Bradley Cooper’s new A STAR IS BORN remake is a current-day spin on a Hollywood fable that’s been around since the 1930s, about a struggling male star and the young ingenue he pushes toward fame. But its music-industry setting makes it a particularly apt match for George Cukor’s 1954 musical spin on the tale, starring a career-redefining Judy Garland as the titular star to James Mason’s fading one. In this half of our two-part discussion of the films, we dig into the legend and legacy of Cukor’s STAR, piece together what the film lost and gained via studio meddling and reconstruction, and debate the nature of the story’s central tragedy. Plus, by listener request, we give some of our recommendations for first-time film festival-goers.
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Outro Music: Judy Garland, “Born In A Trunk”
Rob Sheffield, author of the new book Dreaming the Beatles, explains why the Fab Four will be relevant forever
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