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A Star is Born (Kino Classics Edition) [Blu-ray]

64 customer reviews

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Star Is Born
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Editorial Reviews

Esther Blodgett (Janet Gaynor) is just another starry-eyed farm kid trying to break into the movies. Waitressing at a Hollywood party, she catches the eye of alcoholic star Norman Maine (Frederic March), is given a shot at stardom, and is caught up in the Hollywood glamour machine . She and her idol Norman marry; but as her star rises, his comes crashing down. Nominated for Six Academy Awards including BEST PICTURE, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST SCREENPLAY, BEST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR. Won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and an Honorary Award for groundbreaking color photography. This Kino Classics Edition is the only version AUTHORIZED FROM THE ESTATE OF DAVID O. SELZNICK FROM THE COLLECTION OF GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE. First time ever on Blu-ray.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Janet Gaynor, Frederic March, Adolphe Menjou
  • Directors: William A. Wellman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0063E00PC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,581 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Pope on September 27, 2005
Format: DVD
The historical 1937 film A STAR IS BORN has remained a classic for many many years. This film's merits are many, I need not comment on them, but will make a comment on the cast. While the entire cast is outstanding, the real standout is Janet Gaynor who portrays Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester in such a way that you can connect with her and feel her sincerity on a level that you cannot with Judy Garland in the 1954 version (and the less said about the 1970s Barbra Streisand version the better). The rest of the performances in this film are super.

This film, produced by the late great David O. Selznick and released through United Artists, is currently in the public domain and many of the numerous DVDs/VHSs of such films are of deplorable picture and sound quality. Fortunately, it is not so on this DVD release from Image. The colors are extremely bold and vibrant. There are some age-related artifacts present and graininess is visible in a number of places, however this has been kept to a minimum. I will forgive these shortcomings considering the elements used for the DVD transfer are nearly 70 years old. 3-strip Technicolor was still in its infancy in 1937 (indeed, the first feature shot entirely in this process was released only 2 years earlier), but some outstanding results were had even then. The sound, while obviously rendered in 1937 recording technology, has been nicely cleaned up for this release, allowing the musical score by the venerable Max Steiner to shine as it should.

Pass up the cheap DVDs and look only for the release from Image Entertainment, edition # ID2777IMDVD. I guarantee this will be the best DVD of A STAR IS BORN you will find.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By G. Alan Hicks on February 11, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As with other fans of this classic film, I am greatly disappointed that KINO'S latest offering is not much of an improvement over previous KINO DVD releases of the film. While the IMAGE/KINO DVDs in 1998 and 2004 were at that time a marked improvement over the myriad of public domain travesties, the elements utilized for this release are only marginally better, despite the HD processing. This is also particularly disappointing when the film's fan base is aware that a restored print (by UCLA) exists.

According to a March, 2010 blog-post by NY POST film critic Lou Lumenick, he said, "Daniel Selznick, son of producer David O. Selznick, told me two years ago that WHV was doing a high-definition transfer of a UCLA restoration of the 1937 original, which has long languished in public-domain hell." Lumenick also quoted a Warner rep as saying, "When we looked at the master of the '37 'A Star is Born,' we realized that it really needed, more importantly, deserved a special restoration...using our Ultra Resolution process to bring out the glorious Technicolor of that film. So rather than it be an add on...some less than-terrific extra content, we pulled it back so as not to diminish the importance of either versions."

I suppose it was wishful thinking on my part that KINO would be releasing that long-awaited "restored" version. This will be the VERY last version I invest in until either Warner Home Video, Criterion or KINO offers us the ultimate version -- and that will only be when the restored print from the UCLA effort is finally utilized as the source material.

Despite's the Selznick Estate's stamp of approval, I would suggest people save their money and wait.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2001
Format: DVD
Much has been written about this 1937 film in regard to its story, characters etc. The word "classic" tends to be over-used but it IS a true "classic": the drama and the comedy haven't dated one bit. My main interest in this particular movie however is that it was the first Hollywood film with a contemporary plot to be filmed in the relatively new three-strip Technicolor process. Producer David Selznick's business partner Jock Whitney, a millionaire from New York who was interested in motion pictures, had a stake in the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation. This film was used as part of a showcase for the stunning new process. It is a Technicolor Timecapsule of 1930s Hollywood. Before I purchased this DVD copy of the film (King Video/Image Entertainment), every other version I'd seen (on VHS) was from a positively awful old print, with faded colour and no sharpness or contrast. I am pleased to say the DVD quality is very good, with pleasant colour. The source used was a 35 mm print from Selznick Properties Ltd which, while a little scratched in one or two places, is far superior to any other version of this motion picture that has been available for purchase. If this version had been mastered from the original camera negatives (as are many movies when transferred to DVD), I would have given it the full five stars. I believe the rights to this film have changed hands many times since 1937 so maybe the camera negatives and soundtrack are lost, deteriorated beyond salvation, or destroyed. If that was the case it is a great tragedy that we cannot enjoy this movie in its full Glorious Technicolor. But, as I have indicated, this DVD is the best copy of the 1937 "A Star Is Born" I have seen to date and it may be the best we will ever see it now. I have not viewed other available DVD releases of this motion picture.
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A Star is Born (Kino Classics Edition) [Blu-ray]
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