A STAR IS BORN (1954) appears on four of AFI’s lists of the greatest America films – most notably ranked #7 on the AFI’s 100 YEARS OF MUSICALS. Judy Garland’s performances are honored 19 times in AFI’s lists of the greatest American films.
AFI Movie Club: A STAR IS BORN (1954)
DID YOU KNOW? The screenwriters of the first A STAR IS BORN (1938) – Dorothy Parker, her husband Alan Campbell and Robert Carson – were nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. Carson and director William A. Wellman won the Oscar® for Best Story.
DID YOU KNOW? The quote “I just wanted to take another look at you” has been featured in all four screen versions of A STAR IS BORN.
DID YOU KNOW? A STAR IS BORN marked Judy Garland’s first picture after her dismissal from MGM, and her first completed film since SUMMER STOCK (1950). During Garland’s hiatus, she married producer Sidney Luft – who took over as her manager and planned her comeback by securing remake rights to A STAR IS BORN.
DID YOU KNOW? Frank Sinatra was Judy Garland’s original choice as a co-star. Cary Grant was also considered, before James Mason was cast.
DID YOU KNOW? A STAR IS BORN was initially planned to be filmed in 3-D, a popular format at the time. Shooting began instead in WarnerScope, but after eight days the footage was scrapped at the cost of $300,000 in favor of a new technology, CinemaScope.
DID YOU KNOW? Fifty Oscar® replicas were created as props with special permission from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The statuettes were not permitted to be stored in the prop shop and were destroyed immediately after filming the awards scene.
DID YOU KNOW? The film premiered with a three-hour duration. Due to its length, it could only screen three times a day at theaters, so Warner Bros. cut nearly 30 minutes to increase ticket sales.
DID YOU KNOW? The film was nominated for six Academy Awards® – Best Actor (James Mason), Best Actress (Judy Garland), Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Original Song.
DID YOU KNOW? After years of searching for the lost footage, A STAR IS BORN (1954) was finally restored and premiered in the summer of 1983.
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Discussion Questions
- How many versions of A STAR IS BORN have you seen? Which is your favorite, and why?
- Why do you think A STAR IS BORN continues to be a story that resonates with audiences?
- What do you know about Judy Garland’s life, and how do you think it is reflected in her performance?
- How does Judy Garland’s acting in A STAR IS BORN compare to her breakout in THE WIZARD OF OZ?
- Aside from other versions of A STAR IS BORN, does the story remind you of other movies you’ve seen?
- Can you name another film directed by George Cukor?
- Do you think attitudes about gender and romance have changed since the film was released in 1954?
- How would you rate A STAR IS BORN?
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