A few kisses between main characters. Several other embraces are shown. Nothing sexual.
A man takes of his robe to reveal that he is only wearing shorts. Nothing sexual.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


If you have the opportunity to watch the 1954 Warner film a star is born, you may feel confused when the film lasts for about 40 minutes. The normal picture is gone and replaced by several yellowing photos, but the problem is that the sound is still right. When you see some netizens on a website saying that this is an early experimental technique of Hollywood, This is not the case.

So, what’s all this about?

From 181 to 154

The birth of a star originated in the early 1930s. Producer David selznik (gone with the wind) wanted to make a serious feature film about the behind the scenes story in Hollywood. The film starred Janet Geithner (Sunrise) and Frederick Marceau (incarnation doctor). It tells the love story between an actress and an alcoholic star. After the film was released, it was very popular and won the Oscar for best original script and special honor award (photographer).

On December 28, 1942, Judy Garland (the wizard of oz) performed the radio version of “the birth of a star” with Frederick Marceau. Judy Garland liked the story very much and proposed to remake it with MGM several times, but it was not adopted.

In the early 1950s, Judy Garland died for four years because of alcoholism, drug abuse and mental breakdown. After divorcing her husband Vincent Minnelli (an American in Paris) and MGM fired her, Judy Garland married Sid Luft. Sid Luft soon signed a contract with Warner to star Judy Garland in three films for Warner. In early 1953, the two sides reached an agreement to remake the 1937 edition of the birth of a star.

The film is directed by George Cook (known as “the director who knows women’s Drama Best”, and won the Oscar for best director for my fair lady), composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Ira Gershwin wrote several episodes for the film. Different from the original work, this remake is the type of drama + song and dance. This is cook’s first song and dance film, This is also his first special art color wide screen film.

The hero of the film was originally scheduled to be Gary grant (North northwest), but at this time, he was busy traveling with his wife, so he pushed off the film appointment (he also pushed off Roman holiday and dragon and Phoenix), and cook proposed Humphrey Bogart (North African spy film) and Frank Sinatra (11 Arhats) to play the hero, But Jack Warner, the boss of Warner company, denied it. Finally, James Mason (a pear flower presses a Begonia) won the role.

The cost of the film is expected to be $2 million, but due to the unstable mood of Judy Garland, the Perfectionism of George Cook and the problems of Cinemascope wide screen technology (Jack Warner announced that the film would be shot in Cinemascope wide screen format one month after the film was started, so all the films of the previous month were cancelled), The film’s original three-month shooting period was extended to seven months, and the cost soared to $5 million.

On September 29, 1954, the birth of a star held a grand premiere. The film was highly praised by film critics, but the cinema manager complained that the film was too long. He hoped that it could be reduced from the 181 minute version of the premiere to 154 minutes, so that they could expand from three to five shows a day. Jack Warner listened to the cinema manager and asked someone to cut the film to 154 minutes without notifying George Cook. Cook was helpless after hearing the news. Since then, the original three hour “the birth of a star” no longer exists.

Which were cut off

“The birth of a star” was cut into a 154 minute version, but the box office was poor. Judy Garland gave birth to her third child on March 29, 1955. The next day, March 30, was the Oscar ceremony, in other words, she could not attend at all. At this time, the media agreed that she would win the prize, because she had won the Golden Globe Award for best actress, so the TV station sent a live team to watch in the hospital, so that when the award was announced, Judy Garland could directly shoot the picture of celebrating in the hospital. But when the presenter read out “Grace Kelly behind the film”, the live broadcast team immediately withdrew silently without even calling.

The award was a great blow to Judy Garland. She didn’t make a film in the next seven years. After entering the 1960s, she starred in only three films and voiced one film. Judy Garland died in Britain on June 22, 1969 at the age of 47.

In 1971, a man named Ronald haver changed the fate of the birth of a star. He did a George Cook film retrospective at the American Film Academy and asked cook if he could have the opportunity to see the full version of the birth of a star. Cook spread his hands and said: I don’t have all the copies of my directing films. I only keep all the scripts and stills. Ronald haver asked the American Film Academy to borrow a 181 minute full version of the birth of a star from Warner, but the answer was: we only have a 154 minute version.

In 1973, Ronald haver transferred to the Los Angeles Art Museum. He wanted to show the birth of a star, so he asked cook to borrow the script and stills and make a booklet to show which paragraphs had been abridged.

The most important abridgement of the film is 40 minutes after the opening. In the abridged version, after hearing the heroine’s singing, the hero advised her to quit the band and promised to give her an audition. The heroine decided to follow the hero and fade out. Then fade in: she’s preparing for her audition.

In the full version, after Norman put forward his suggestion, nine scenes were cut off before the audition. Including: the heroine said goodbye to the band the next day. The hero forgot her hotel name and phone number. They met again and faded out. In addition, the actor drove the heroine to the premiere.

When George Cook saw this pamphlet, he just said: well done. Obviously, he didn’t want to face the major loss in his film career, and he didn’t attend the screening that night. However, the brochure aroused the interest of Warner. Rudi Fehr of Warner led a group of people to rummage through the film library for a long time, but found nothing. Ronald haver asked Warner whether he could find it himself, but Warner refused his request. Before long, Ronald haver received a call from Dave strohmaier, the editor of Warner company. The other party said that he had seen the 181 minute version of the mix tape, but could not find the negative.

