A STAR IS BORN – 1937

Thanks Wikipedia!

Production

A Star Is Born was filmed from October to December 1936 with an estimated budget of $1,173,639, and premiered in Los Angeles, California on April 27, 1937 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. In New York, the film premiered at Radio City Music Hall. The scene in the film where Menjou offers the fading star a supporting role was added at the suggestion of George Cukor, who directed the 1954 remake.

It is not known how much Dorothy Parker contributed to the finished script. When she first saw the film, Parker was proud of her contribution and boasted about both the script and the film, but in later life she believed that she had contributed nothing of significance.[2]

Early in their careers, Budd Schulberg (then a script reader for David O. Selznick) and Ring Lardner, Jr. (who was working in Selznick’s publicity department) were assigned to write some additional dialogue for the film, a collaboration which produced Janet Gaynor‘s (and the film’s) final words, “This is Mrs. Norman Maine.” The line was used again in the 1954 Warner Bros. musical remake starring Judy Garland.[3]

https://vickielester.com/2012/08/12/graumans-chinese-theater/

9 Comments »

  1. Dorothy Parker was a complex and fragile lady. My favorite story of her concerns her meeting Willam Somerset Maugham, a writer she adored right up until she learned he was a fan of hers. At the dinner where they met he fawned a bit, and this confused and annoyed her. He then asked her to write him a personal poem on the spot, something no writer should ever do to another. Glaring at him, she took a napkin and wrote “Higgledy-piggledy my red hen, she lays eggs for gentlemen.” She pushed the napkin at Maugham, who somewhat abashed said, “I guess I deserved that.” She then said sweetly, “Oh dear, you wanted something finished. I’m sorry, give it back.” She then added the lines “She can’t be persuaded by gun or by lariat to come across for the proletariat.”

    I love me some Dorothy Parker.

    • I have a collection of her short stories in my reading pile, seems to me I better move it to the top. And, didn’t you mention I should read David Niven’s autobiography? I should get it in the post any day now.

    • I love both the ’37 and ’54 versions of the movie – but the Janet Gaynor performance just makes me weep – I see her face and it’s over. I have the same reaction to the Hugo Friedhofer score for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” xox,V

      • Oh my yes…”The Best Years of Our Lives”. It just gets me. On a good wet cold Saturday i like to have a double feature of “Since You Went Away” and “Best Years”. Reminds me of all the stories my family told of the war years in Los Angeles. The black outs. eyebrow pencil to make a seam on the back of your leg when there were no silk stockings. The downed Japanese plane in South Central. Betty Jean Chan the best stripper in town… Granny working in the shipyards in Long Beach. The victory garden at the old house on 52nd place. Riding the street car down Spring street to go to the movies downtown… Ration cards and no eggs and no meat. the Red Car to Santa Monica to go to the beach. ….. So many stories.

  2. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never seen this version, your words on Janet Gaynor convince me I should. Thanks for this, Vickie. Poor Ms Parker.
    Of course, I adore the Cukor. James Mason unforgettable as Norman Maine and Judy equally so as hm what was her character’s name? Something quite familiar… Anyway, excellent movie. Interesting that twenty-two years after directing What Price Hollywood? George Cukor directed the remake of the movie that was inspired by his movie! I love that circularity.

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