Judy Garland : Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

I still haven't seen this film in its entirety, but my God.....she was probably our most talented performer in history. That voice was inimitable, she acted well AND danced beautifully. She was clearly the most talented triple threat.

It saddens me so much to think of her.

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

Judy was/is the greatest 1c84 performer of all time.

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

The Trailer for A STAR IS BORN describes Judy very well;





Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

I still haven't seen this film in its entirety, but my God.....she was probably our most talented performer in history. That voice was inimitable, she acted well AND danced beautifully. She was clearly the most talented triple threat.

Have you seen the entire film yet?

I would suggest that you follow it with JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG [1961]. Judy was also nominated for her performance in that great film. She deserved to win both times.

Judy was THE greatest performer of them all. No one could do all the things she did with as much skill.

I'll put in a good word for James Mason as well; a brilliant performance.

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

When Paul Newman was nominated for THE VERDICT, Clint Eastwood commented that the popular stars seldom get the Oscar and the reason Ben Kingsley got it was because he was no threat to audiences.

It ha 1c84 s nothing to do with Judy except to say that the reason she lost for A STAR IS BORN was of a similar reason, a personal one.

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….



David O'Selznick's A STAR IS BORN was a cinematic classic when it premiered in 1937. Fourteen years later, Judy and Sid Luft launched their plan to musicalize the story as the first Garland screen vehicle since the dissolution of her MGM contract. The William Morris Agency at that time represented Judy. Reflecting the affection held for her within the industry, Morris agency president Abe Lastfogel expressed to co-orkers his "every wish that Judy's picture be given every help within our power." Thus, across many months of preparation, Garland and Luft were able to achieve a co-production deal with Warner Brothers, as well as a steller cast, staff and crew.

The list of actors considered for the male lead in A STAR IS BORN eventually included everyone from established luminaries to relative newcomers. Among them Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Tyrone Power, James Stewart, Glenn Ford, Stewart Granger, Robert Taylor, Henry Fonda, Ray Milland, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Robert Young, and Errol Flynn. In April 1953, Jack L. Warner advised scenarist Moss Hart, "We are still optimistic about getting [twenty-nine-year old] Marlon Brando.... We deleted a couple of references in the script sent him as to the twenty years he had been drinking, etc." The role finally went to James Mason.

Hart carefully expanded, adapted, and updated the 1937 script to reflect the Hollywood film industry of the early 1950s, simultaneously creating an outstanding showcase for Judy. When she read his final draft, she responded, "If I can only say it the way you've written it I'll be home! God bless you." Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin worked closely with Hart to determine the best places in his scenario to slot at least six new songs, and George Cukor- delighted at the opportunity to finally work with Garland- signed to direct the picture. A decade had passed since he'd almost helmed MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, and even before that, he'd provided her with brief but substantial counsel during a transitional moment in the filming of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

The history of A STAR IS BORN is a tumultous one. Through a complicated mix of issues, it was an enormously long shoot, from mid-October 1953 through July 1954. A switch-over to the new Cinemascope process a couple of weeks into filming meant starting the picture from scratch. The seamless amalgamation of story and song resulted in a rough cut that ran over three hours; in A STAR IS BORN, Warner Brothers basically made two full-length feature films. Garland's emotional, physical, and domestic, and prescription contributed their own minor havoc, especially as principal photography moved into its fourth and fifth months. While Judy was blamed for all the delays on A STAR IS BORN, this was far from accurate as her co-workers remember her hard work and professionalism. Cukor always maintained "A very warm and affectionate feeling" for Judy.

There was conflict over a production number to end the first half of the planned "road-show" picture, and Luft finally went outside the Warner Brothers talent pool to MGM for help from Roger Edens. Edens and Leonard Gershe then crafted a fifteen-minute medley of standards and new material under the title, 'Born In a Trunk.' But, as James Mason noted years later, "We never had a producer. Sid Luft was an amateur." So the problems were often compounded or ignored rather than addressed as the film ground on.

Yet enthusiasm for the picture's progress never wavered. Professionals who saw A STAR IS BORN in preview were unanimous in their exultation. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Warner Brothers decided to eliminate the film's intermission and show it in its 181-minute entirety, without the special handling that had always been the intent of its creators. Nonetheless, the picture drew huzzahs when it premiered, and its impact was best summarized by the trade publication BOX OFFICE DIGEST. They reported that A STAR IS BORN "opened up at better than three times the average business and appears to be building from day to day... [this is] the top business of 1954 and is also the biggest box office hit Warner Brothers has had in many years. Furthermore, it will prove to be a good repeat picture, as so many of the early theartergoers have expressed their desire to see it again."

