WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Star Is Born, A

Reviewed In Issue 36 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford & Tom Noonan

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Warner Home Video
(Catalog Number): 17589
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 175
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1954
(LD Release Date): 10/99
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): George Cukor
(Screenplay/Written By): Moss Hart
(Story): NA
(Music): Harold Arlen & Ira Gershwin
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Malcolm Bert
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Folmar Blangstead, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Sidney Luft

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): CinemaScope
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.55:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.55:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
From a story by William A. Wellman and Robert Carson, A Star Is Born is the classic musical story of the often tragic ups and downs of stardom. Special features include the Hollywood Premiere Network telecast from September 29, 1954, the original theatrical trailer, documentary coverage of the post-premiere party, two alternate filmings of “The Man That Got Away” and the deleted song “When My Sugar Walks Down The Street.”

LaserDisc Picture:
The 2.55:1 picture exhibits naturally rendered colors that are a few shades shy of full saturation, especially evident in the black levels. The dated picture is generally sharp, but fine detail is wanting. Film grain and artifacts are apparent, but fans won’t be disappointed.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The Dolby® Digital discrete 5.1-channel soundtrack is a remastering effort that brings back the glory of multichannel CinemaScope® audio. The fidelity is dated, and distortion can be noticed throughout. Nonetheless, the music is expansive, with subtle envelopment in the surrounds. Sound effects are generally mono-directed, but some panning was performed during the remastering. There is even some deep bass enhancement via the .1 LFE, from low frequency harmonic processing of the music. By comparison, the matrix PCM soundtrack is considerably more active in the surrounds, but not as spatially refined.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: