The miscasting of Kris Kristofferson in "A Star is Born"
I hate this movie, but damn - what potential it might have had if Elvis had taken the male lead.
According to imdb, others considered for the role: Mick Jagger, Neil Diamond, even Marlon Brando!
It's easy to just pick any musician/rock star of the day, but if they'd gone for a real actor who could sing, or a singer with proven acting chops, who else would have made a good choice to play John Norman Howard in 1976?
If not Elvis, I think an interesting choice would have been Bobby Darin, except for the small fact that he'd died 3 years prior.
" real actor who could sing, or a singer with proven acting chops, who else would have made a good choice to play John Norman Howard in 1976?"
David Bowie is a rock star who can act. But he wouldn't have worked in the role, you can't ask the viewers to believe that Babs would be more popular with the rock audience than Bowie!
But really, a different leading man wouldn't have saved this film, the problems started with the script and ended with Streisand's ego. Kristofferson got the job because nobody else wanted it.
Exactly, R2. Kristofferson was far more suited to his role than Streisand was to hers. She was too old, too styled with the curly-haired mop, and too mainstream/ordinary to pull off the kitschy unique explosively talented up-and-comer.
Even if that's what she'd been 15 years earlier.
Kristofferson is (or was) pretty sexy in person. But onscreen, he has zero presence or dynamic appeal. It's unbelievable that he would ever become the epic rock star he plays in the movie.
And there's even less chemistry between him and Babs, love scenes notwithstanding.
I don't agree with the knockers. I thought he was sexy as hell and great in the movie. I also felt there was great chemistry between JNH & Esther. Elvis would have been awful. He was such a stiff and wooden actor (& person)...repressed homo probably, but that's a thread of its own.
I loved the film then and now. I love the songs and I'm not really a great Streisand fan but I thought the film worked...totally.
But for some reason it really seems to get some people's goat. People seem to love and hate it in equal measure.
I always wondered if they were actually fucking in that movie, r7. On camera. It looked so real and hot.
"Elvis would have been awful. He was such a stiff and wooden actor (& person)...repressed homo probably, but that's a thread of its own"
I think he was a fucked-up hetersexual, possibly because he was sexually abused by his mother (just a theory). But that's another thread, should I start one?
I agree that he would have been horrble in the role, though. He wasn't a good enough actor to disguise his disgust with the terrible films he made, imagine how loathesome he would have seemed here.
I love the music, but Streisand was not right for the role.
I think Carly Simon should have taken it (she was originally offered it but declined because they wanted James Taylor as co-star) and worked with Kristofferson. They already had an affair, which would have worked in terms of the passion generated on screen. And Carly would have brought the awkward amateurishness yet good talent that the role needed. Plus, Kris would have gotten some room to breathe, so to speak.
Streisand was too polished and good to be taken seriously as a woman working in two-bit bars. She turned down ALICE for the same reason.
I can't believe Elvis and Babs would ever have co-starred in anything.
There's that story in one of the Babs bios about Elvis coming to see Babs when she was in FUNNY GIRL, late in her run when she was growing bored with the show and camping it up.
Elvis stayed until intermission said, "That's the chick all the fuss is about? She SUCKS."
Wait, R10, do you mean ALICE DOESN"T LIVE HERE ANYMORE?
I got it, I got it!
R11, that was in Las Vegas. Elvis did not go to Broadway shows.
[quote]I think Carly Simon should have taken it
Her AMERICAN teeth would have got in the way....big time.
I remember as a teen standing outside of the premiere of A Star is Born in Westwood watching the stars arrive. Streisand arrived last in a chauffered convertible waving to the throngs of people while the soundtrack played from loudspeakers.
The afterparty was at a club down the street. We got right in front and saw each star up close as they entered the club!
What a great memory!
According to several Streisand biographies, Elvis stayed for the entire show and went backstage afterwards, where he famously grabbed her hand and began to paint her fingernails. True story.
I rewatched it within the last year. I'm a Streisand fan but she was horrible in this movie and completely unbelievable as someone JNH would be smitten with as well as an ingenue who would become a major singing star. Her concert songs are campy and nothing that would appeal to concert audiences, so to present her onstage and have her wow the crowd was ridiculous.
Kristofferson was very believable as a washed-up, boozed-up rocker. He was not the problem with this movie.
[quote]The afterparty was at a club down the street.
So you waited for the whole length of movie and then went down the street to watch them go into a club?
[quote]What a great memory!
Really? Anything else great happen in your life?
It's "pointless [italic]bitchery,[/italic]" r20... not "pointless cuntiness."
Please make a note of it.
Kristofferson was a drunken train wreck during filming. He was abusive to Rita Coolidge and Barbra and Jon had to intervene on her behalf.
He also got an erection during the bathtub scene, which was shot at Barbra's Malibu compound, and tried to stick it in her pussy.
Elvis was fat and ugly by then
I thought he fit the part very well. She wasn't bad, but he was a better for his role than she was for hers.
R18, that is not a true story. Even Babs said it was bullshit. The story source was Jon Peters, btw.
[quote]He also got an erection during the bathtub scene,
OMG, who wouldn't?
The erection in the bathtub story was a Jon Peters invention too.
[quote]OMG, who wouldn't?
Dear, it's pointless bitchery, not lame sarcasm.
The parts were written for Carly Simon and James Taylor. They declined because it was too close to home.
Elvis wanted to do the movie, but the Colonel wouldn't let him.
There's no way Carly would have done it with Kris...their brief relationship didn't end all that amicably.
according to my mom, Barbra aka Queen Bee of the Big Crooked Nose Jewesses wanted to sleep with KK, she really hots for him
And if you look at her track record of slut lust she loves them hairy testosterone MEN!
[quote]according to my mom, Barbra aka Queen Bee of the Big Crooked Nose Jewesses wanted to sleep with KK, she really hots for him
'Big Crooked Nose Jewesses'
Is the anti-semitism yours or your 'mom's'?
By the way, tell your delightful mom, