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.
Judy Garland wasn't always home resting when she was sick. She'd take a day off, then George Cukor would read in Louella Parsons' column that she had spent the night singing at a nightclub. She'd leave early and go to the races. None of this was released to the press. Instead, the Warners PR department attributed the delays to Garland's relentless perfectionism.
Judge George J. Barnes:
Were you Norman Maine the actor?
Norman Maine: Yes.
The opening scenes of cars arriving for the benefit combine actual shots of a Hollywood event with ones filmed for the movie. But in one shot, taken from the perspective of a spotlight crew atop their tower, the footage of the real event is shown on the right side of the screen, while footage shot for the movie is at the left. Not only is the disparity between the two shots obvious, but the split screen is completely mismatched, so that the cars on the right appear to be moving at a sharp angle directly into the cars and building in the shot at left, and it looks as though there are two streets intersecting below.
In 1983 the film was restored to 176 minutes by Ron Haver. However, although all of the original soundtrack was available, some visual footage couldn't be found: the restored version resorts to a montage of stills, dialogue and music in place of the missing scenes. Director George Cukor died the day before the opening of the restored version.