Despite all this, and in an effort to placate some exhibitors [who declared that a shorter movie would mean an additional lucrative screening per day], Warner Brothers unceremoniously cut thirty minutes from the film just two weeks after its opening. There was an immediate public and critical outcry, as most critics never got to see the full picture. Business fell off; "A Star Is Shorn" declaimed Bosley Crowther in THE NEW YORK TIMES. Although bringing in nearly $6 million in initial release, A STAR IS BORN lost money, thanks to its nearly $6 million budget, including prints and advertising.

At the end of the year, the picture was often omi 5b4 tted from the "ten best" lists of 1954 because [as the SATURDAY REVIEW bluntly stated] "its distributors hacked away at it since the original release." There was still some recognition. The National Board of Review cited it for excellence, as did many individual critics. In its showings abroad [still in its truncated form], A STAR IS BORN broke records at the Warner Theatre in London, and in its European premiere, receipts topped those for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. Judy won the Golden Globe as Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, plus the LOOK, PICTUREGOER, and FILM DAILY awards; the latter polled the nation's reviewers and specifically noted Garland's victory over the competition "by [an] overwhelming margin." But she lost the Best Actress Oscar to Grace Kelly in THE COUNTRY GIRL, and A STAR IS BORN missed out in each of its other Academy Award categories as well: Best Actor, Best Color Art Direction, Best Scoring of a Motion Picture, Best Color Costume Design, and Best Song. The song which earned the nomination, 'The Man That Got Away', charted for both Garland and Frank Sinatra, topped out at number twenty-two and twenty-one, respectively; the annual DOWNBEAT awards cited Judy as their best Vocal Performer and Female Musical Personality of the Year.

A STAR IS BORN somehow withstood all its excesses, pro and con, to acquire and maintain instant stature as Judy Garland's preeminent motion picture performance. Any further proo 5b4 f of that claim was vociferously provided in 1983- amidst enormous whhopla and excitement- when the entire film was virtually restored. Working with the Warner Brothers veterans, savvy archivist Ronald Haver unearthed the complete the complete 181- minute soundtrack, along with footage for three deleted musical numbers. He then used raw stock footage and stills to cover most of the missing dialogue sequences, and the finished product became an international fundraising, film festival, revival house, and home video success. Though still five minutes short of the original release, Haver's exemplary assemblage provided at least an approximation of what what Cukor, Garland, and their co-workers intended and - however briefly - achieved in 1954.



MOTION PICTURE DAILY: "A STAR IS BORN could well be among the top-money makers of all time, for entertainment such as this will not soon be forgotten. It could well be with us for a long time. One of the finest measures of its quality is that it does not seem overlong. A STAR IS BORN surpasses the [1937] original in entertainment content, in every visual and technical property, and obviously in business possibilities."

NEW YORK TIMES: "Miss. Garland's rich and spirited singing of a nice selection of Harold Arlen songs is matched by her versatile performance of an undisguised sentimental role. You can believe she has merited stardom from the demonstratio 2000 ns of talent she gives. This is something that few pictures about sensational artists can call upon them to do. Mr. Mason's performance is a sharply nettled and flexible one, revealing a tormented ego if not a clearly understandable man."

LOS ANGELES TIMES: "Exploiting the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood as it has never before been explored or exploited in a picture, A STAR IS BORN last night put a brilliantly shining crown upon the dark-tressed head of Judy Garland. A resplendent movie throng completely in the mood for adulation, took part in the figurative coronation ceremony at probably the most remarkable premiere ever held in the film city."

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: "[A STAR IS BORN] gives Judy THE chance of her career to really showcase the talent that turned her into an entertainment great at a relatively early age. She handles comedy with ease, drawing laughs without straining. Her vocal efforts are incomparable.... As for her dramatic quality, Miss. Garland reaches her peak. Jack Carson does an outstanding job... and Charles Bickford's interpretation is excellent."

LOS ANGELES MIRROR: "Warner Brothers laid $6, 000, 000 on the line last night and rolled a seven. The biggest movie gamble in years sure paid off for the studio and JG. For all I know, they're probably still cheering down at Hollywood and Vine.... The picture is first rate. It has class and distinction, [and it] cinches an Oscar for JG come next Academy Award time. She turns in a beautiful acting job, as well as singing her heart out."



