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3.8
778 Ratings

A Star is Born

Directed by William A. Wellman
United States, 1937
Drama

Synopsis

A Star Is Born traces the rise of an aspiring actress (Janet Gaynor) to the heights of fame and fortune, while also charting the obverse trajectory of her matinee-idol husband (Fredric March) who discovered her. As she reaches the peaks of success, he falls into an alcoholic depression.

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A Star is Born Directed by William A. Wellman

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1938 | 2 wins including: Honorary Award

1938 | 6 nominations including: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1937 | Winner: Top Ten Films

Critics reviews

if I like Wellman’s [version of A Star Is Born the] best of the three it’s because it’s the one that best impresses upon me a sense of excitement in the star’s ascent—it’s the one that dares exalt the victories of the Hollywood system at the same time that it laments its losses.
August 04, 2014
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There are continual bursts of rough color surrounded by an almost enveloping darkness. It’s a darkness that surrounds not only the image but also the story and when it literally and figuratively envelops Fredric March’s Norman Maine, a Taxi-Driver-esque scenario emerges: is what happened real or is it a fantasy, wherein a woman actually gets to keep her successful career without being forced to choose between it and her less successful husband?
July 01, 2014
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Wellman excelled in proletarian dramas: His tough-love approach to characterization, which made him an ideal storyteller for the Depression, typically denied the sympathy expected in love stories. The results, if not quite extraordinary, are certainly fascinating—the sort of great, instructive experiment that regularly emerged from studio assignations in this era.
March 12, 2010
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