Review of "A Star Is Born" From The TV MegaSite
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Review by Suzanne 12/28/06

A Star Is Born (1976)

A Star Is Born DVD cover

This is a classic story that has been redone many times. You need to have a great singer in the role of Esther or it doesn't work at all, so at least this version does have Barbra Streisand, arguably one of the best singers of the late 20th century. As always, she sings the heck out of every song and does it well. Her acting is fine, too.

The other problems of this movie have nothing to do with Streisand. For one thing, except for "Evergreen", most of the music is pretty forgettable. I love Paul Williams, and Rupert Holmes, but this is not their best work for the most part. They should have started this movie by making sure it had great songs. Perhaps if Kris Kristofferson were singing his own songs, it would have worked better. But instead he came over as a Jim Morrison-type singing sappy love songs. It just doesn't work.

The other problem is that the movie moves very slowly, even for a 70's movie. There is not enough plot to fill up the spaces between the songs (and the songs really drag, too).

I won't say the whole thing is awful. It's a classic in its own right, so it's worth seeing at least once. It's fun to see the styles from thirty years ago and also fun to see actors that had bit parts and got bigger later (like Gary Busey). The most fun part of the movie is watching Kris Kristofferson's character John Norman throw temper tantrums and generally self-destruct, like when he gets in motorcycle accidents or throws a case of whiskey through a DJ's window. I just wish the rest of the movie had kept up with that spirit.

If you like Streisand's singing and/or acting, this movie is definitely a must. And of course Kris Kristofferson is great in it, too, and very charismatic and handsome in a straggly 70's way.

If you don't like downbeat endings, you probably won't like it.

This movie has some nudity and bad language.

More features would be nice as they are pretty sparse. You can watch the movie with commentary by Streisand. There is a short wardrobe test with her commentary. There are some deleted scenes, and some trailers. It would have been nice to have some commentary by other actors or behind-the-scenes people.

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Updated 12/28/06 


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