Yep, another story about a remake, this time it’s “A Star is Born” which, depending on how you reckon it, will either be the fourth or fifth version of the story of a woman who begins a relationship with an established star, only to eclipse him in the fame game as he gradually self-destructs. The confusion here is that, in 1934, George Cukor directed a film called “What Price Hollywood?” which was apparently close enough to William Wellman’s 1938 “A Star is Born” that RKO considered suing producer David O. Selznick. Just to make matters confusing, Selznick had offered the “Star is Born” gig to Cukor, who turned it down — but who eventually did direct the most famous version of the story in 1954, which I guess means that you could argue that he’s another example of a great director remaking an earlier hit.
Not that any of it matters. There’s a reason this one keeps getting pulled out of mothballs. Consider the clip below from that last version with Judy Garland and James Mason. Does the drunken behavior of Mason as declining superstar Norman Maine remind you of anyone in show business you’ve been hearing about lately around the water cooler? Several people? Everyone?