Quote of the week: “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” – Oscar Wilde

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I finally watched the latest “A Star Is Born” movie in theaters. It was really good and a tear jerker at the same time.

Who knew Bradley Cooper could sing and that he has such a deep voice. I knew Lady Gaga was going to be flawless. The songs they sang in the movie are worth listening to over and over.

This version of “A Star Is Born” is very different from the one Judy Garland and James Mason starred in back in 1954. Mostly because the current version is about a singing career versus a film career. Also, the 1954 version is more than two hours long and I feel it focuses more on the female lead.

The current version focuses a little bit more on the back story of the male lead. I do like how both movies have similar scenes and sequences.

The lifestyle choices that the male leads portray in both films are similar, but I think they reflect how Judy Garland was in real life off stage.

Spoiler alert: The male lead is a big shot alcohol who meets a talented singer/actress and he puts her in contact with the right people to make her a star. The female lead meets the male lead who quickly becomes a star. Producers change her name and her look for the public.

Garland’s real name is Frances Ethel Gumm and off stage, she had a drinking and drug problem. The drug problem started at a young age when she was required to memorize and learn her part for “The Wizard of Oz.” I can only imagine it got worse as her career took off.

Movie executives told Garland she was ugly and had her face altered for pictures. The makeup artist for “Meet Me in St. Louis” refined Garland’s appearance by redoing her hair and makeup, taking off her nose discs and dental caps.

Garland earned a special Academy Juvenile Award in 1940, a Golden Globe, a special Tony Award and two Grammy Awards for her concert album “Judy at Carnegie Hall.”

In 1969 she died of an overdose. I found it ironic that she starred in a movie that reflected a little reality of her own life.

I have yet to see other versions of a “A Star Is Born,” but I bet they are similar in story plots and equally good.