A Star Is Born - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Star Is Born Reviews

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May 25, 2012
I watched this on TCM (Turn Classic Movies) a few months ago for the first time. I had seen the 1954 version once before, and, although I'm a huge fan of Judy Garland, I enjoyed this version better. I love the romance and the occasional humor in the movie. The script is exceptional, and so is the cast. Janet Gaynor portrays the vulnerable and loving starlet Esther Blodgett (Vicki Lester) very well. And Fredric March does a wonderful job portraying Norman Maine, Esther's washed-up actor husband. As I once heard someone say, this was definitely Fredric March's show. He is magnificent. I recommend this to anyone who loves the Golden Age of Hollywood or anyone who just loves a great romance (albeit a tragic romance). This has become one of my all-time favorite films.
April 13, 2012
I know it's a classic, but I did not care for it. Janet Gaynor just bothered me to no end.
April 10, 2012
Surprising, heart-warming, very well worth watching as the young girl with a dream, makes it big and marries a star and stands by him through all his troubles until he commits suicide.
½ February 24, 2012
Janet Gaynor is the girl who travels to Hollywood to become a star. She is too old for the part -- but hey she does become a star with the help of Frederic March who is a leading man gone off the rails (in a well-tuned performance). Her star rises as his declines. Various character actors fill out the story which is melodramatic but pretty absorbing (if you like Hollywood navel-gazing). Early technicolor but director Wellman doesn't do anything fancy with it.
½ September 10, 2011
Moving and beautiful. An honest film that shows the true and harsh realities of Hollywood. Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, and the rest of the cast give stunning performances that stay with you.
August 18, 2011
A gripping story of two people - one who starts at the top and the other on the bottom of life - who fall in love and must endure a switching of postitions. Gaynor is exceptional as always and Fredric March spares no emotion in his brilliant portrayal of the drinking and aging actor whose star is falling while his wife's rises. The film pulls you in and goes deep into its emotions and themes which seem surprising for the time period. A bold endeavor that shows Hollywood for what it was and let's us see the darker side.
July 26, 2011
People say the Garland version is better, but this still looks cool.
July 17, 2011
Charming. I love Norman's softness, gentliness, kindness... in this movie his death made sense. Also, Esther wasn't just a willess victim or sacrificial lamb. I also appreciate the sense of truth in the description of a star-wannabe in Hollywood. It really is this way. You might get job as a waitress, and if you are really, really, really lucky, you get a chance to show what you are good for, but it takes a lot of work, and it is heart and spirit breaking. A lot of actors end up like Norman, broken by addiction and press and fans...
June 5, 2011
A alcoholic failing actor takes an aspiring actress under his wing. Her rise and his fall are contrasted nicely. It's interesting to be reminded that sections of the public and the press have always been obsessed by film stars, and that the number of would-be film stars has always been greater than the opportunities available. Lovely film, now I'll have to watch the remakes.
May 12, 2011
*** (out of four)

Though not quite as good as the 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason. It is far superior to the 1976 remake featuring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Janet Gaynor plays the young woman who marries Hollywood star Fredric March. As her popularity rises, his begins to fade just as quickly until the pressure catches up with him, sending him in a tailspin that he can't get out of.

Well shot and well acted. Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.
March 2, 2011
Glad it's been remade a couple times.
December 17, 2010
Solid cast and good story. The original before Judy and Babs. In some ways Hollywood has not changed a bit. YOu can be up one day and down the next, and people will certainly kick you when you are down. I got a kick out of Esther's grandma played by May Robson. Janet Gaynor and Fredric March are both excellent.
November 3, 2010
Janet Gaynor and Frederich March make a terrific pair in this classic from 1937, the very first A Star Is Born, long before Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand. Garland's versions remains the best, but this one still has some good things going for it, particularly March, one of the great unsung leading men.
October 24, 2010
Small town North Dakota girl Esther Blodgett (Janet Gaynor) dreams of becoming a big Hollywood movie star. Though most of her family think ill of her dream, her grandmother gives her some money and sends her on her way. Though Hollywood isn't everything she expected, she does meet up with a troubled alcoholic movie star - Norman Maine (Fredric March). His star in Hollywood is fading, but he does get Esther into the movies. The two fall in love and marry. Her star continues to rise and his still falls. The film was shot in color and has some very beautiful imagery. March is good as usual, and Gaynor gives her best in what would be her last major role. Andy Devine is a little too distracting as a comic relief friend. A fine Hollywood film.
October 1, 2010
Great Movie... simply fantastic!
November 8, 2009
Solid insight into the life of Hollywood. I liked this one.
½ October 17, 2009
I haven't watched the famous 1954 version, so no comparison, Janet Gaynor did a great job even she was a little bit old for her role, a young fame-seeking Hollywood rising star.
Fredric March was also marvelous in it.

And it is a mature and sincere film at that time.
½ July 17, 2009
This I think is the best out of all the other versions of this film. More drama then "show" in the other ones.
½ July 11, 2009
This one was real good.
July 7, 2009
Much MUCH better than the Judy Garland version. I love Judy Garland's scene where she sings 'The man that got away' but that version was dragged out, the direction was horrible. This one however worked so well, you actually care for Norman Maine as he accidentally makes Ester into a star.
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