Warning: The above video contains some spoilers from previous versions of A Star Is Born that apply to the 2018 version. We did not, however, reveal specific changes that Bradley Cooper made to the story.
A Star Is Born is not just one of the year’s most anticipated movies — it’s a Hollywood legend with an 80-year history. By the time Bradley Cooper stepped into the director’s spot and cast Lady Gaga, three versions of A Star Is Born had already been seen on the big screen. The first was made in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor (the first-ever recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actress) and Fredric March. The second and best-known version starred Judy Garland and James Mason, and premiered in 1954. Then in 1976, Barbra Streisand took the title role opposite Kris Kristofferson. In every decade, the essential story has remained the same: An undiscovered talent (Gaga in the latest remake) gets the break of a lifetime when a past-his-prime celebrity (now played by Cooper) falls in love with her and launches her career. As her star rises, his falls — with devastating consequences.
What is it about A Star Is Born that has kept audiences coming back, and why does it still speak to us? In the video above, we find the answer by looking at the 2018 film alongside all the previous remakes. From Garland to Gaga, you’ll see how A Star Is Born has tapped into our perennial obsession with fame and celebrity. The film teases the idea that we’re getting a true behind-the-scenes look at how stars are made, often using details from the actresses’ own lives. It offers us the universal wish-fulfillment fantasy of a celebrity falling in love with an ordinary person; the American-dream gratification of watching a deserving nobody become a star; and finally, the guilty pleasure of ogling a washed-up celebrity as he falls from a great height. Watch Yahoo Entertainment’s video to find out how A Star is Born pulls it off, time and time again.
For even more behind-the-scenes insights from A Star is Born, including the legendary stars who were almost cast in every version, check out our extended cut on YouTube.
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