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A Star is Born and Dies

Hollywood has a tortured history of portraying itself on screen.  From Ella Cinders in 1926 or Merton of the Movies (1924 and the 1941 remake) or What Price Hollywood (1932) to Sunset Boulevard (1950), you get all kinds of views on fame and the effects on the human spirit. 

A Star is Born has now been made and remade four times.  The William Wellman film in 1937, the 1954 Cukor version starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson and now the latest brought to the screen by Bradley Cooper and starring Lady Gaga.  It is a tale that adapts itself to generation after generation.  A tale of strength, tenderness, romance and tragedy.  It is a kind of film Hollywood rarely takes on today.  I'm glad they did no matter how many times it has been remade.

For me, still, the best of the versions is the 1937 directed by William Wellman.  The performances of Janet Gaynor and Fredric March stand the test of time.  I thought of this fi…

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