A Star Is Born

Release Date: 1937

DVD Release Date: January 20th, 1998

Not Yet Rated |1 hr 51 min

Plot Summary

When a young actress (Janet Gaynor) arrives in Hollywood with hopes of stardom, a chance encounter places her under the wing of older actor Norman Maine (Fredric March). Adopting the stage name Vicki Lester, she co-stars with Norman in a major motion picture, but his success is clearly fading even as her career begins. After the couple wed, Vicki's fame continues to grow, but Norman descends into alcoholism, and she must decide between pursuing her dream and caring for him.

Cast: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine, Lionel Stander, Franklin Pangborn, Owen Moore

Director: William A. Wellman

Genres: Drama

Production Co: United Artists, Selznick International

Keywords: Quest, Touching, Engaging, 1930s, Emotional, Love, Sacrifice

Ratings & Reviews

  • 90
    Frank S. NugentThe New York Times

    The original beauty. Not as glittery as Garland-Mason but in some ways even more golden. show more

  • 75
    Jaime N. ChristleySlant Magazine

    William Wellman’s 1937 version of this oft-told tale, of the rising starlet and the plummeting alcoholic has-been she refuses to cast aside, is usually regarded as the second-best of the lot, a few steps behind George Cukor’s 1954 remake, which has the unfair advantage of being one of the unimpeachable masterpieces of American film. show more

  • 90

    Although not the first film which has attempted to capitalize the international reputation of Hollywood, it is unquestionably the most effective one yet made. The highly commendable results are achieved with a minimum of satiric hokum and a maximum of honest story telling. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Assistant Director
Nominated Outstanding Production
Nominated Directing
Nominated Writing (Screenplay)
Nominated Actress
Winner Writing (Original Story)