80 user 44 critic

A Star Is Born (1976)

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A has-been rock star falls in love with a young, up-and-coming songstress.


Frank Pierson


John Gregory Dunne (screenplay by), Joan Didion (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
368 ( 132)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbra Streisand ... Esther Hoffman
Kris Kristofferson ... John Norman Howard
Gary Busey ... Bobby Ritchie
Oliver Clark ... Gary Danziger
Venetta Fields ... The Oreos
Clydie King ... The Oreos
Marta Heflin ... Quentin
M.G. Kelly M.G. Kelly ... Bebe Jesus
Sally Kirkland ... Photographer
Joanne Linville ... Freddie
Uncle Rudy Uncle Rudy ... Mo
Paul Mazursky ... Brian
Stephen Bruton Stephen Bruton ... The Speedway
Sammy Lee Creason Sammy Lee Creason ... The Speedway (as Sam Creason)
Cleve Dupin Cleve Dupin ... The Speedway


Talented rock star John Norman Howard has seen his career begin to decline. Too many years of concerts and managers and life on the road have made him cynical and the monotony has taken its toll. Then he meets the innocent, pure and very talented singer Esther Hoffman. As one of his songs in the movie says "I'm gonna take you girl, I'm gonna show you how." And he does. He shows Esther the way to stardom while forsaking his own career. As they fall in love, her success only makes his decline even more apparent. Written by A. Lloyd Adams [aadams@airmail.net]

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Music | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Road See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Leading lady Barbra Streisand's sister Roslyn Kind plays an uncredited Grammy Awards table guest. See more »


In the swimming pool scene after the motorcycle accident at the stadium concert, John N Howard has Ace bandages on his foot and right hand. Yet, he is shown using the right hand to use a pair of crutches (would be too painful with a wrist sprain). He is also shown swimming, which is also painful to sprained joints. He is not shown wincing at all while swimming. He also puts weight on his right hand as he is getting out of the pool, pushing up on his fingertips on a straightened wrist. This would not be possible without severe pain, if the wrist is in fact damaged enough to require an Ace bandage. See more »


Esther Hoffman: You can trash your life but you're not going to trash mine.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ms. Streisand's clothes from ... Her Closet. See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


Music & Lyrics by Paul Williams & Kenny Ascher
Performed by Kris Kristofferson
See more »

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User Reviews

For fans of Kris or Barbra; otherwise a disappointing movie
17 November 2018 | by timcurryisgodSee all my reviews

If you are a Kris Kristofferson fan (or a Streisand fan for that matter) you'll want to watch the film. For Kris, because his performance is good and you get to look at him be lovely. For Barbra, you get to see her sing (lip sync?) and hear her voice.

Re-watching this after many years, I found it to be disappointing because it's really a pretty bad movie. Embarrassingly so. Not in a fun way like "Blume in Love."

Kristofferson gives a great performance regardless. You really believe his emotions, his facial expressions, etc. He actually portrays being in love much more effectively than Streisand does. The iconic poster image of the couple embracing is one of the most beautiful photographs of either star ever composed.

I think this film was popular due to Streisand's vocal talent and showcasing that. But it's just incongruous with Kristofferson; you don't really believe the story. Because Streisand starts off as an already polished and highly accomplished vocalist; it's just not possible to think of her as an ingenue at all. It's silly, in fact.

I suppose I'm a little biased; although I acknowledge Streisand's singing talent is unbelievable, it was Kris who actually was and is in real life the songwriter, who was the sort of underdog chasing a Nashville dream, who wrote so beautifully about that in his real life. . . not merely "sappy" love songs; but songs that are achingly poignant about real human emotion. . . and in such a pure and somber way. And for a rock band with a gritty vocalist (Kristofferson) to jump ship and record "sophisticated" pop music- it does't work; it's not believable at all.

Perhaps if the female lead were cast differently the movie might have worked on the level it was aiming for. It's a sweet story but the poignancy is somewhat lost because the viewer can't suspend disbelief long enough to accept this odd couple.

It's nice that the movie was made at all since supposedly it portrayed real life issues Kristofferson was dealing with (drinking etc.) and was a sort of wake-up call for him, according to ex wife Rita Coolidge and Kristofferson himself in some interviews since the movie's release.

Streisand fans will adore her singing, for sure. But it doesn't fit with the storyline. Fans of Kristofferson will enjoy his performance, but probably not the movie.

They should probably make a movie about Kristofferson's real life, even just his time with Rita Coolidge; that would have made a beautiful film and stuck more closely to his musical roots, and feature a leading lady who is believable with Kristofferson, at the same time telling a similar story as this film. But of course that's hindsight; they were going through it in real life at the time.

Kristofferson is a very compelling leading man.

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