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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best musicals of all time
Those who say that 'Star' is the performance of Garland's career are not exaggerating - this is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest musicals of all time.
It has a whole array of cracking songs, from the opening dance number 'Gotta Have Me Go With You' to the marvellous 'Born in a Trunk' ensemble and, of course, the classic 'The Man That Got Away', of which Garland's...
Published on 27 Feb 2003 by Mr D E Bassett

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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a broken classic - beware!
Of course, the movie itself is a classic. James Mason gives his best-ever performance, making a mockery of the studio's original first choice for Norman Maine - Clark Gable (and can you imagine how wooden THAT would have been?) Garland has probably never sung better, but what really surprises is her acting - which is both disarmingly charming and achingly powerful...
Published on 30 Aug 2006 by M. D. Anderiesz


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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best musicals of all time, 27 Feb 2003
Those who say that 'Star' is the performance of Garland's career are not exaggerating - this is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest musicals of all time.
It has a whole array of cracking songs, from the opening dance number 'Gotta Have Me Go With You' to the marvellous 'Born in a Trunk' ensemble and, of course, the classic 'The Man That Got Away', of which Garland's recording is undoubtedly the definitive version. By and large I'm not a huge fan of Ira Gershwin's lyrics, but this film proves that a great song is about great emotion, and some of these provocative numbers will surely get your heart pounding.
What sets 'Star' apart from other classic musicals is that, despite having great songs, these aren't what the film is about. This is a genuinely moving tale of tragedy, sublimely acted by the two leads; Garland displays real vulnerability and yet also power, while Mason shows the depth of a man on the edge of oblivion, fighting with alcoholism and his inner demons. Some of these incredibly heartfelt scenes bring a tear (or more) to the eye.
So, a fantastic film, but it’s immeasurably enhanced by this two-disc 50th anniversary edition. The version of the film included here is the completely restored 169 minute cut, containing original scenes and stills lost over the years in various re-releases. Of course, it’s been digitally remastered and is presented in beautiful 2.55:1 widescreen format with 5.1 digital sound – the perfect presentation of Warner Bros’ first Cinemascope production. The second disc is devoted entirely to extras, and there’s a marvellous selection here. It begins with three alternative versions of ‘The Man That Got Away’ which, aside from being great to watch and listen to, also provide tremendous insight into the filmmaking and design process. There’s also a short clip featuring ‘When My Sugar Walks Down the Street’, a song originally filmed for the ‘Born in a Trunk’ sequence but not included in the final cut. There’s full coverage of the Hollywood premiere of the film, with a newsreel, full 30 minute TV special and speeches (including Garland’s) from the after-show party. There’s also a short promotional video from Jack Warner (one of the brothers) and a few audio clips.
Quite simply, ‘A Star is Born’ is an essential purchase for fans of Garland, good musicals, or emotional drama in general, and this wonderful package just makes the experience even more special.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag... But a triumphant Blu Ray transfer!, 20 Sep 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The blu ray is a tremendous high quality restoration whose transfer I cannot recommend too highly. However it is long - very long - and for me I'm sorry to say - the newly restored cut sequences slow it down even further. The musical sequences are magnificently performed but of immense length too and often diminish the dramatic tension achieved in the scenes between Mason and Garland to such an extent I wished they were half the length or even that the film had been made as a straightforward drama not a 3hour mixture of both. Still that's me and - although it was not that well received at it's original release - I know that many fans now love it dearly. So for them at least this new quality blu ray will be a "must have"! It certainly has excellent audio and video.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a broken classic - beware!, 30 Aug 2006
By 
M. D. Anderiesz (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Of course, the movie itself is a classic. James Mason gives his best-ever performance, making a mockery of the studio's original first choice for Norman Maine - Clark Gable (and can you imagine how wooden THAT would have been?) Garland has probably never sung better, but what really surprises is her acting - which is both disarmingly charming and achingly powerful

However...

While the restoration of lost footage is a film-buff's dream, and expertly done, to simply plonk whole minutes of still-frames in the middle of the movie is nonsensical and largerly destroys the narrative flow of the whole. By all means, include it as a DVD extra - but this is geekness run amok and should be discouraged - especially as there is no warning that the movie has been doctored in this way.

If you love the movie as we all remember it, buy an earlier version or wait for the inevitable 'special special edition' that features a proper 'making of' featurette to fill up a largely wasted second disc, and a decent cut of the movie-proper.

