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A Star Is Born Blu-Ray

A Star Is Born Blu-RayThe George Cukor classic, “A Star Is Born” has been released as a special edition blu-ray disc set and is must have for all Judy Garland fans.

While the picture at times is still flawed due to the early Cinemascope camera shots (Norman’s drunken appearance as she accepts her Oscar is just one example of out of focus edges), the film  is vibrant in color and is presented in its original aspect ration of 2.55:1.  The surround sound also faithfully created the original soundtrack but has much better dynamics.

This is the blu-ray edition of the most recent restoration done for dvd so if you already own that on DVD you will not be getting much more original material but the picture, especially in closeups is amazing for such an old film.  The missing footage is still “missing” unfortunately and Warner tries to fill in some scenes with black and white stills and panning of those stills while the dialog plays on.  Until the additional footage is found or recovered, this is the best the studio can do to recreate the original lengthy version.

I won’t go on about the performances of Garland and Mason; they are simply some of the best performances ever captured on film of either entertainer.  Both should have received Oscars for their contributions on this film.

Extras are bountiful on the dvd disc included in this set.  Here’s a breakdown of all of them:

A Star is Born (1954) 2-Disc Deluxe Special Edition Blu-ray Book Enhanced Content:
Introduction: Run time 3:01
The Man That Got Away – Pink Dress: Run time 5:11 – Additional Take
The Man that Got Away – Brown Dress #1: Run time 4:49 – Additional Take
The Man that Got Away – Brown Dress #2: Run time 4:24 – Additional Take
The Man that Got Away – Brown Dress #3: Run time 4:00 – Additional Take
The Man That Got Away – Brown Dress #4: Run time 4:00 – Additional Take
Here’s What I’m here For – Alternate Take: Run time 2:36 – Additional Take
Lose That Long Face – Alternate Take: Run time 4:55 – Additional Take
Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo – Alternate Take: Run time 1:24 – Additional Take
When My Sugar Walks Down the Street – Outtake: Run time 0:58 – Additional Take
Suicide Scene – Alternate Take: Run time 2:15 – Additional Take
Film Effects Reel: Run time 0:54
A Report by Jack L. Warner: Run time 6:24 – Vintage Featurette
Huge Premiere Hails ‘A Star is Born’ Newsreel Montage: Run time 7:49 – Vintage Featurette
‘A Star is Born’ Premiere in Cinemascope: Run time 2:05
Pantages Premiere TV Special: Run time 29:30 – Vintage Featurette
A Star is Bored (1956 WB Cartoon): Run time 7:00 – New Featurette
A Star is Born (1937): Run time 2:46 – Trailer
A Star is Born (1954): Run time 3:52 – Trailer
A Star is Born (1976): Run time 3:46 – Trailer
Audio Vault – Oliver on the Phone with the Director Discussing Norman – Outtakes: Run time 2:00 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Norman and Esther on the Roof of the Hotel Lancaster – Outtakes: Run time 2:00 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – 12/28/1942 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast with Judy Garland and Walter Pidgeon) Run time 60:00 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Judy Garland Radio Interview: Run time 4:00 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Born in a Trunk: Run time 9:05 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Someone At Last – Rehearsal: Run time 10:34 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Someone At Last: Run time 7:16 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – My Melancholy Baby: Run time 7:06 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Black Bottom: Run time 1:48 – Audio Only
Audio Vault – Swanee: Run time 4:57 – Audio Only

Thanks to Amazon for that listing.  The disc set comes in Warner’s familiar booklet format, with lots of pictures and texts about the film.

“A Star Is Born” on blu-ray is a great example of what can be achieved with this new medium but still lacks a bit of creative effort in restoration of anything new since its original enhancement.  Warner should have gone a bit further with this edition but fans of the true Hollywood classic will enjoy this high definition set.

July 14, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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