LikeTelevision proudly presents - Director William Wellman's A Star is Born - the original from 1937, in technicolor, with Frederic March and Janet Gaynor. This is a terrific film was nominated for eight Academy Awards. William Wellman won for Best Writing and a special Honorary Award for color photography. Another home run for the legendary producer David O. Selznick
Star is Born, A
Directed by - William Wellman
(1937) - Color - 112 min
Janet Gaynor is excellent as Esther Victoria Blodgett who comes to Hollywood hoping to become a star. She meets Norman Maine (Frederic March) who is Hollywood's biggest leading man. They fall in love - Esther becomes a star named Vivki Lester and Norman's career falls into a bottle of scotch. The 1954 version of a star is born with Judy Garland and James Mason is based on the same WIlliam Wellman & Robert Carson story and is probably the best of the group. But the 1937 version with Gaynor and March isn't far behind - it's the same story which was written by Wellman and Carson. Contributing writers included Ring Lardner, Ben Hecht, Budd Schulberg, and David O. Selznick. Meanwhile the 1976 version with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson pretty weak by comparison.
Intro, Color, opening credits etc. The the opening shot of A Star is Born is a picture of the actual screenplay for the movie. The last shot - is another picture of the actual movie script. Good call - A Star is Born is very well written. Esther Blodgett is a country bumpkin from the Dakotas with big dreams who goes to Hollywood to become a star. Meanwhile Norman Maine is the leading man and is a huge star in Hollywood.
Janet Gaynor stars as Hollwood star Vicki Lester, nee Esther Vicoria Blodgett
Norman Maine's favorite line - where's my drink?
Things are tough in tinsel town for Esther but she makes a good friend, Danny Mcguire, an assistant director played by Andy Devine. He gets Esther her first job - as a maid serving hors d'oevres at a high dollar social. She meets movie star Norman Maine and he thinks Esther is attractive.
Janet Gaynor as Vicki Lester wins an Oscar for Best Actress.
Norman gets Esther a screen test with studio legend Oliver Niles. He loves her screen presence. Better still - the public think she's the greatest.
Star is Born, A
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Frederic March stars as Norman Maine - a big star then his career tanks, mostly because he's a drunk
Things move fast in 1937 - Esther gets a new name - Vivki Lester and marries Norman Maine. People adore her more and more. And the audience likes Norman less and less.
Oliver Niles - played by Adolphe Menjou owns the studio. He's the guy with most of the money.
In part five - Norman crashes and burns. First the asylum where he tries to dry out from his drinking issues. Vivki wins an Oscar for Best Actress and Norman comes in drunk and makes a fool of himself. Later he gets into a fight with studio publicist Matt Libby and gets arrested at the cocktail lounge of the Santa Anita Racetrack.
Lionel Stander as Matt Libby - the studio publicist
And how does it end? We'll let you watch and decide for yourself. We really liked the film - and it's a great story.
Norman Maine's foot prints outside of Grauman's Chinese Theater
a young Andy Divine as Danny McGuire and May Dobson as Grandmother Lettie
the custom invitation to the Eigth Annual Academy Award Show