Where To Stream The Older Versions Of 'A Star Is Born'

Screenshot: Warner Bros.

There’s a lot of anticipation in the air for the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper interpretation of A Star Is Born, but this star has been born a number of times. Here’s how to stream the 1937, 1954 and 1976 iteration of A Star Is Born if you just can’t wait for the newest version.

1937

The original stars Dorothy Parker, and lacked the musical component of future remakes. In this story, Esther Victoria Blodget, renamed Vicki Lester, is an aspiring actress who gets her big break when a famous actor sees her serving guests at a party. He eventually becomes her alcoholic husband... and the rest is history.

Amazon Prime members can watch it for free. But if you aren't a member, you can also stream it for free at Kanopy, or find it on a service called Viki (though this service includes commercials).

And it’ll be worth the view — original reviews for the movie were excellent. Variety called it “a smash which unquestionably will rate among the half dozen best of the season ... While the story is somewhat reminiscent of other behind-the-scene yarns, the manner of its telling makes it convincing and distinguished.”

It’s also at 100 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, if you don’t trust an 81-year-old review.

1954

This A Star Is Born from 1954 stars the incomparable Judy Garland and her absolutely exquisitely emotional rendition of “The Man That Got Away”. The good news is, you can weep as her passionate marriage falls apart for $4.99 on iTunes, or $14.99 if you choose to buy rather than rent.

This film also got raves, with Bosly Crowther of The New York Times writing:

...Those who were no more than toddlers when that classic was starting floods of tears may warm themselves up for one of the grandest heartbreak dramas that has drenched the screen in years.

1976

Unfortunately, Barbara Streisand's personally supervised recut of her starring role in A Star Is Born isn't currently available in Australia, so you won't get to see the movie told as the leading lady would like it, rather than the actual director, Frank Pierson.

But if you want to see the original cut, it's streaming on Quickflix. It's also available to rent from Google Play and YouTube for $3.99, and iTunes for $4.99. If you want to buy it, iTunes is the best deal at $14.99, whereas Google Play and YouTube will run you $16.49.

You might not want to see it though, because unlike its predecessors, this film was critically panned. Roger Ebert gave it 2.5 stars out of four, and it’s at 31 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you’re already on a roll, why not finish the collection?

That may be all the the stars you can stomach seeing born. If not, it does seem as though they remake this movie at fairly regular intervals, so just hang in there for whatever comes out in 2045.


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