A Star is Born
Directed by George Cukor, USA 1954
181 mins. English dialogue

Of all Hollywood heartbreakers, this must be one of the best.  Made at a time when Judy Garland was fast approaching final crack-up, the story of a young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him (James Mason), seemed to touch exactly the right raw nerves in its performers to make them scintillating.  Garland's tremulous emotion is harnessed to a story which is certainly worthy of it and James Mason gives a performance which is as good as any actor is ever allowed.

Time said Garland "gives what is just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history" while Newsweek said the film is "best classified as a thrilling personal triumph for Judy Garland".

When the Oscar for Best Actress went to Grace Kelly instead of Garland, Groucho Marx called it "the biggest robbery since Brink's".

What the Critics say:
"What makes it truly essential for fans of film musicals, of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and most of all, of Garland herself, is that there’s so much of her in this film alone. Garland’s past and her tragic future intertwined in this epic, yet tremendously personal, Hollywood fable about the tragic price of fame - something Garland herself knew about all too well." (Jen Yamato - Film.com)