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A STAR IS BORN!!!!


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OK...who is as excited for the DVD of A Star Is Born as I am? That is my favorite movie in the entire world. Judy Garland couldn't be more perfect. Whenever she opens her mouth weather talking or singing, she is an opus! I love her. I am 13 and her pictures are all over my walls. I don't like modern music whatsoever or movies. Give me Judy, Lucy, Kate, Ginger, June, Ingrid any day. I am a devoted fan. Anyone else?

 

-LucyDesiJunieKate- :)

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Awesome post ... there's hope for this generation yet ...

 

You won't believe this, but I just found the original Columbia Records (CL 1101) soundtrack LP to this movie today. Brought it home for a dollar. I love finding a bargain. I snag these old soundtrack albums when I see them for the valuable information in the liner notes printed on the backside sleeve; oftimes snippets of goody info about the production not found elsewhere. Mostly they focus on the approach to the music and the philosophy regarding it. And sometimes we hear from the star ...

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"It is difficult to be objective about one's performance. You simply cannot, no matter how hard you try, see yourself as others see you.

 

This is especially true in making a motion picture. There is no audience to play to, only a large crowd of technicians behind a very candid camera. But perhaps this professional "audience" is a surer guide to achievement than any other. After all, this is a group that is paid to do a job. They are not there primarily to be entertained. So, when after I sang a song on the set of "A Star Is Born," some of these veterans applauded I knew that it was a spontaneous reaction and that I had made contact with their emotions.

 

This is how I gauged myself for the singing you will hear in the Transcona Enterprises motion picture for Warner Bros. and on this Columbia Record. When we were shooting "A Star Is Born," at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, I would try to make the electricians and the cameramen and the others react to the song. If it was a humorous number, I would try to make them laugh, if it was a blues, I would try to make them feel in the spirit of the song, Only when they had shown the emotion the particular song was supposed to evoke did I feel that my job was properly done.

 

This technique was something I had worked out in my recent personal appearance tours. I used to think of audiences as something important but remote. But after I got out on the stage at the Palace in New York and the Palladium in London, and could feel the warmth sweeping up at me from the rows of people who had come to see me, I realized in a very real way that people were on my side. This is a relaxing thing for an artist, and is the only measure of human contact, which is to say, a successful performance. When people react openly the way you feel inside, you know you are reaching them. In singing these songs from "A Star Is Born," I have tried to make each of them an

emotional experience, Each song mirrors a different mood, a different phase of the picture. Each should give you the pleasure of enjoying fine entertainment." ~ Judy Garland

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I'm excited about listening to this. The vinyl looks excellent. Sometimes these old soundtracks give ya slightly different versions than what he hear in the movie. Sometimes not. Don't always know what your gonna get till ya listen. Plus it's fun ...

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I don't like this film, at all. I find it much ado about nothing, and like most of Cukor's output, dull. However, Judy's numbers are all first rate (even if they do sound like they were recorded in the bathroom), and the *Swanee* number is an audio and visual delight!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Agree with several of you - as a film, especially as TCM shows it, with recorded dialogue over stills which sometimes match and sometimes don't, it is horribly overrated. Judy Garland is painful to watch, except when she is singing. Seems likely that many people who love this film are swayed by their admiration of Garland, which is a shame.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd just like to say that this film is a lost masterpiece. Of course, opinions will vary, but Cukor's output is hardly dull and this film is certainly anything but. I think what throws people today who have watched and loved Judy during her MGM output (Oz included), is that Star has none of the ultra frothy glam that MGM gave her and its other musical stars in spades.

 

That's as it should be. Warner Bros. IS NOT MGM. Their penchant for gritty drama bodes well with Star because Star is really a melodrama with music as opposed to a musical with connecting dialogue. The distinction is worth noting.

 

The score is first rate. Gotta Have Me Go With You is transformed into a taut bit of plot advancement as Esther struggles to keep Norman from making a public spectacle of himself. Here's What I'm Here For advances the narrative structure while conveying Esther's true emotions to Norman. A New World is hauntingly beautiful, Garland's rendition with minimal musical accompaniment framing the depth of Esther's love for Norman. Finally, Lose That Long Face is a perfect counterpoint in high flying exuberance to the backstage sense of dispair that we find Esther in as she realizes she cannot stop the man she loves from destroying himself before her eyes.

 

The one musical number that does not advance the narrative is the lengthy Born In A Trunk - shot after the rest of the film and foisted onto Cukor by the powers that be who felt a splashy musical number was needed to counterbalance the drama. Even so, Born in A Trunk explains, perhaps more satisfactory than anywhere else in Garland's career, the real life struggles and hardships of making it to the top that were of course part of Garland's own tapestry of life.

 

When coupled with the backstage trauma/drama Judy suffered in her personal life, her emotional highs and lows that would have long made an emotional cripple out of any other star from her vintage, this A Star Is Born emerges as one of the most heartbreaking, tragically poignant and utterly satisfying films of the 1950s, if not of all time.

 

That Jack Warner hacked into Cukor's masterpiece shortly after its general release and excised footage that now necessitates still photographic inserts a la a fine restoration search made possible by the late Ron Haver is regrettable. The inserts bring the story to a halt an otherwise gripping melodrama of the highest order.

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