A Star Is Born (1976)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Drama, Musical Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 8, 1976 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 140 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Derided by many as a vanity production for Barbra Streisand, A Star is Born was nonetheless one of the most financially successful musicals of the 1970s. The idea of resetting the familiar rise-and-fall story in the "rock" milieu may have had merit on paper, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Part of the problem is simple credibility; would an audience that has come to hear Kris Kristofferson's supposedly "pure" rock & roll really embrace Streisand's plastic pop stylings, or her embarrassing attempts at being funky? The disproportionate emphasis placed on the female half of the equation also hurts the film, as does the awkward dialogue and indifferent direction. Streisand sounds very good, even if her style is wrong for the character, and she handles her big scenes well. Kristofferson holds his own against Streisand, not an easy task under the circumstances. The score, by many different writers, is varied and includes the popular if unremarkable "Evergreen," as well as the much better "Everything" and "With One More Look at You." Robert Surtees's cinematography is exceptional, with a simple tracking shot that suddenly opens upon an enormous audience, producing the kind of excitement that the film could use a bit more of.