A man stands on the stage. The sun is setting on his career but he is – for now – still in the spotlight. He suddenly reaches out into the shadows and plucks a woman from the crowd. She takes the spotlight from him, and he self-destructs into oblivion. Hollywood is built on remakes and reinventions, but the most interesting and certainly the longest-running of these first emerged more than a decade before the first Superman movie. A Star Is Born, which gets its fourth outing next week after months of ecstatic hype, is now 81 years old and has starred, in its various incarnations, increasingly improbable pairings: Janet Gaynor and Fredric March in the 1937 original; Judy Garland and James Mason in the 1954 remake; Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in the 1976 version; and now Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Often described as a Pygmalion story, A Star Is Born is more like Cinderella, with the leading man playing not just the fairy godmother who gives the woman a makeover, but the prince who marries her and finally the wicked stepmother who needs to be destroyed so the woman can live happily ever after. One of the most… Read full this story
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