Found

In November 1981, Ronald haver hosted a tribute screening to the lyricist Ira Gershwin at the American Academy of film arts and Sciences, in which the episode “the man that got away” from Judy Garland’s “the birth of a star” was played. Ronald haver stressed that in the current abridged version, both Ira Gershwin songs have been deleted. After the screening, Fay Kanin, President of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said to Ronald haver: I am an old friend of cook. If only there were a full version of the birth of a star. Fay Kanin is also a member of the film preservation Committee of the American Film Academy. The birth of a star seems to be an excellent example of the importance of preserving old films. Fay Kanin personally called Robert Daly, President of Warner company, and won a license for Ronald haver to enter any Warner film library.

In the spring of 1982, the treasure hunt began. Ronald haver came to the Warner film library, but got nothing. Then he returned to the headquarters of special art company in Los Angeles. The worksheet showed that special art company had developed and printed 150 full copies of four track stereo for the first round of screening. Since the film was edited later, the two film boxes labeled 3a and 3b were reduced to a new film box numbered 3AB, while the film boxes 4a, 5A, 6b, 9a and 9b also showed passive scissors. The cut films were packed in 10 film boxes and sent back to Warner company. Another 150 copies were developed during the second round, but these are already short versions.

The problem now is to find out where the 150 first round copies are going. Ronald haver consulted the existing internal materials of the University of California and Warner company, as well as the distribution records of Warner company kept at Princeton University, and found that in 1954, Warner editing department issued a unified notice to local publishers, asking publishers to edit the film according to the instructions, and then return the cut film to Warner company. If these materials are not in Warner, they really don’t exist. Ronald haver started a long search again with the help of Fred Talmage, manager of Warner’s post production department.

They first went to the warehouse of the sound effect department, which was the place where the editor Dave strohmaier said they found the tape. In this underground warehouse with a quarter acre, after patient search, they finally found the mixed track recording tape of the legendary birth of a star. There were 23 boxes of tapes. Open one of them and it said: 3A! When you put it on the machine, it was the heroine who said goodbye to the band.

I’ll never find it

After finding the full audio track, we won only half of the battle. What we need to do next is to find a matching picture. Fred Talmage introduced don Adler, who had worked in Warner’s warehouse for 30 years. Ronald haver asked how to deal with the film boxes sent back from special art. Don Adler replied: at that time, the storage period of waste films was usually half a year, and then they were thrown away. Of course, someone may have saved these things, but there is little hope.

According to don Adler’s inventory list, we found some film boxes of the birth of a star listed in “miscellaneous”, a total of 20 boxes. These film boxes did not have the specification mark and film number of special art company. Ronald haver opened one of the film boxes named 7a, took out 35mm film and looked at it under the light, It was found that this was the clip after the hero and heroine celebrated the success of the audition. Ronald haver happily hummed the film episode “here’s what I’m here for”.

However, after two days of careful inspection, only one of the 20 films has deleted fragments, and the others are not. Ronald haver asked where else to find? Don Adler said: you might as well go to the material warehouse. Every big company in Hollywood has such a material warehouse. When the editor has finished editing the film, the excess material is stored for use in other films in the future.

In Warner’s material warehouse, these materials can be queried according to classification, such as “apartment room”, “car”, “Los Angeles appearance”, etc. Ronald haver found a film box classified as “bus”. When he opened it, it was actually the scene of the heroine saying goodbye to the band. The birth of a star is divided into nearly 200 categories and a total of 150 film boxes. In each film box, in addition to the tightly rolled film, there is a piece of paper with a description of the film content. The description of the film box numbered 90 is: Judy Garland sings “lose that long face”, which contains all discarded lenses.

Ronald haver spent 21 days to carefully inspect the 150 film boxes. Most of these films are long shots and medium shots, and important close-up shots can not be found. The last hope is that in the copy storage room, Ronald haver found two three foot high boxes in storage room 120 without any marks of the special art company. After one of them was opened, the western film the bounty hunter shot in 1954 appeared. The other box was never opened. Ronald haver opened it and revealed the silver film box, There is also the blue trademark of special art company on it. The side of the film box reads “the birth of a star” r12a, and the arrival date is October 4, 1954. Ronald haver immediately checked all the films. Because he was too excited, his flashlight fell to the ground and broke.

He examined the film carefully, hoping to find 3a and 3b, but the film was only 3AB, which was still the abridged version. Ronald haver sat on the ground dejected for a while. Now the situation is like this:

1. 3a and 3b will never be found

2. 20 minutes of deleted fragments have been found and are available

3. 181 minutes full mono track back, available

4. 154 minute stereo track, available

5. This 154 minute copy of Teyi’s well preserved quality is available

No one loves movies more than Ronald haver

Ronald haver decided to repair the birth of a star under the current situation. According to the original script, the deleted paragraphs can be added to the picture one by one according to the original intention. The pictures that cannot be found can only be replaced by stills. Stills are used in many films, such as tiger and leopard bully and angry bull, but they have never been used in a repaired film. Special effects expert Robert swarthe told Ronald haver that the method of adding stills to the film is feasible, but it is expensive and costs about $25000. If someone pays this sum of money, they can do it.

Fay Kanin first asked George Cook for permission and then asked Robert Daly of warner for money. Robert Daly is interested in this, but he doesn’t dare to make a decision easily. He approved a budget of $5000 to make an experiment. Ronald haver led the animator lisze Bechtold Blyth, the editor Craig Holt and others to work.

After 5 weeks, the finished product is completed. Fay Kanin arranged an audition. Unfortunately, George Cook died the day before the audition (January 24, 1983) and did not have the opportunity to see the finished product. Robert Daly was very satisfied after seeing the pilot film and passed the budget for repairing all the films.

On July 7, 1983, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Warner Corporation jointly screened “a star’s dream”

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