at the same time glamorizing them. Anyway, a wide-eyed gal from the sticks goes to L.A. to make it in the big time only to fall for a star who conversely fading, etc., etc., etc. Why does she make it? Why does he fail? That's not shown, only implied. Janet Gaynor was an unknown quantity to me, though a big star in her time, and she nearly won me over by the film's end, especially the scene where, as a waitress, she auditions for Tinseltown bigwigs, impersonating other well known 1930's stars. But the film belongs to Fredric March who is introduced as unlikable, seldom veers far from that, and yet must maintain our interest so we can not like him some more. Adolf Menjou, yet again, plays the supporting character/deus ex machina throughout unobtrusively. Not bad.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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