Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Kristofferson and Streisand
A STAR IS BORN (1976). Director: Frank Pierson

Just as the 1954 A Star is Born was re-fashioned for the particular talents of Judy Garland, this 1976 version was a do-over geared for the appeal of Barbra Streisand and her fans, although it is much less successful than the Garland version. Esther Hoffman (Streisand) is working her way up through the club circuit when she meets rock star John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson), who is beginning a long slide due to his booze and drug-addled antics. [A bigger problem is that Howard/Kristofferson has a really awful voice.] Esther sings with two African-American women in a group called the Oreos [these two black singers aren't even given names!], but Howard insists on foisting her off as a soloist at one of his own concerts. It is unlikely that the audience, who'd come to hear a famous hard rocker, would have accepted Esther (who sings a complete piece of pop crap called "I Believe in Love") in the first place, but even more ridiculous is that it is clearly Streisand performing at this concert and not the less experienced Esther. Esther and Howard begin an ill-fated romance that leads to an unconvincing finale. Nasally-voiced Streisand is horrible as a rocker, and her acting performance isn't that great, either. It's hard to say if the laid-back Kristofferson is even acting, but since druggies so often do seem out of it, his listlessness may be appropriate. Gary Busey is good, as usual, as a colleague of Howard's. A funny scene has a young lady reporter who beds Howard asking Esther for an interview when she interrupts the two in the sack. The film ends with a long, long concert sequence sung by Streisand, of course. Streisand has made some good movies -- Yentl comes to mind -- but this isn't one of them. "Evergreen" was a hit song from this movie, and "Go to Hell" is a snappy number.  

Verdict: Barbra's Vanity Project. **.


Barbra Streisand said...

I love Barbra Streisand ! She puts on an amazing show!!

William said...

Sneaky free advertising, but that's okay.