A Star Is Born marked Judy Garland’s return to movies after a four-year absence, director George Cukor’s fi rst musical and fi st colour film, and a showcase for great Harold Arlen/ Ira Gershwin songs in state-of-the-art stereo. Garland is singer Esther Blodgett, an undeniable talent on the rise. She catches the eye of Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic actor in career decline. Their intense love transforms them both.
Only one will survive Hollywood’s slings and arrows. Shortened after its premiere, the movie underwent one rebirth in 1983 when film historian Ronald Haver found almost all the cut sequences and supervised a reconstruction to near its original length. Its new rebirth is this digital transfer from a refurbished element, with revitalised digital audio and incorporating picture and musical material recently uncovered. Star always had a shine to it. Now watch it sparkle as never before.