Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance
A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.
In 1974, film historian Ronald Haver was doing a George Cukor retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For the showing of A Star Is Born, he put together a brochure featuring stills from the cut scenes and descriptions of what was missing. This triggered interest at Warner Bros., where an apprentice film editor discovered the complete three-hour soundtrack in the sound department's storage vaults. Haver wanted to create a restored version using the soundtrack with stills filling in for the missing scenes, but was unable to raise the budget through the LA County Museum.
Esther Blodgett? Well, we'll do something about that. Anyway, nice to have you with us.
At the end, Norman opens the sliding door and Esther begins to sing. After stepping outside he closes the door completely, yet the sound level of her voice is not reduced.
As Matt Libby (Jack Carson) dictates the cancellation/resignation of Norman Maine's (James Mason) contract, a theater marquee featuring "Black Legion" starring Norman Maine, outside his window is being taken down. "Black Legion" was a 1937 movie starring Humphrey Bogart, one of the actors that turned down the role of Norman Maine for this picture.
Contrary to popular belief, the film was not originally at 181 minutes, but rather 196 (3hrs. and 16mins.) at a post-premiere shown on August 8, 1954 in Hunnington Park, California. After its second post-premiere - the very next day - two scenes of 15 minutes total were deleted; making the film run its original world debut length at 181 minutes. One was a number called "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street" that came after Judy's take of "I'll Get By" in the 'Born in the Trunk' sequence, the other was a scene where Garland and James Mason's characters (Vicki and Norman) were picnicking on the beach; production stills and promotional advertisements are the only thing left in existence of the footage. After its world premiere on September 29, 1954, 27 minutes was cut, bringing it down to a mediocre 154 time length. Those scenes were:
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