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A Star Is Born (1976)

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How’s the chemistry between Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson? Do any of these songs stand out today? Does the 70s vibe affect our appreciation of it?

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Like the remake before it, Barbra Streisand’s decision to produce and play the lead in her own version of A Star Is Born likely had something to do with ego, but it’s hard to argue that the story is also one with two wonderfully rich characters at the heart of it – characters any actor would likely want to perform.

Regardless, Streisand opposite Kris Kristofferson, who was also a big musical talent at the time, seemed like a perfect fit for this version. But it didn’t land quite as strongly for us as the previous two did. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our “A Star Is Born” series with Frank Pierson’s 1976 take on A Star Is Born.

We debate what it is about this version of the story that leads us to find it the weakest of the three iterations thus far. We talk about Streisand and Kristofferson, what they each bring to the role, and how well they work for us. We look at the tone the film takes – very much a 70s feel – and how each of the versions thus far have really found a way to wholly ground themselves in their own period. We look at the songs and discuss how they work for us. And we look at some of the beats that repeat throughout these films and talk about why some don’t work that well here.

It’s an interesting film to discuss in this series because the tone feels so different. It’s not our favorite of the lot, but it certainly provides a lot to talk about, so check it out then tune in to this week’s show. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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