Sorry. I really wanted to like this, but the extras simply don't justify sabotaging a real Hollywood classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judys ultimate performance., 26 April 2013
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Fantastic cinemascope transfer of this classic film, im sorry to say NO extras at all not even a trailer shame on you Warner Bros even on the old 2 disc dvd we got a second disc with some nice extras on loads of space on blu ray to include these so why not?trying to get people to go over to hi def format this is not a good selling point.By the way over the pond the US blu ray is a 2 disc set with 4 hours of extras as usual the UK market misses out boo!!!!!! Mark, Wallasey, Wirral.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant return for Judy, 27 Jan 2003
By 
Robert Keyes (Birkenhead, Wirral United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
A triumphant return to the screen after a 4 year absence, her last being MGM'S 'Summer Stock' in 1950. Judy was always capable of making a mediocre script look good, but here she has full support starting with the wonderful screenplay by Moss Hart, expert directin by George Cukor and James Mason, perfect as her co-star helping Judy (Esther Blodgett) realise her obvious talent.
This film is probably the best example of Judy Garland's versatality as a performer and highlights her ability as a great dramatic actress. Her performance earned her a well deserved oscar nomination and added to an already impressive film career as she was still only 32.
The film has numerous high points, many of which were cut after its' inititial premiere but have since been found and rightfully restored including 2 musical numbers 'here's what I'm here for' and 'lose that long face'. The songs by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin become instant Judy standards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant return for Judy, 27 Jan 2003
By 
Robert Keyes (Birkenhead, Wirral United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
A triumphant return to the screen after a 4 year absence, her last being MGM'S 'Summer Stock' in 1950. Judy was always capable of making a mediocre script look good, but here she has full support starting with the wonderful screenplay by Moss Hart, expert directin by George Cukor and James Mason, perfect as her co-star helping Judy (Esther Blodgett) realise her obvious talent.
This film is probably the best example of Judy Garland's versatality as a performer and highlights her ability as a great dramatic actress. Her performance earned her a well deserved oscar nomination and added to an already impressive film career as she was still only 32.
The film has numerous high points, many of which were cut after its' inititial premiere but have since been found and rightfully restored including 2 musical numbers 'here's what I'm here for' and 'lose that long face'. The songs by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin become instant Judy standards.
A star!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Star' still shines after half a century, 26 Mar 2005
By 
James Hayes "JM Hayes" (Herts., UK) - See all my reviews
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Even if you have already seen the 1954 version of 'A Star Is Born' on TV, take this opportunity to watch it again in its latest DVD incarnation, because the quality of the original production dazzles in a way that has been absent since the original theatrical release 50 years ago. Judy Garland excels of course, but the contributions of so-stars James Mason, Charles Bickford, Jack Carson, and Tom Noonan should also be highly appreciated. George Cukor's directorial hand is largely assured on this somewhat troubled production (his tendency to long takes now seems odd compared to the current cinematographic trends for cutting-away every four seconds; it might have been because Cukor just didn't have time or budget for multiple set-ups). If possible, I recommend that you get hold of Ronald Haver's book 'A Star Is Born: The Making of the 1954 Movie and Its 1983 Restoration', and read it before or after seeing the movie - you'll get more out of the experience for doing so. In fact, the lack of information about the restoration is my only carp with this DVD issue: anyone who doesn't know about it might wonder why some scenes run only as a series of rostrum'd stills images, while the original soundtrack remains. The other DVD extras all add to the appreciation and atmosphere 'A Star Is Born' whipped-up, and the alternative takes fascinate. Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film but where's the extras?, 6 July 2013
By 
P Goodhead (Worcester) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the finest films about Hollywood ever put on celluloid and so I just had to upgrade my dvd copy to Blu-ray. All the proposed extras however are on the DVD and sadly NOT on the bluray.
The film quality is excellent and this is the fully restored film but how sad that they didn't fully restore in the extras dept.
If the studios want us to replenish our collections in this format then they will have to start getting better with the extras otherwise what is the point?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star is Born, 8 Jan 2004
Absolute classic..if you have yet introduced yourself to Judy Garland this is a great first choice.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born Barbra Streisand, 6 July 2009
This review is from: A Star Is Born (1976) Barbra Streisand [Region 2 compatible] (DVD)
If you are a Barbra Streisand fan then you will love this film.It`s an old story retold but completely modernized at the time it was produced .
Although most Judy Garland fans were horrified at the re-make I think in it`s own way it was worth making and certainly worth adding to your collection. Chris
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A Star Is Born (1976) Barbra Streisand [Region 2 compatible]
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