Though it isn’t the work of art George Cukor’s 1954 remake is, this 1937 William Wellman-David O. Selznick production (itself a partial remake of Cukor’s 1932 What Price Hollywood?) is extremely watchable, not least because of the Technicolor portrait it paints of art deco Hollywood. Janet Gaynor, here on the far end of her ingenue career, is sweetly convincing as the innocent girl who becomes a star, and Fredric March, though a little too self-consciously Byron-esque at times, is effective as the star on the skids. The main problem is that director Wellman has little sympathy for or understanding of the domestic life that’s supposed to save March; it looks so cuddly and restricted you can hardly blame him for hitting the bottle. With Adolphe Menjou and Lionel Stander. 111 min.
A Star Is Born