A Star Is Born (1976) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Talented rock star John Norman Howard has seen his career begin to decline. Too many years of concerts and managers and life on the road have made him cynical and the monotony has taken its toll. Then he meets the innocent, pure and very talented singer Esther Hoffman. As one of his songs in the… Runtime: 139 min Release Date: 17 Dec 1976
My mom took me to see this movie when it came out around Christmas of 1976. I loved it then and I love it now. I know everyone makes fun of Barbra's hair in this one, but I think she looks and sounds great! ...And I seem to remember a number of women who copied that permed look at the time! Also, the bath tub scene between Streisand and Kristoferson is just so sexy! The music is great as well. This is the groovy 70's Babs at her best!
Sentimental favorite; surpasses the previous versions in many ways (by robb_772)
A blockbuster at the time of it's original release it was the second-highest grossing film of 1976 , the third screen version of A STAR IS BORN has always divided critics and fans alike. The film open to scathingly negative reviews, however, $5.6 million-budgeted picture went on to gross over $150 million at the box office and won an Academy Award and five Golden Globes. It's not without some irony that Streisand's most commercially successful film would also remain her most controversial. For every ten fans who state that STAR is Streisand's best film, there are always ten <more>
more who claim it is the weakest film in her filmography. Although both sides have some merit to support their claims, it should still be noted that the seventies take on A STAR IS BORN remains one of the most touching and highly entertaining showbiz dramas that Hollywood ever produced. For my money, it's the best version of the often-told tale.The film is solidly enjoyable and throughly absorbing. Changing the setting from the old Hollywood studio system to the competitive world of the music industry was actually a great idea, and the screenplay forges a realistic contrast between the characters' romance and their careers. This is the main area that the 1976 version of A STAR IS BORN actually surpasses it's classic predecessors. For example, the film is especially successful when depicting the clashing personal and professional difficulties during recording sessions and the never-ending phone calls that interrupt Kristofferson's songwriting attempts. This version of the story is also more believable in it's portrayal of the lead characters. For example, the female leads in the two previous versions were so virtuous and self-sacrificing that they came off as saints. On the other hand, Esther, the female lead in this version, is not only portrayed as being strong and passionate, but also flawed and conflicted. This makes her feel more "real" than the Janet Gaynor or Judy Garland characters felt in the previous films, and makes the story that much more effective.The performances are all on target, even if some of the supporting characters aren't fleshed out enough. If you're looking for an actress/singer who can walk the fine line between tough and vulnerable without making herself seem like a script contrivance, Streisand is definitely the girl you want. She's one of the few film stars who can make even the most banal dialogue seem fresh and natural, and, as usual, she manages to make a strong emotional connection with the viewer. Simply put, her Esther is a fully-realized, three-dimensional human being. Kris Kristofferson may not get much respect now for his laid-back characterization, however, he's always interesting watch and displays a magnetic charisma here that he seldom displayed elsewhere in his career. Kristofferson actually received rave reviews at the time from NEWSWEEK, TIME, and even the NEW YORKER's usually vicious Pauline Kael. Gary Busey and Paul Mazursky also give believable performances, but both have a fairly minimal amount of screen time.The film's soundtrack recording was also a massive success, hitting the #1 on Billboard's Hot 200 and selling over four million copies in the US alone. The Streisand-composed "Evergreen" with lyrics from Paul Williams is unarguably one of the most gorgeous songs in contemporary pop, brought to even-further life by an absolutely incomparable vocal performance from Streisand. The rest of the film's original songs mostly composed by Williams and Rupert Holmes are pretty good as well, and Streisand sounds fantastic - her live solo numbers remain in the memory long after the rest of the movie has faded. Streisand's vibrant performances bring "Woman In The Moon" and "With One More Look At You" to thrilling life, and make even sillier numbers like "Queen Bee" work far better than they have the right to. Kristofferson's solo numbers sound somewhat tuneless, however, that may have been intentional since he is playing a singer in decline.Though naturally dated in some respects it definitely does reflect the decade in which it was made , the seventies take on A STAR IS BORN still holds up remarkably well. The film is well-mounted and slickly produced, the chemistry between the leads is extremely powerful and always feels genuine, and Streisand has two emotional scenes near the finale that are both aching effective. In conclusion, A STAR IS BORN is not only entertaining and moving, but it also transcends all criticism.
I am and was very entertained by the movie. It was my all time favorite movie of 1976. Being raised in the 70's , I was so in love with Kris Kristoffersons look and demeanor,of course I am no movie critic,but for the time era,I think it was very good. I very much like the combo of Streisand and Kristofferson. I thought they worked very well together. I have seen the movie many times and still love the two of them as Esther and John Norman. I am a very huge fan of Kris and see him in concert when I can. What a talented singer song writer,not to mention,actor. I have seen him in many <more>
A new look at a great story. (by redhotchillichic)
I recently watched the '54 version of this film with Judy, and while i appreciated the story and music, i found that the film failed to hold my attention. I expected the '76 remake to be the same story, except with a Barbra twist. I was pleasantly surprised - it was a much more realistic and modern look at fame, money, love and the price of it all. This version is so much more real than the '54 one, with arguably better music, better acting, a more gripping plot line, and, of course, a deeper love. I do not understand why the previous film is on the American Film Institute's <more>
top 100 list, while this gripping remake fails to make a mark on any critic's list.
Barbra Streisand is a tour de force in this Hollywood story. Her performances and the songs are one-of-a-kind and are special in the halls of great movies. The scene where she is introduced to the unexpecting audience by Kristopherson, against the crowds' wishes and hers, only to turn them around with her magnificent performance of "Woman In the Moon" is one of the best examples on film of how well a great performer can win over an audience. It's real. The scene where she records Evergreen ranks with the best in the business.. all live, no lip-sync, very special. Streisand <more>
is often criticized for being a Diva, but she delivers on this one. She is majestic singing "With One More Look At You. She deserved the Oscar she and Paul Williams got for Evergreen. Kristopherson had his moments too, far above most of his movie appearances. This version of the "Born" franchise ranks with the first one of 1937 Janet Gaynor, Frederic March although I will always enjoy Judy Garland and James Mason musical remake of 1954. I haven't seen the DVD yet and don't know about its quality.
OK, granted the story of the born star is about Streisand's character, but the love story alone is fairly universal. Can love survive when one partner is seen as more successful than the other? Both Streisand and Kristofferson give solid performances. These characters are in love but are clearly on different trajectories. The music is important for the forward movement of the film, but it's not really a musical, per se. Both Kristofferson's and Streisand's performances are great so get the soundtrack if you don't have it . I think this movie still holds up even almost 40 <more>
years can you believe it? later. The messages in the movie seem to be stronger once you've lived life, had success, had failure, been in love, and lost love. Overall, do you need to be a Streisand fan to like the movie? It helps. If you don't like her, you won't likely enjoy the movie, but she doesn't come across as the sole focus of the movie. Her story, his story, and their story seems to be told in equal measure. Haven't seen it? Do. Saw it years ago? See it again soon.
Loved it way more than I expected to (by HotToastyRag)
I was fully expecting to dislike this version of A Star Is Born, since I'd already seen the 1954 version and loved it. I'd also already seen the 1937 original, and while it wasn't as good as the remake, I still appreciated it. My mom said she couldn't stand the 1976 version, and we usually have pretty similar taste, especially when it comes to musicals. Surprise, surprise, I loved it.The reason I was able to enjoy A Star Is Born so much is because I pretended it was a completely different movie. If you've seen either of the two earlier versions and expect a traditional <more>
remake, you'll probably hate it. John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion, and Frank Pierson may have based their concept on a previous story, but they've written a completely different script. So, for the purpose of telling you my thoughts on the film, I won't compare it at all to the Judy Garland version.Kris Kristofferson might be the only person in the world who can pull off a bearded, '70s look while still coming across as hygienic. It doesn't make sense that I think he's wildly attractive, since I usually hate that look, but I was in heaven with the amount of eye candy in this movie. Perfectly cast as a popular rock star, he starts the movie past his peak. He drinks, snorts cocaine, forgets his lyrics onstage, and performs outrageous, life-threatening stunts. He chances upon Barbra Streisand singing in a nightclub and is so impressed with her talent, he propels her to stardom. And of course, they fall in love.I really am surprised by how much I liked this movie, since so much of it isn't usually my cup of tea. The 1970s isn't my favorite decade, and I usually find the clothes and hairstyles irritating. With exception to two of the plentiful songs in the movie, I didn't really like the music. Barbra Streisand's character has plenty of bite to her, which I don't usually find sympathetic. Somehow, putting all the elements together worked beautifully. Somehow, it made total sense that Barbra gave Kris attitude when they were first getting to know each other. I won't be buying the soundtrack, but Barbra's vocal talent was extremely impressive; it was very understandable that audiences in the film were wowed by her. Both leads put their whole hearts into their performances, and even though this was the third time I'd seen the story, I still cried during each of their "big scenes". If you know the story, you know which ones they are. I'd always thought of Kris as just a good-looking singer, but I was surprised by how much dramatics he poured into his scenes. Barbra is always a good performer, and in her romantic one-on-one scenes, she's tender and vulnerable. She's been paired up with a very long list of good-looking leading men-Robert Redford, Ryan O'Neal, Jeff Bridges, Omar Sharif, Nick Nolte, and young Mandy Patinkin-and I've never seen her with greater, sweeter, lovelier chemistry than with Kris Kristofferson. The way they look at each other is so beautiful, like how Jack Carson looked at Doris Day in Romance on the High Seas. If you like the Oscar-winning song "Evergreen", you'll love the scene in the movie when they sing it together.My advice is to either watch this version first or forget you've seen any other version when you rent it. He's gorgeous, she's in her perm-prime, and if you like '70s rock, you'll really love it.
I had to search high and low till I found some definitive info about the Bradley Cooper / Lady Gaga remake, and that plot is basically closest to this film, but with country music instead of rock and pop. So I decided to give this film another look, and I was glad I did.Initially, I had hated this movie, and that had to be because I was too familiar with both stars' music and personas, and I, like a lot of others, distanced myself from the characters and the story, and could not give the film a chance.But something strange happened when I watched it again, with a distance of many years, <more>
and with the two stars having passed into legend status and not so ubiquitous or familiar now...I actually bought into the story for the most part - sorry, but no way a crowd waiting to see a beloved hard rock band is going to sit still for any lounge act shtick, much less cheer for it , I believed the two admired each other's talents, I believed they worked together on music, I believed they loved each other yes, some of the love scenes are cringe-worthy, but now only because watching any couple being extra lovey-dovey is basically cringe-worthy , I enjoyed looking at the hair and clothing although most of it was outdated even for that time period , and I actually teared up at the end !?, yep, I did .So, due to the fact that this film is now just as dated as the other three, it is now just as enjoyable, and I advise giving it another chance.
Co-Written and directed by Frank Pierson, this 1976 remake of "A Star is Born" starred Barbra Streisand back when she was at the pinnacle of her singing and acting career, it was however it was complex in pulling off the magic of the old 1937 version that starred Janet Gaynor and Frederic March or the the old 1954 version starring Judy Garland and James Mason. In many ways like Gaynor and Garland, Streisand was also very labouring to work with on the set due to her heavy demands and her perfectionist ways. For some not so surprising evidence, Babs had her legions of loyal fans while <more>
by way of contrast, she also has her equal share of critics who are more than happy to verbally inject their disdain towards her. Some of the quips bestowed upon her are quite witty in their analogy as claiming this movie to be renamed "A Bore is Born".But in spite of who stars in this movie, it was quite a refreshing spin of an old classic to relocate the scenario as the focus is not on Hollywood actors but on rock-and-roll performers. Just like the other two films it's based on, the storytelling is equally poignant. Sure it may not be for everyone, but it still exceeds Streisand's 1973 film "The Way We Were". It had some appeal to the fans as it grossed over $80 million which was the third highest grossing picture of that year.Falling in the routine of its predecessors in terms of the plot, we see Streisand starring as Esther Hoffman breaking into a career in show business. She meets and befriends and falls in love with a veteran rock musician who as her career is flourishing, his career is plummeting. Streisand was the right choice for this role and her pairing with Kris Kristofferson gives it the right kind of chemistry as he's quite effective as the self-loathing, inebriated loser named John Norman Howard. And though it is a thankless performance playing a musician who's given up on hope, Kristofferson plays is very gracefully.The songs that feature Streisand on lead vocals are both riveting, vibrant and will surely lift your spirits. She handled the song she sung "Evergreen" which she co-wrote with Paul Williams with such power, that she won an Oscar for Best Song and her wonderful voice will surely appease nicely to her legions of fans. Ecstatically, this song was recorded in one take and Streisand nailed it with absolute perfection. Like the character Esther Hoffman who won a Grammy, Streisand went on to win both a Grammy and and Oscar for the song "Evergreen". In addition to that, Robert Surtees was nominated for an Oscar winner for Best Cinematography. Robert Knudson, Dan Wallin, Robert Glass and Tom Overton were nominated for Best Sound and Roger Kellaway was nominated for Best Original Score.For all the cynics out there, the inspiration of this remarkable film should be informed that there is going to be a new remake of "A Star is Born" which will be launched next year and starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, indicating that if it wasn't for this version starring Streisand and Kristofferson. Will it exceeds the viewer's expectations? Only time will tell. This remake is still inferior to the Judy Garland and James Mason version, but it's still a good watch.A great shout to the supporting performers including Gary Busey as Bobby Ritchie, Paul Mazursky as Brian Wexler, Sally Kirkland as a photographer, Robert Englund as Marty, Venetta Fields and Clydie King are Hoffman's backup vocalists, The Oreos, plus brief appearances by Kristofferson's then wife Rita Coolidge and Tony Orlando as themselves.When it came to film "A Star is Born", it was a very rocky road indeed. There was claims that the egocentric Streisand directed some scenes for herself much to the chagrin of director Pierson with rumours floating about that Babs and Pierson conflicted with each other many times on set, even with Pierson stating his experience was horrendous. Kristofferson almost came close to quitting movies after making this film claiming co-starring with Streisand was a labouring experience.The soundtrack was a big success as it sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. and was a chart topper for six weeks in a row and 15 million copies worldwide.Streisand originally didn't have Kristofferson in mind to play the male lead, but Elvis Presley instead or a close second Marlon Brando. The King had a keen interest in the role of John Norman Howard, but his manager Col. Tom Parker rebuffed at the idea due to her not asking him at first and wanted overwhelming demands.Still in spite of its ups and downs and trials and tribulations, it's a great watch that's filled with drama, romance, music and fun old entertainment. I recommend you all to see it.