I know I’m going to show my age with this one, but I remember seeing the film A Star is Born, back when I was a teenager. I have not seen the film since then. I guess its not one of those movies that makes it’s appearance on television too often. Recently when I watched the film on Blu-ray it was as if I was seeing it for the first time. There were parts of the film I simply did not remember.
The version of A Star is Born that I am referring to is the one that stars Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. It was released in 1976. Other versions of the film were released in 1954 and 1937. The 1954 version stared Judy Garland.
A Star is Born (76′) is now available in a special Blu-ray packaging that comes with a book with a behind the scenes look at the movie.
The book if jam packed with photos from the film and from behind the scenes. The book is peppered with information about what went into the making of the film. From the book I learned that the concert was created specifically for the film. It’s not likely they had the actors perform at an existing concert for the footage but rather they created the entire concert specifically for the film. Other musicians popular during that time (Peter Frampton, Santana…) were invited to participate so that the attendees got to experience a real concert, and not just endless takes shooting scenes.
I loved looking at all the photos. Most are in color but there are a few black and white ones too. I thought it was fun to check out the fashions from that time period, as well as the hair styles. Barbra Streisand’s hair especially was rather “funky” looking. I don’t know if she could pull off that look int 2013.
A Star is Born (76′) stars Barbra Streisand as Esther Hoffman. Esther is an up and coming singer and song writer who dreams of making it big. Along the way she meets John Howard. John also happens to be a very successful and famous singer and songwriter.
After meeting up with each other a few times the pair eventually start to date and fall in love. John does whatever he can to help promote Esther’s career to the point where his career takes a backseat to her blossoming career.
Soon it becomes apparent that Esther is a rising star and John’s career has hit rock bottom. Many years of hard partying has also taken it’s toll on John.
The two eventually get married. You can tell that John truly loves Esther, and wants nothing but the best for her, but seeing her so successful brings him down. He’s happy for her, and he wants her to be successful but at the same time it makes him struggle with the reality that his “15 minutes of fame” are all but over.
Eventually her success and his drug and alcohol abuse start to drive them apart. So much so that it results in a tragedy.
I don’t want to tell you anymore about the film because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not seen it yet.
There is a lot of singing in the film. Most of the songs are OK. The one that stands out the most is Evergreen. The song won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It also earned a Grammy for Song of the Year, as well as won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Whenever I hear the song I think of the movie. Even writing this review I have the song playing through my head.
♫ Love soft as an easy chair
Love fresh as the morning air
One love that is shared by two
I have found with you
Like a rose under the April snow
I was always certain love would grow
Love ageless and evergreen… ♫
This is a very “deep” movie. It also takes you on an emotional roller coaster. There are times you pity Kris Kristofferson’s character, and other times you just want reach into the screen and slap him across the head, hoping to knock sense into him.
I think the filmmakers did a good job casting him in this role. Barbra on the other hand, I am still not convinced she was the best choice. The song Evergreen would not have been the same if she didn’t sing it, but as far as playing the role of Esther, Barbra wouldn’t have been my first choice.
This is not one of my favorite Barbra Streisand movies. Funny Girl and The Way We Were are my top 2. Dare I even say that I liked her in Yentl. I think I’m the only person who liked Yentl. LOL!
As with most Blu-rays there are plenty of bonus features available for the film.
Some of the features include;
Commentary with Barbra Streisand: Barbra discusses the film making process and as well as her thoughts about her performance and other behind the scenes happenings. She also tells viewers how her wardrobe on the film was her own personal wardrobe. I thought that was pretty interesting. I have never heard of an actor using their own clothing for a film.
Wardrobe Tests: Barbra talks about the outfits that were used (or not used) in the film.
There are A LOT of deleted scenes. I do a lot of movie reviews and I have never seen this many deleted scenes for one film.
Deleted scenes include;
- Breaking Bread
- Rehearsing with Chinese Food
- On the Guitar for Johnny
- Tell Me About the Road
- Kid Meets John Norman Howard
- Drunk at the Theatre
- I’m Going Out
- If You Ever Die, I’ll Kill You
- Ranch at Twilight
- Johnny Faking It
- Bath by Candlelight
An unexpected bonus feature was not only this film’s trailer but also the trialer for the other two A Star is Born films. If ever I have the chance I want to check those two films out some day too.
A Star is Born in Blu-ray is available now where ever Blu-rays are sold.
*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.