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43 of 45 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

32 of 34 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star is born 1976 version, 20 July 2009
D. Mason "statue" (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
Great to have this on DVD. One of my all time favourites which until now I only had on video complete with commercial breaks recorded from the tv.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars sent dvd back, 22 Sep 2013
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Sent Dvd back, was in Korean, but duded in English, was not described when ordered, was not happy as it was a birthday present
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a star is born, 31 Jan 2012
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Judy Garland at her best and most vulnerable, songs are classics and the set pieces have never been bettered.

James Mason's deteriorating star is painful to watch and beautifully played.

brilliant film..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a star is born, 1 Mar 2011
A Star Is Born (1976) Barbra Streisand [Region 2 compatible]

Amazing film, favourite of all time!! Didn't think I would ever get it on dvd.
With amazon it was quick and easy!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swift delivery, 9 Sep 2010
It arrived on time and was in perfect condition. Can't ask for more than that really.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad sound quality, 6 May 2010
Loved the movie but unfortunately the sound quality was awful. I had to have tv at volume 45 to make out what was being said. I waited a long time to purchase this movie and very disappointed with it............
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born [1954] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 16 July 2014
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A Star Is Born [1954] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] ‘A Star Is Born’ marked Judy Garland's return to movies after a four-year absence, director George Cukor's first musical and first colour film, and a showcase for great Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs in state-of-the-art stereo. Garland is singer Esther Blodgett, an undeniable talent on the rise. She catches the eye of Norman Maine [James Mason], an alcoholic actor in career decline. Their intense love transforms them both. Only one will survive Hollywood's slings and arrows. The restoration has been meticulously preserved and restored to Ronald Haver's 176-minute version of ‘A Star Is Born’ to its original lustre, and bringing back the brilliant, saturated colours and crisp picture.

FILM FACT: Academy Award Best Actress in a Leading Role for Judy Garland (nominated). Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role forJames Mason (nominated). Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Set Decoration, Color for Malcolm C. Bert, Gene Allen, Irene Sharaff, and George James Hopkins (nominated). Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color forJean Louis, Mary Ann Nyberg, and Irene Sharaff (nominated). Academy Award for Best Original Song for "The Man that Got Away" (nominated). Academy Award for Original Music Score forRay Heindorf (nominated). BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress in a Leading Role for Judy Garland (nominated).

Cast: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Tommy Noonan, Lucy Marlow, Amanda Blake, Irving Bacon, Hazel Shermet, Don Beddoe, Rodney Bell, Marshall Bradford, Nancy Kulp, Mae Marsh, Ron Nyman, Pat O'Malley, John Saxon, Don Shelton

Director: George Cukor

Producer: Sidney Luft

Original Screenplay: Alan Campbell, Dorothy Parker, Robert Carson

Composer: Harold Arlen, Ira Gershwin, Ray Heindorf and Skip Martin

Cinematography: Sam Leavitt

Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1 [CinemaScope]

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 2.0 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Running Time: 287 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 2

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – To many of us – okay, to most of us – she will always be Dorothy, the wide-eyed, spunky, achingly sincere, and forever appealing heroine of the all-time classic, 'The Wizard of Oz.' But as much as that timeless portrayal – not to mention her sublime and iconic rendition of the Oscar-winning “Over the Rainbow” – has firmly cemented itself into our collective consciousness, it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the peerless talent of the great Judy Garland. For many singer-actresses, such a monumental film would have been their professional pinnacle, an apex that could never be rivalled or equalled, but not for Judy Garland. For her 'The Wizard of Oz' was merely the point of embarkation for a staggering career unrivalled in its breadth and level of success. Films were only one of the domains Judy Garland conquered. She also made her mark on radio, television, the recording industry, and perhaps most significant of all, the concert stage. The consummate entertainer, who could sing, dance, and act with equal aplomb, Judy Garland often showed off her triple-threat abilities in a variety of memorable MGM musicals from 1939 to 1950, but never to such stupendous effect than in director George Cukor's 1954 remake of the definitive Hollywood heartbreak tale, 'A Star Is Born.'

