A STAR IS BORN (1954, directed by George Cukor)—a trenchant film noir, a Technicolor/CinemaScope extravaganza, and Judy Garland’s last great musical—is a Hollywood story that Hollywood has told many times: a great but aging male star on his way down meets a green-but-talented actress (or singer) who becomes his protégé, and whose fame soon surpasses his.*

Despite the energy and brilliance of her performance, by the mid-1950s Garland was on a steep downward slide herself. Three years before A STAR IS BORN went into production at Warner Bros., she was fired for general unreliability by the studio (MGM) that was instrumental in creating and encouraging her prescription-drug habit. In 1969, Garland was found dead in a London flat, age 47.


Tuesday, August 29, at 1 pm.

Bing Theater, LACMA

5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

* See What Price Hollywood? (1932, directed by George Cukor) for the first version.

From top: Judy Garland singing “The Man That Got Away” in A Star is BornGavin Lambert’s On Cukor, with a cover photograph of Cukor directing Garland in A Star is BornFrank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Lauren Bacall at the Pantages Theater premiere of A Star is Born, Hollywood, September 29, 1954.

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