"Judy is the hardest worker I've ever seen. And Ina Claire said the same thing. She saw Judy doing some scenes, and she said that after Judy put in three hours on a set, she should go home in an ambulance. I'm an old athlete myself- football and track and so on. And I tell you that, in a four-minute song, Judy uses up as much energy as if she ran a mile at top speed." - Sid Luft

"This was her first adult part, and it was very exciting to see her discover things in herself that she never knew she had. Once she had to scream; she had never screamed before, but when she finally summoned up the courage to let go, it was bloodcurdling." - George Cukor

[On her scream] "Oh, George, that's nothing. Come over to my house any afternoon. I do it every afternoon. But I only do it once at home." - Judy Garland

"Judy is completely enchanting. She is one of the wittiest and most intelligent creatures I have ever known and certainly one of the few actresses who is a person in her own right, apart from her talent. There's something very appealing about her.... One wants to protect her- [to] take her in your arms, and make sure that no harm befell her." - Moss Hart

"Regardless of what Judy felt internally, she never showed it on the screen. But when it was finally a wrap for the day, she would many times ask me to take her home because she was so wrung out from the concentration. You can just wring so much out of a dish rag. Director George Cukor was one who would do takes over and over and over. Especially the scene in her dressing room when she was breaking down crying. I don't know how many times I put those freckles back on her- because she's cry and rub them all off. What was seen on the screen in that six-minute scene was actually shot over two or three days. So the big process for an actress and the director is to get the performance up to that level every time. Meanwhile, the crew would have to take an hour or whatever it took to relight the whole set to get a different angle. The Judy would rehearse and rehearse and bring herself up to the same pitch again.

Now there were days when we didn't do any [filming], because they were rehearsing with Judy. And they were re-writing stuff; there were delays for that. And if Jack Warner or any of the powers that be would question the lack of footage and say, "Hey, we got to move", they'd say, "Well, Judy's not feeling..." I mean, she was the escape hatch; I saw them use that quite a few times. They would put the blame on Judy, because they knew it wouldn't go any further than that. No one would go and ask her; everybody assumed, "Oh well, [we've] got a temperamental star, so we'll make the best of it." - Del Armstrong, Make-up Artist

"Nobody ever says how intelligent she was, or how witty. Stories about her are frozen in a pattern, as if she had no life after 'Over the Rainbow.' She was the best raconteur, the funniest woman I've ever seen. The depth and perception she bought to A STAR IS BORN were extraordinary... I marvel at her sensitivity." - George Cukor

"Judy's a great, great talent. I loved working with her. After so much TV, where a whole show is done in a day, it was a pleasure to spend a day on a one-minute scene. Director George Cukor wanted perfection; so did Judy. I didn't see any displays of temperament, but when Judy wasn't ready for a scene, she wouldn't do it. That's good sense- not temperament- if you can afford the luxury of being sensible in this racket. It was like the old days of picture-making, with lots of time, lots of money, and lots of talent." - Jack Carson

"Judy was essentially a witty, lively, talented, funny, adorable woman. If the film went over-budget, only a very small fraction was due to her erratic timetable. She was by no means temperamental. [That's] usually an euphemism for selfish and bad-tempered. That sort can be a real time-waster. This was not Judy." - James Mason

"It's the biggest picture and the toughest I've ever been in; I never worked so hard in my life. James Mason had to give me a good sock in the face at [the] Academy Awards rally. Well, it had to be right and realistic, you know. So James gave me seventeen vigorous blows in the cheek [before we got the scene]. He was terribly sorry and apologetic, but my face took a real beating. My husband couldn't stand to be on the set.... [But] I'm sadistic about this picture! I love to make people cry- and they do. Clark Gable sat right behind me at the screening and bawled like a baby. Afterwards, Deborah Kerr came up to me and said, 'Hello', and burst into tears and cried for half an hour." - Judy Garland

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

Judy Garland and Walter Pidgeon star in A STAR IS BORN, Lux Radio Theater, 12/28/1942.


Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

From The Judy Room the making of A STAR IS BORN.


Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

Re: Just catching last hour of 'A Star is Born'….

Judy should have got the Oscar for her unique and brilliant performance.