Based on the 1937 drama of the same name starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March (which itself was inspired by the 1932 film 'What Price Hollywood?'), 'A Star Is Born' tells the story of one movie career on the rise and one in decline, and how the excess and narcissism of Tinsel town often lead to isolation, alienation, despair, and destruction. Ironically, Garland, one of Hollywood's most famous casualties, portrays the level-headed rising star, Esther Blodgett, a struggling band singer discovered and groomed by waning matinee idol Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic actor who coasts on charm and whose drunken escapades have made him an unreliable commodity. The two fall in love, but Norman's addiction and mounting insecurities over his slipping career continually test both their relationship and Norman's tenuous hold on a stable existence.

At the time of its release, 'A Star Is Born' was one of the few films to depict the dark side of Hollywood, proving all that glitters is not gold, and its uncompromising – and at times unflattering – portrait of an often heartless industry and parasitic culture packed a solid punch. Today, it's widely considered to be the best version of the oft-told tale – thanks to George Cukor's sensitive yet straightforward direction, which perfectly balances the script's rich emotional fabric. Though the Moss Hart screenplay still glosses over some of Hollywood's harsher elements (after all, the industry couldn't be expected to expose all its warts), we get enough of an inside look at studio practices and politics – some of which are delightfully lampooned – to give us a solid sense of what moviemaking was like in the 1950s.

And in an odd twist of fate, the film gives us far more information about the industry's cutthroat nature than it originally intended. For seeing 'A Star Is Born' today, in its reconstructed state, we learn first-hand how ruthless studio executives could be, and how they often cared more about a movie's bottom line than producing cinematic art. The cavalier manner in which Norman Maine is treated by Oliver Niles Productions in the film seems sympathetic when compared to how Warner Brothers treated 'A Star Is Born' shortly after its premiere. Originally clocking in at just over three hours, the film received rave reviews upon its release. Theatre owners, however, carped that the lengthy running time limited the number of showings per day, thus cutting into box office take. Worried the movie might not recoup its hefty investment; Warner recalled the film and hastily reedited it, lopping off two musical numbers and a critical stretch of plot that helped develop Norman and Esther's burgeoning relationship. Critics roundly condemned the new version, which many feel sabotaged the picture's Oscar chances.

The coveted cut footage was assumed to have been lost or destroyed, but in the early 1980s, film historian Ronald Haver scoured Warner's vaults, uncovering the complete 181-minute soundtrack, along with both deleted musical numbers (“Here's What I'm Here For” and “Lose That Long Face”) and a host of other snippets. He began to piece together a reconstructed version, inserting production stills over the portions of the soundtrack for which no corresponding film could be found. It was a novel approach, but effective, enabling the film at last to be seen as intended. The effect is a bit jarring at first, but the quality of the material trumps the awkwardness of the presentation. It's this version of 'A Star Is Born' that appears on this Blu-ray, and it's both a moving dramatic and musical experience, as well as a tribute to the cause of film preservation and restoration.

Of course, 'A Star Is Born' has always been a tribute to Judy Garland's brilliance. The fact she didn't win a Best Actress Oscar for her multi-faceted portrayal is one of Hollywood's great travesties. (Groucho Marx famously called it "the biggest robbery since Brink's!") Few performances brim with as much raw emotion, tenderness, and vitality as Garland's, and coupled with her virtuoso singing, which both thrills the senses and stirs the soul; it ranks as one of film history's finest tour de forces. Mason, to his credit, knows when to relinquish the spotlight and when to shine on his own. His work is equally riveting, and nabbed him a well-deserved Best Actor nomination

The score by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin includes the famous torch song “The Man That Got Away,” which would instantly become a Garland standard, and though Cukor had never before directed a musical, he seems comfortable in the genre. The director's sense of rhythm and mood enhance the story and make the film seem much shorter than its three-hour running time.

