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  • Carrie Specht

Turner Classic Movies is airing "A Star Is Born" this evening at 8 PM EDT.

by Guest Writer Steve Vertlieb


Turner Classic Movies is airing "A Star Is Born" this evening at 8 PM EDT. Wherever you are ... Whatever you may be doing ... I urge you to watch this towering cinematic achievement tonight in its entirety. This second film version of the now legendary story is its definitive and defining screen masterpiece.

I was fortunate enough to have attended a deeply moving, emotional tribute to Judy Garland, and George Cukor's 1954 Warner Bros. blockbuster, during a live concert at The Hollywood Bowl on Saturday evening, September 2nd, 2017. Conducted live to film by David Newman and members of The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the esteemed composer/conductor spoke reverently of the woman who possessed what has truly been called "the most enduring voice of the twentieth century." The film's powerful center piece, "Born In A Trunk," was projected lovingly upon the great concert venue's majestic screens, as Judy Garland's wondrous voice sang its heart out once more, searing the Summer Hollywood sky, and electrifying the heavens beyond. While the original 1937 Selznick production starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor deservingly set the dramatic groundwork and stage for what was to follow, and the Barbra Streisand version agonizingly attempted to re-capture the magic in 1976, it is the George Cukor realization of the heartbreaking love story with Judy Garland and James Mason that sublimely ascended to screen legend and masterpiece. There is, perhaps, no greater or more shattering eloquence in musical history than Garland's unforgettable performance of Harold Arlen's "The Man That Got Away. As for James Mason, his interpretation of the alcoholic actor, Norman Maine, remains one of the greatest, most profoundly dramatic performances in cinema. A contemporary filming of the musical tragedy with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper attempted to fill these legendary ruby red slippers, achieving both admirable and ambitious artistic success ...but here, in all its original splendor, is the remarkable theatrical trailer for a motion picture and its musical star whose power and exquisite artistry shall never be equaled..."A Star Is Born."