A Star is Born (1976) Review

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John Norman Howard was a very talented and popular rock star but his career is on a downward spiral as the years on the road begins to take its toll on him, constant drinking does not help. It looks like everything is about to change though when he meets Esther Hoffman and helps launch her as a star, not forgetting that they fall in love.

I do love Barbra Streisand and I truly adore the Judy Garland version of A Star is Born, so was very pleased to eventually get to watch this version when it appeared on Netflix, perfect timing with the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga new version coming out soon I must add! But something was missing in this one for me, I am not really sure what it was exactly but I am afraid to say I did not love it.

The songs were pretty bland and it didn’t have that truly amazing show stopping moment, something I was really expecting with Streisand’s incredible vocal range. Nothing hit out as amazing about her and could we really believe she would have been a big star with a rock star’s backing? I didn’t really. I also wasn’t really a fan of Kristofferson as John, I didn’t even feel sorry for him at any point which is certainly something we have to feel towards this character to care deeply about the love story.

Something I did really like about the love story though was that whole falling for the bad boy and thinking he can fully change for you angle. Is that even possible? The part where she was happy to return home really was heartbreaking and I think that helped to show that no matter what you do people will hurt each other. How you respond to that hurt and pain is another thing. Can you forgive them for a mistake or will you leave. This all put the following events into motion though and he does realise that she would be better off without him. Again is that really the case, do all great love stories have to end so tragically?

I guess knowing the end was always going to make it a little bit more difficult as well, but I think I just love the Garland version too much and I couldn’t get away from that when watching this one. I guess the fact this film is remade at different times and for different generations shows that these events and the way we love someone have never changed and that once you are consumed with that person it can lead to a dangerous place.

I did find it interesting to read after watching the film that Kristofferson and Streisand did not really get along during filming and he pretty much hated the full experience of filming. Let’s hope the newest version is going to be a lot better than this one, with some very good songs!

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