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A Star Is Born [VHS]

4.5 out of 5 stars 701 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Busey, Oliver Clark, Venetta Fields
  • Directors: Frank Pierson
  • Writers: Frank Pierson, Alvin Sargent, Jay Presson Allen, Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 15, 1992
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (701 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300267997
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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This film actually began with the idea of remaking A Star Is Born with the then-hot couple James Taylor and Carly Simon. Eventually, it evolved into this vanity production for Barbra Streisand, with Kris Kristofferson as the designated stud muffin. The story remains the same: A superstar on the decline meets a young singer on the way up. They marry as their career trajectories intersect, and his eventual demise is meant as a sacrifice to further boost her career by ridding her of the burden of him. Kristofferson's rock & roll numbers are decidedly lousy--Hollywood's idea of rock music--and Streisand looks good and always sounds fine (she won an Oscar for cowriting the song "Evergreen"). But you can feel her heavy hand guiding every shot; she seems to serve as puppet master for director Frank Pierson, framing every image of herself for maximum glow. The ultimate date flick (if the guy can sit still through it). --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A blockbuster at the time of it's original release (it was the second-highest grossing film of 1976), the third screen version of A STAR IS BORN has always divided critics and fans alike. The film open to scathingly negative reviews, however, $5.6 million-budgeted picture went on to gross over $150 million at the box office and won an Academy Award and five Golden Globes. It's not without some irony that Streisand's most commercially successful film would also remain her most controversial. For every ten fans who state that STAR is Streisand's best film, there are always ten more who claim it is the weakest film in her filmography. Although both sides have some merit to support their claims, it should still be noted that the seventies take on A STAR IS BORN remains one of the most touching and highly entertaining showbiz dramas that Hollywood ever produced. For my money, it's the best version of the often-told tale.

The film is solidly enjoyable and throughly absorbing. Changing the setting from the old Hollywood studio system to the competitive world of the music industry was actually a great idea, and the screenplay forges a realistic contrast between the characters' romance and their careers. This is the main area that the 1976 version of A STAR IS BORN actually surpasses it's classic predecessors. For example, the film is especially successful when depicting the clashing personal and professional difficulties during recording sessions and the never-ending phone calls that interrupt Kristofferson's songwriting attempts. This version of the story is also more believable in it's portrayal of the lead characters. For example, the female leads in the two previous versions were so virtuous and self-sacrificing that they came off as saints.
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Format: DVD
I highly recommend the disc to Streisand fans who will relish Barbra's full-length film commentary, 16 minute of additional scenes (many previously unseen), and original wardrobe test footage. Of course, the movie itself in all of its remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack glory sounds and looks as vibrant and possibly even better than it played in cinemas. The musical numbers and theatrical lighting are exceptional and features some truly classic Streisand singing on stage. With the inclusion of Barbra's complete humming and acoustic guitar rendition of "Evergreen," we finally have the opportunity to enjoy an otherwise unused musical number. Even her commentary is enlightening, revealing that Kristofferson had a first shot at the song's lyrics but didn't submit them until just a few years ago when he sent Barbra a framed copy. Among the deleted footage is Barbra applying lipstick to KK in the bathtub scene where she admits being comfortable enough with him from earlier years to forego anything covering her chest. Indeed, she first met KK at L.A.'s Troubador club escorted by manager Marty Erlichman whose virtues she frequently praises in the commentaries. In her discussion during the film Barbra recalls being certain she wanted to become a film director during A Star Is Born's shooting, as she often made suggestions to KK between takes and thought the movie's director Frank Pierson cut the camera prematurely. After directing three films, Barbra recently declined ASIB producer Jon Peters's recent invitation to direct an upcoming ASIB remake. Her commentary also details her music composing resume back to "Ma Premiere Chanson," admitting that winning an Oscar for composing "Evergreen" is the biggest thrill of her career.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Thirty years after its initial release, the third version of "A Star Is Born" finally comes to DVD in a package that should please the most devoted fans of Barbra Streisand. That would include me since I just saw her in concert singing among other numbers, the feminist anthem "Woman in the Moon" from this 1976 film. Easy to dismiss, the movie's career-polarizing story is such a sturdy pile of Hollywood-style clichés that variations of it exist in other films including Streisand's own "Funny Girl". This time reset to the then-contemporary music scene, the timeworn plot follows self-destructive rock star John Norman Howard on his deep-dive career descent just as he meets club singer Esther Hoffman who is awaiting her big break.

Troubles dog their courtship from the outset, as John Norman (both names please) responds to grasping fans and bloodless DJs with random acts of violence (from which he inexplicably escapes prosecution). To John Norman, Esther represents his last shot at happiness, and in turn, she is drawn to the innately decent, creative musician underneath the façade. In the movie's most pivotal scene, he gives Esther her big break at a benefit concert, and her career takes off. Inevitably, he can't handle the failure of his career in light of her meteoric success, and if you are familiar with any version of this story, you know the rest. Directed by Frank Pierson (although Streisand's budding directorial talents are obviously on display), the film still manages to draw me in, even though I know it is shamelessly contrived and manipulative. It still has a certain emotional resonance despite its numerous flaws.
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