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A Star Is Born is a 1976 rock music film telling the story of a young woman, played by Barbra Streisand who enters show business, and meets and falls in love with an established male star, played by Kris Kristofferson, only to find her career ascending while his goes into decline. It is a remake of two earlier versions – the 1937 version was a drama starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, and the 1954 version was a musical film starring Judy Garland and James Mason. This version was the highest grossing of the three films.



Directed by Frank Pierson, the film updates the original story and screenplay of William A. Wellman and Robert Carson with additional contributions by Pierson, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion. It also features Gary Busey and Sally Kirkland. Venetta Fields and Clydie King perform as Streisand's backing vocalists "The Oreos". Kristofferson's wife Rita Coolidge and Tony Orlando appear briefly as themselves.

The earlier films had portrayed the behind-the-scenes world of Hollywoodmarker film making; however, this version adapted the story to the music business. For example, the 1937 and 1954 films each portrayed the lead female character winning an Academy Award, while the 1976 version depicted the heroine winning a Grammy Award instead.

A Star Is Born was co-produced by Streisand and her then-partner Jon Peters for Barwood Films and Warner Brothers. Among the actors considered for the male lead were Neil Diamond and Marlon Brando. Both Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis Presley for the role: they met with Elvis and discussed the film, and he was interested in taking on the part, thinking it would revive his stagnant career. Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, insisted that Elvis have top billing and asked for a substantial sum of money for the role, even though he hadn't been in a film since 1969 and people were unaware of what kind of box office draw he would be, which essentially ended Elvis's involvement with the project. Parker did not want Elvis to play in the movie because he would not have the lead role.

The film cost around six million dollars to produce, and was a Box Office Smash Hit. Its soundtrack album was also an international success reaching number 1 in many countries and selling nearly 15 million copies worldwide. It featured the ballad "Evergreen ", which became one of the biggest hits of Streisand's career, spending three weeks at number one in the United States, and peaking at number three in the United Kingdom. The filming locations for the film included many locations in Arizonamarker such as downtown Tucsonmarker, Tucson Community Center, Sonoita and Tempemarker.[217327]

A costume note was that Streisand's character's (Esther Hoffman Howard) clothing used in the movie was straight out of Streisand's own closet.

Worldwide box office/rentals

  • Worldwide gross: $123,000,000
  • US rentals: $38,000,000
  • Total gross: $161,000,000


The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Evergreen" with the award shared by its songwriters, Streisand and Paul Williams, and was also nominated in the categories of Best Cinematography (Robert Surtees), Best Sound (Robert Knudson, Dan Wallin, Robert Glass and Tom Overton) and Original Music Score (Roger Kellaway). It won five Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Streisand), Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Kristofferson), Best Original Score (Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher) and Best Original Song, (Streisand and Williams for "Evergreen").

In the two previous versions, Gaynor and Garland were each depicted on screen as winning an Oscar, yet neither won for their film in real life (though both had won an Oscar before, as did Streisand). In this film, Streisand is instead depicted as winning a Grammy, and in real life the film's song "Evergreen" won her both a Grammy (for Song of the Year) and an Oscar.

According to at least one Streisand biography, unhappy with a few of Frank Pierson's scenes, Streisand later directed them herself (a claim also made for 1979's "The Main Event"), adding to the rumors that she and Pierson clashed constantly during production.

DVD release

In 2006 the Region 1 DVD was released in North America in 5.1 dolby sound with extras which include, a full length commentary by Barbra Streisand, 16 Minutes of Never Before Seen/Additional footage and original wardrobe test. In 2008 the Region 4 DVD was released in Australia which appears to be the same as the Region 1 edition. The DVD has yet to be released in any other region.


The soundtrack to the movie, performed by Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, was successful, reaching the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 chart for 5 weeks and eventually sold more than 4 million copies with a reported 10 million copies world wide. The import version of the CD adds the Spanish version of Evergreen as a bonus track.

The track listing of the album is as follows:
  1. "Watch Closely Now" - 3:49
  2. "Queen Bee" - 3:55
  3. "Everything" - 3:50
  4. "Lost Inside of You" - 2:54
  5. "Hellacious Acres" - 2:58
  6. "Evergreen " - 3:04
  7. "The Woman in the Moon" - 4:49
  8. "I Believe in Love" - 3:13
  9. "Crippled Crow" - 3:30
  10. "Finale: With One More Look at You/Watch Closely Now" - 7:43
  11. "Reprise: Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" - 1:46
  12. "Evergreen (Love theme from A Star Is Born)"- (Spanish version)- 3:05-(Import version only)

Year Chart Position Sales Certifications
1977 Billboard 200 1 4,000,000 5 x Platinum
1977 UK Album Chart 1


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