A Star Is Born | Chicago Reader

A Star Is Born

The restored version of George Cukor's classic musical melodrama of 1954. Though many of the excised dramatic scenes are still missing (they're bridged here by still pictures matched to the soundtrack), at least one great Cukor moment—the proposal on the sound stage, with its thematic opposition of public and private expression—has been returned to the print. The missing musical numbers turn out to be fairly mediocre (though not as bad as the awful "Born in a Trunk," which was inserted against Cukor's wishes), though the film gains a great deal in pace and proportion by their reinsertion. The film is still astonishing for Cukor's full and immediate grasp of 'Scope process, which he uses to create shot sequences of tremendous dramatic intensity and emotional counterpoint. With Judy Garland, James Mason (a landmark performance), Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, and Tommy Noonan.

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