5 hours ago
George Cukor - A Star Is Born (1954)
You know what film is better than the recent A Star is Born? The 1954 version, that's what. There's really no need to improve on it. Judy Garland is better than Lady Gaga, as a singer and an actress. James Mason is a better actor than Bradley Cooper. George Cukor is a better director than Cooper. Ira Gershwin is a better songwriter. Hell this film has dated less in 60 something years than the new one has in a few months. It is timeless.
Lasting almost three hours, it's a devastating film which is also funny, fantastic, amazingly well filmed and really beautiful to see and hear. The scenes near the end as Mason contemplates the see through a reflecting wall of glass reflecting the see onto him are just breathtaking. Garland's singing is fantastic, and even if her acting can at times be over-earnest it is still affecting.
This is one of those movies that make you an emotional wreck by the end of them, you feel for the characters, they are good but deeply flawed people who don't deserve what is happening to them. Judy Garland's speech about how much she loves Mason's character but how much she also hates him because he fails to live up to his sincere ambitions to be sober is heartrending, and you hear it as you see Mason overhearing it, and you feel his pain, his feeling of being a burden to the only thing he truly loves. And I'm not even talking about the astounding "movie within a movie" sequence, a tour de force of songwriting, set design and performance by Garland. Astounding. (5/5) cinema cinephile movie movies film jamesmason judygarland drama movieposter filmposter poster moviereview review astarisborn 1950 georgecukor classiccinema classicmovies musical