Fascinating from many standpoints – as an unflinching portrait of a beloved medium; as a tribute to a director's vision; and as the ultimate showcase for one of the most spectacular talents ever to grace the screen – 'A Star Is Born' is riveting entertainment from start to finish. Aspects of its story may be a bit dated, but its performances remain timeless. Most of all, the film stands as a testament to the enduring brilliance of Judy Garland, who, as one critic so bluntly (and correctly) put it, gives "just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history." After viewing 'A Star Is Born' for the first time or the hundredth, it's impossible not to agree.

Blu-ray Video Quality – 'A Star Is Born' is a dark film, both thematically and visually, so it's especially gratifying to see such a gorgeous 1080p rendering that maximizes the movie's colour palette without pushing it too far, and pumps up clarity and contrast to, at times, breath-taking degrees. Meticulously restored at high resolution, 'A Star Is Born' underwent a painstaking process to remove chemical staining and correct colour. The result is a superior transfer that nicely juggles the various film stocks and still sequences to produce as seamless a viewing experience as possible given the picture's unique circumstances and mixture of elements. Of course the brief carhop sequence looks grainy and a bit battered, but we're lucky it exists at all. On the whole, however, the image is clean, crisp, and sports a pleasing grain structure that lends the story vital warmth and texture.

Contrast is solid and clarity is surprisingly good, especially when one factors in the primitive nature of CinemaScope at that time. Sure, there are some soft moments, but on the whole, the picture remains vivid and sharp. Close-ups look beautiful – you can see the perspiration glistening on Garland's face during the 'Born in a Trunk' number – and flesh tones remain stable and true throughout, from Garland's alabaster skin to James Mason's olive complexion. Fans have waited years for a high-definition upgrade of this classic film, and Warner delivers a beautiful product that will satisfy even the most critical eyes. Here's hoping more of the studio's catalogue musicals come our way…and soon.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – When it comes to classics, many of us tend to care more about picture quality than sound, but in the case of 'A Star Is Born,' audio plays a vital role. And hearing 'A Star Is Born' in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is a thrilling experience. Without question, Judy Garland possessed one of the greatest singing voices in history, and here she is at her absolute peak. This superior track perfectly showcases her peerless instrument. Pure, controlled, and bursting with unbridled power, Garland's vocals are crystal clear, with every warm tone, delicate nuance, and euphoric climax perfectly balanced to achieve maximum impact. The musical numbers possess a marvellous fullness, flooding the room with well-mixed, dynamic sound.

Most of the audio is front-based, with some mild stereo separation widening the field somewhat. Surround activity is slight, but some crowd scenes possess a bit of wrap-around. Dialogue is always clear and comprehendible, and isolated accents, such as a trolley bell and the ignition of klieg lights, are marvellously distinct. There's not much low-end action to involve the subwoofer, but bass tones during the songs supply some nice weight. Best of all, the track is clean, with no pops, crackles, or hiss mucking up the works. Faint bits of distortion occasionally crop up during Garland's vocals, but you really have to listen closely to catch them. By far, this is the best 'A Star Is Born' has ever sounded, and fans of this classic film will be more than satisfied with this vibrant, immersive track.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Introduction [3:00] This all-too-short behind-the-scenes documentary provides a lightning-quick overview of the production and the tireless efforts that made the film everything it is.

Audio Vault [Dolby Digital Stereo and Mono] [107 minutes] A treasure trove of audio recordings include outtakes of "Oliver on the Phone with the Director Discussing Norman" and "Norman and Esther on the Roof of the Hotel Lancaster," a 1942 Cecil B. DeMille produced "Lux Radio Theater Broadcast" with performances by Judy Garland and Walter Pidgeon, a "Judy Garland Promotional" interview, rehearsals for Born in the Trunk and Someone at Last, an Extended Playback of Someone at Last, and amusing rehearsals of My Melancholy Baby, Black Bottom and Swanee.

“The Man That Got Away” Deleted Scenes [22:00] A number of alternate takes employing two different costumes and setups show just how seriously Cukor took this particular number. Split-screen effects show subtle variations between various takes, and make one admire Garland's stamina, commitment, and artistry all the more.

Alternate Takes [11:00] Alternate takes of "Here's What I'm Here For," "Lose That Long Face," "Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo," and "Norman Maine's Finale." A helpful narrator helps sets the stage and the context for each scene.

When My Sugar Walks Down the Street “Outtake” [1:00] A short cut snippet from the 'Born in a Trunk' sequence resurfaces here.

Pantages Premiere TV Special [30:00] This archive black and white television special and the nation's first live telecast of a movie premiere and documents the excitement surrounding Star's Pantages Theater debut.

Newsreel Montage [8:00] Shot in 16mm by a number of cameramen, this original black and white promotional reel was used by Warner Brothers to spread news of Star's Pantages Premiere and hype the film's release.

Premiere in CinemaScope [2:00] A secondary documentary in which a narrator identifies notable celebrities and attendees at the film's Pantages Theater premiere.

A Report by Jack L. Warner [6:00] Executive Producer Jack L. Warner address’s viewers and provides a brief glimpse at scenes from A Star is Born in this vintage promotional short.

Film Effects Reel [1:00] Early test footage (shot at the Fox premiere of The Robe) George Cukor used to compare traditional Technicolor photography with the new Eastman Color and Warner Scope processes.

A Star is Bored [7:00] Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck go at it in this movie-themed Looney Tunes instalment that borrows its title from 'A Star Is Born,' but spoofs none of its content.

Theatrical Trailers [10:00] Three trailers are on tap. One for the original 1937 version of ‘A Star is Born’ starring Janet Gaynor, one for the 1954 remake starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and one for the maligned 1976 adaptation starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Finally, ‘A Star is Born’ joins a long list of catalogue titles that have been granted new life in high definition. Blessed with a faithful, technically proficient video transfer (itself the product of a magnificent restoration), a solid 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track (compiled from multiple sources no less), a totally handsome and beautiful Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook packaging with a worthwhile essay on this classic Hollywood film, and a decent set of special features makes this 2-disc release really worth every penny. Did I mention the film holds up quite well for a fifty-six-year old musical and it must be said that this has to be the finest version of one of the all-time great Hollywood tales, the 1954 'A Star Is Born' features one of the all-time great performances by one of the all-time great talents, Judy Garland. George Cukor's film combines a compelling dramatic story with an excellent score to create an emotionally powerful, thoroughly entertaining experience. Warner's Blu-ray presentation is top-notch, featuring a stunning 1080p transfer, dynamic audio, and hours of absorbing extras, and it is such an honour to add to my ever increasing Judy Garland Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest performance of Judy's life, 6 Mar 2002
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
What a film!What a woman!The legend that is Judy Garland gives the performance of her career in this classic film.She gives it her all particuarly in the fantastic songs including the heart string tugging "The Man That Got Away" Her acting is extremely moving as she watches the man she adores fall deeper into despair.This film demonstrates why Judy is the greatest entertainer who has ever lived. She missed out on the Best Actress Oscar that year to Grace Kelly. The Academy should be ashamed.This performance beats any performance given by any actress in any film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 12 Sep 2009
Tracy J. Cruxon "topcat" (england) - See all my reviews
This film is one of my all time favourites. Streisand and Krisstoferson are great together and the songs are classics. Just a shame it took me so long to find a copy otherwise i would have got one twenty years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born, 10 Jun 2014
mr derek w. bennett (Worthing, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Star is Born [Blu-ray] [1954] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This is a memorable film one of the best of its kind during the 1950s with amazing acting by Garland and Mason. Love the songs and this near complete version with most of the out-edited pieces back where they belong is absolutely superb. The only disappointment is that the extras featured on earlier releases are not on the Blu-Ray version.
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A Star is Born [Blu-ray] [1954] [Region Free]
A Star is Born [Blu-ray] [1954] [Region Free] by Judy Garland (Blu-ray - 2013)
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