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A Star is Born Blu-ray

United States
DigiBook / Deluxe Special Edition Warner Bros. | 1954 | 176 min | Rated PG | Jun 22, 2010

A Star is Born (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: VC-1
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.55:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.55:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)

Packaging
DigiBook

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $27.98, Price history
Amazon: $18.60 (Save 34%)
New from: $13.99 (Save 50%)
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Buy A Star is Born on Blu-ray

Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.2
/10
39
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.6 of 54.6
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.2 of 53.2
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Romance65%
Musical32%

65%
popularity
807
collections
22
fans




A Star is Born

 (1954)

A Star Is Born marked Judy Garland's return to movies after a four-year absence, director George Cukor's first musical and first color film, and a showcase for great Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs in state-of-the-art stereo. Garland is singer Esther Blodgett, an undeniable talent on the rise. She catches the eye of Norman Maine (James Mason), an alcoholic actor in career decline. Their intense love transforms them both. Only one will survive Hollywood's slings and arrows.

For more about A Star is Born and the A Star is Born Blu-ray release, see A Star is Born Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Tommy Noonan, Irving Bacon
Director: George Cukor

» See full cast & crew


A Star is Born Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5


Despite the flak Warner receives in some message board circles -- much of which involves broad, hyperbolic criticism stemming from the sheer volume of catalog titles the studio releases and the countless variables associated with each one rather than some nefarious disregard for the films involved, general laziness, or a perpetual oversight -- the quality of its treasured masterpieces and old-Hollywood classics rarely disappoint. A Star is Born has been born anew for its Blu-ray debut, arriving with a bold, decidedly impressive 1080p/VC-1 transfer derived from a snazzy 6K scan and a meticulous, five-month digital restoration. Moreover, WB Motion Picture Imaging colorist Janet Wilson was committed to staying as close to the filmmakers' original intent as possible, retiming and color-correcting each shot accordingly. The results speak for themselves. Splashes of red pop, dazzling blue dresses shine, and black levels are well-resolved. Likewise, skintones never appear flushed or washed out, embracing the warm, rosy-cheeked hues of the era without indulging in '50s cine-pomp. Contrast is vibrant and stable, the film's grain field is intact, bothersome ringing and smearing are nowhere to be found, and both definition and fine detail are noteworthy. That's not to say the picture is razor sharp from beginning to end though. On the contrary, several scenes are downright soft, overall clarity is uneven, and other inherent limitations make their presence known. But for a fifty-six year old film, particularly one plagued by severely degraded source elements and a troubled history, the presentation is incredibly faithful, sometimes to a fault. Better still, the technical transfer is clean and proficient. I didn't notice any significant artifacting, banding, or digital noise, and the print isn't haunted by any unreasonable blemishes.

My one nitpick involves the film's framing. A quick comparison between Warner's new 2.55:1 transfer and its DVD counterpart (initially released in 2000 and reissued as a Collector's Edition in 2001) reveals a number of interesting, albeit admittedly minor discrepancies. In some scenes, the far left and right edges of the Blu-ray transfer retain more of the film's original image; in other cases, slightly less. But the differences are so negligible -- a sliced sliver of shadow here, a trimmed haircut there -- that I would have never noticed had a forum member not suggested I compare the two. It's also worth noting that the culprit is most likely necessity; perhaps even a small concession made during the restoration process. Regardless, A Star is Born joins a growing collection of high-quality catalog classics that have been remastered, restored, and resurrected from an untimely grave.


A Star is Born Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5


Star's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track isn't going to attract as much praise as its video transfer, but it still stacks up well against lossless remixes featured on other high-quality catalog releases. Because the film's original four-track stereo mag master was erased nearly fifty years ago, Warner had to rely on several sources to compile a new mix: three mag-striped release prints (one owned by the studio, the other two in storage at the Library of Congress), a 4-track stereo music and effects track from France, and isolated vocal units of Gardland's performances, her choral accompaniment, and the film's complete orchestral scoring sessions. Surprisingly, the end result doesn't sound nearly as inconsistent as it could. Dialogue remains clean and clear throughout (a handful of muffled lines being the lone exception), both the score and the musical numbers are full and boisterous, and sound effects, though a tad pinched, have weathered the decades well. I did find myself bumping my receiver's volume up and down more often than I would have preferred, but it's difficult to get too worked up after learning how many elements were required to create a functional track. LFE output is thin (albeit within reason for a fifty-six year old film), the rear speakers are tasked with little more than instrumental support (meaning purists will cheer the tenor of the mix while modern filmfans will shrug their shoulders), and many a scene sounds older than it looks. Even so, Warner's restorative efforts are commendable. Cinefiles armed with appropriate expectations will relish the whole of the experience and easily shrug off the majority of intrinsic shortcomings they encounter.



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A Star is Born Blu-ray, News and Updates



A Star is Born (1937) Blu-ray - November 5, 2011

Independent distributors Kino Video have revealed that they will release on Blu-ray William A. Wellman's A Star is Born (1937), starring Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, Lionel Stander, and My Robson. Exact technical specs, special features, and region ...

A Star Is Born Deluxe Edition Blu-ray Announced - February 28, 2010

Warner Home Video has announced A Star is Born, directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland, for release on a two-disc Blu-ray Deluxe Special Edition on June 22, including a 40-page booklet with rare photos, press materials and an essay by film historian ...


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