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A Star Is Born (Blu-ray Book Packaging) (2010)

Judy Garland , James Mason  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)

List Price: $27.98
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Region 39566 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Garland, James Mason
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 287 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001A5HG24
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,223 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Star Is Born (Blu-ray Book Packaging)" on IMDb

Special Features

Alternate filmings of four musical numbers and one dramatic sequence, most new to this release
Hollywood premiere telecast and newsreel, exhibitor reel plus expanded post-premiere party footage
Audio-only bonuses: Original recording session music and vintage radio show
Trailers of all three A Star Is Born versions and much more

Editorial Reviews

As a band singer guided to heights of show-business success by an alcoholic ex-matinee idol, Judy Garland performs one superb song after another (most by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin) in a production – also starring James Mason and directed by George Cukor – that exhilarates with its craft and style even as it moves toward a heartbreaking finale. Shortened after its 1954 premiere and reconstructed to near its original length in 1983, A Star Is Born endures as one of Hollywood’s supreme triumphs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
121 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic Restored On DVD September 16, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Many films have a convoluted history, but few so much as A STAR IS BORN. The basic story of a famous Hollywood alcoholic who promotes the career of an unknown--only to see her star rise as his falls--was based on the lives of a number of silent-era figures and first filmed in 1932 as WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? After a number of plot changes, the story reemerged in 1937 as A STAR IS BORN starring Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. Then, in the 1940s, A STAR IS BORN was recycled into a radio play--and the leading lady was Judy Garland.

Garland's private life was difficult, and in 1950 she made a highly publicized suicide attempt. When she proved unable to recover herself quickly, she was fired by MGM amid much negative publicity, and it was assumed her career was over. But within a few years Garland reemerged as a powerful concert performer, and momentum began to build toward a screen comeback. Garland, who recalled her radio presentation with fondness, suggested A STAR IS BORN.

The production was plagued with problems. A number of leading actors turned down the male lead before James Mason accepted. A considerable portion of the film was shot when Warner Brothers decided to present it in Cinemascope, and this entailed scrapping all previous footage reshooting from scratch. Garland herself proved typically highstrung, and her temperament led to numerous delays. The budget ran out of control, and by the time A STAR IS BORN arrived on the screen it had become the single most expensive film made up to that time.

The film's opening seemed to justify all the difficulty and expense. Critics were positive and the public was eager.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't Be More Pleased June 27, 2004
Format:DVD
The film A STAR IS BORN, the 1954 Judy Garland musical for Warner Bros., has been through nearly as many trials and tribulations as any real-life movie-star wannabe to maintain its reputation and realism. The director--George Cukor's--love/hate letter to the joys and sorrows of Hollywood stardom came in just over three hours long--181 minutes. In an ironic affirmation of the film's recognition that "the lush days are over" for Hollywood, the studio cut the actual release print down to 154 minutes so that theater owners could squeeze in one extra screening per evening. That is the only version we had between 1954 and 1983, and any revivals, cinematheque offerings or TV broadcasts--quite enough to sustain the cult of the movie and Judy Garland's bravura performance as a Hollywood star married to an alcoholic has-been--sprang from that truncated release.
In 1983, a partially restored, 170-minute-long version of A STAR IS BORN hit first-run movie screens after long and loving archival and editorial struggle. It was a matter of using anything available to make up for the scenes Warner Bros. had hacked out--stills, amateur home movies made from the set, audio tracks--anything. Most significantly, the restoration reinstituted the entire portion of the movie which appear in the DVD as all of Chapters 14, 15 and 16 in which Garland's character takes a long-shot chance at an acting career; but although that enhanced plot-line was reintegrated into the movie, the static and museum-like restoration was in many ways more admirable than lovable. Still, it gets across the idea that Judy Garland's character--singer Esther Blodgett--faced her own trials and tribulations on the way to becoming "Vicki Lester" the film star.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUDY GARLAND DELIVERS THE GOODS IN "A STAR IS BORN" March 30, 2001
Format:DVD
Judy Garland, arguably the greatest female pop singer of the Twentieth Century, gives the performance of a lifetime in this 1954 musical remake of the 1937 dramatic film of the same name (also available on DVD in a superb transfer). This movie was perceived as Garland's comeback vehicle since she had not made a film for four years prior and she certainly delivers the goods both dramatically and vocally. Her singing here is in total service of the music rather than the audience, with none of the over the top indulgences evident in her stage appearances. The end result is mesmerizing. Garland's standout rendition of "The Man That Got Away" deserves special mention since it fully lives up to its hype as one of the greatest vocal performances of all time.
James Mason matches Garland every step of the way and in some areas surpasses her in the role of her alcoholic husband whose star is waning as hers is rising. In fact, the entire cast, including Charles Bickford, Jack Carson and Tommy Noonan give excellent performances. Director George Cukor seems to have known just when to reign in Garland and exactly when to let her go and do what she does best. This is especially evident in the "Born In A Trunk" musical number. Cukor also shows a flair for getting the best out of the then new wide screen CinemaScope process. His framing of the scenes has an intimacy appropriate to the story but seems revolutionary for a wide screen picture even today. This DVD showcases the original 2.55: 1 aspect ratio in which A Star Is Born was shown for its initial theatrical presentation and a newly mixed soundtrack preserves the discrete multi-channel stereophonic sound as well. In fact, this DVD looks and sounds phenomenally good considering that this movie will be 50 years old in about 4 years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 7 days ago by Larry A. Macon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star is Born
A Star is Born ..the 1950S REMAKE of the 1930s version. Both are good but this is a little better because of Judy Garland near Oscar winning performance. Read more
Published 22 days ago by tracey
4.0 out of 5 stars GARLAND'S FINEST
I've enjoyed this movie on 3 formats over the past 20 years. Never saw it in the movie theater unfortunately. An improvement over the Laserdisc version because its a DVD. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Philip Trembly
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Garland's best..
One of Garland's best... and the 'book' gives great insight to the making of the film. Definitely a worthwhile purchase
Published 2 months ago by Rhys S. Fulenwider
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born [1954] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray]
A Star Is Born [1954] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] ‘A Star Is Born’ marked Judy Garland's return to movies after a four-year absence, director George Cukor's first... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrew C. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD a star is born
Since this is my all time favorite, I can't say enough. I saw the movie in 1954 when I was in high school. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr. Di
5.0 out of 5 stars "But I had to sing, I somehow feel most alive when I'm singing..."
Judy Garland in character as Esther Blodgett utters the above line, but I believe that this was Judy Garland's own personal credo. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Classic film buff
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star is Born
Wonderful and moving story I saw many years ago and I remember the wonderful singing voice of Judy Garland. They don't make movies like this anymore. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cynthia Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic love story told by two pros
A classic love story told by two pros, Garland and Mason. What a tearjerker, and the last line just blows you away. One of the all time classics!!
Published 5 months ago by Portia Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent person; magnificent acting
Judy Garland is an amazing person. Though known through her singing, this film definitely ranks her as a leading actress. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. del Uno
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Star is Born
Let me know if you have the shortened version on DVD. It's listed as 154 minutes long.
Mar 25, 2011 by Hollywood Hack |  See all 2 posts
Aspect Ratio
This is an excerpt from blu-ray.com:

"My one nitpick involves the film's framing. A quick comparison between Warner's new 2.55:1 transfer and its DVD counterpart (initially released in 2000 and reissued as a Collector's Edition in 2001) reveals a number of interesting, albeit admittedly... Read More
Jun 22, 2010 by S. P. McCauley |  See all 2 posts
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