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Star Is Born, A (Warner 1976, Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson)



A Star Is Born centers around rock star John Norman (Kristofferson) whose career has peaked. One night, after a concert, he stumbles into a club where he sees a singing group fronted by young singer Esther Hoffman (Streisand). The two quickly fall in love, although Esther has trouble with John’s rock star lifestyle. One night, a typically burned-out John lets Esther sing a few songs at one of his shows and before long she’s the talk of the record business. While Esther’s star begins to rise, John’s continues to sink, and while she desperately tries to help him clean up and focus on his music, it may be too late to save him.

The 1937 version of A Star Is Born, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, captured seven Academy Award nominations and won one (Best Screenplay); the 1954 version, with Judy Garland and James Mason, was nominated for six Oscars. This version was nominated for four Academy Awards and won five Golden Globes, including Best Picture, Actress, Actor and Original Score. Paul Williams, Kenny Loggins, Leon Russell and others worked with Streisand on the popular song score, topped by the Streisand/Williams hit ‘Evergreen’ which won both the Oscar and Golden Globe as Best Original Song.

Like The Way We Were and Terms of Endearment, A Star is Born is one of those classic tearjerkers and pretty much the archetypal Streisand vehicle. Co-produced by Streisand and her then partner Jon Peters the duo initially sought out Elvis for the Kristofferson role, A Star is Born was a huge hit on its cinematic release and Streisand had one of the biggest hits of her career with the song Evergreen (the main theme from the movie). Easily the equal of the classy 1937 version and much better than the 1954 James Mason attempt.

Academy Awards: Song ‘Evergreen’ (music Barbra Streisand / lyrics Paul Williams)

production details
USA | Warner – Barwood – First Artists | 139 minutes | 1976

Writers: John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion, Frank Pierson
Musical Director: Paul Mazursky
Production Design: Polly Piatt
Producers: Barbra Streisand
Director: Frank Pierson

Barbra Streisand as Esther Hoffman
Sally Kirkland as Photographer
Maidie Norman as Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Paul Mazursky as Brian Wexler
Gary Busey as Bobbie Ritchie
Robert Englund as Marty (uncredited)
Kris Kristofferson as John Norman Howard
Oliver Clark as Gary Danziger
Joanne Linville as Freddie Lowenstein
Venetta Fields as One of the Oreos
Clydie King as One of the Oreos
Marta Heflin as Quentin
M.G. Kelly as Bebe Jesus
Bill Graham as Himself
Rita Coolidge as Herself
Tony Orlando as Himself
Sandy Helberg as Kevin (uncredited)
Susan Richardson as Groupie in Limousine (uncredited)
Roslyn Kind as Table Guest at Grammy Awards (uncredited)
Aesop Aquarian as Recording Engineer – ‘Meow-Chow’ Catfood Commercial (uncredited)