A Star is Born marked Judy Garland's return to movies after a four-year absence, director George Cukor's first musical and first color film, and a showcase for great Harold Arden/Ira Gershwin songs in state-of-the-art stereo. One of the most beloved show-business stories of all time, it represents a career peak for many involved. Garland is singer Esther Blodgett, an undeniable talent on the rise. She catches the eye of Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic actor in career decline. Their intense love transforms them both. Only one will survive Hollywood's slings and arrows. Shortened in response to exhibitor complaints after its premiers, the movie underwent one rebirth in 1983 when film historian Ronald Haver found almost all the cut sequences and supervised a reconstruction to near its original length. Its new rebirth is this breathtaking digital surround stereo track and incorporating picture and musical material recently found in the vaults. Star always had a shine to it. Now watch it sparkle as never before.
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Academy Award-winner Joan Crawford (Best Actress, Mildred Pierce, 1945) is at her conniving and devious best as the Southern socialite who manipulates the lives of those around her with tragic results. The poster art screamed, "One female alone may be the queen bee. The other females serve only to sacrifice themselves while tending the queen bee or defending her. The males of the species exist only to serve the queen's pleasure..." and who better to exact the role than Crawford? Eva Phillips (Crawford) is married to Avery (Barry Sullivan), a wealthy mill owner who has been driven to drink and bitterness by Eva's ruthless, self-seeking machinations and frank infidelity. When Avery's sister, Carol Lee (Betsy Palmer), announces her engagement, Crawford maneuvers to prevent the wedding to Judson Prentiss (John Ireland), the queen bee's secret lover.
Sisters (Betty Garrett & Janet Leigh) who live in a Greenwich Village basement apartment, find themselves mixed up with A magazine publisher (Jack Lemmon) who gives Ruth (Leigh) her big chance as a writer.
A southern matriarch controls her family with her domineering ways, leading to dangerous results.
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