Hip-O Records

An A Star is Born walkthrough

A Star is Born is Judy Garland's great comeback-musical after MGM cancelled her contract in 1950. Her husband and partner Sid Luft managed to talk Warner Bros. into producing it. It became much more expensive than planned. Garland was nominated for a best actress Oscar, which however was won by Grace Kelly for The Country Girl. The biggest robbery since Brinks was Groucho Marx' reply. I think that this is a really great Hollywood musical. Three hours might seem a bit too long but a few nice songs now and then interrupt the drama.
The opening shot starts with search lights over Hollywood. It's 'The Night of the Stars', a charity gala and the streets are filled with crowds, looking at the celebrities entering the Shrine Auditorium. Film producer Oliver Niles is one of these, leaving his chauffeur-driven car together with a young actress, Lola Lavery. She holds a short impromptu speech at the television microphones, then the MC tells the audience that Norman Maine is the main attraction tonight. Entering the building, public relations man Matt Libby tells Niles that there's still no sign of Norman Maine, the studios most valuable asset, yet. Niles and Lola sit down, while Libby check back stage.
The show starts. Libby finds Maine drunk and Niles tell Libby to try to keep him off stage. Meanwhile Maine is walking around backstage, harassing the artists waiting to perform. They just barely stop him from entering the stage with them. Libby tries to sweet-talk him into leaving the backstage area but Maine becomes angry. Libby promises him three drinks if he follows him off stage.
From 'Gotta have me go with you'
Gotta have me go with you
The press photographers take their pictures but when Libby wants Maine to stay in the press room, he gets angry and pushes Libby into a mirror that breaks. The music starts with The Glenn Williams Orchestra and three dancers performing Gotta have me go with you. Dancer/singer Esther Blodgett and her two co-dancers try to concentrate on their act. Maine is angry and pushes away everyone standing between him and the stage. On the stage, his entry almost interrupts the song when he breaks in on stage but Esther does the best of the situation and makes Maine perform a few steps before the song is over.
You know, drunk or not, he's nice!
You know, drunk or not, he's nice!
Esther has saved Maine's face. The audience is cheering, Esther looks surprised and Libby relieved. She quickly hurries into the changing room and prepares to leave with her friend and pianist Danny McQuire to get some coffee. She stops in front of a mirror and put on lipstick. It's a wonder to me that Norman Maine is still in pictures!. "It is indeed", Maine himself replies, still drunk but grateful. When Esther tells him her name, he answers, You must've been born with that name, no one could have made it up!. He takes her lipstick and scrawls their initials inside a red lover's heart. He then asks her out but Esther manages to get away from him when Niles and Libby interrupt them. She says to Danny You know, drunk or not, he's nice!