Before Lady Gaga. Before Barbra. Before Judy.
Janet Gaynor starred in the first film version of A Star is Born, which was released in 1937. Co-starring Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Lionel Stander, and Andy Devine, the film was directed by William A. Wellman. Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell, and Robert Carson wrote the screenplay.
As with the subsequent versions, this film tells the tale of a young woman with dreams of stardom. But she achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including nominations for March and Gaynor (both of whom were previous Oscar winners). It won the award for Best Story, which went to Wellman and Carson. It also received a special Oscar to W. Howard Greene for his color cinematography.
The 1954 version (Judy) received six Oscar nominations and zero wins, while the 1976 version (Barbra) received four nominations with a win for Best Song. The latter is also the only version to date which received no acting nominations. The 2018 version received eight nominations. How many it may pick up will be announced on February 24.
The showing starts tonight at 6:30pm. Admission is $5.00.