Director: George Cukor
Starring: Judy Garland * James Mason
For me this is one of Judy’s best films, almost life imitating art, she was Oscar nominated for this role but lost to Grace Kelly (A Country Girl)
Norman Maine (James Mason he of the silkiest voices ever) is an actor whose career is severely on the wane, due to drink and his deepening distaste for the movie business.
He drunkenly stumbles into showgirls Esther Blodgett’s (Garland) one evening and ruins her set, she gives him a piece of her mind he’s amazed that someone would talk to him like that and the two become friends.
Maine introduces her to the studio and she’s taken on though first they have to changer her name and she becomes Vicki Lester, and goes to work and it’s clear she is set to become a huge star.
The pair fall in love and marry, though Norman loves Vicki(Garland) he does begin to resent her success and falls deeper into the a cycle of drink and outrageous behaviour.
Vicki loves and feels that will be enough in the end, but it isn’t, Norman can’t get work his skills are lost and frankly those he treated badly whilst on top are happy to see his fall from grace, though Vicki is prepared to do anything to save her marriage even put her own career on hold.
Norman realises that Vicki will never give up on him, and takes drastic action to ensure she never has to look after him or make excuses.
The last line in the film “I’m Mrs Norman Maine”
The film also had a great soundtrack notable “The Man That Got Away”
Two other versions of this film have been made the first being with Janet Gaynor & Frederick March 1937 and with Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson 1976.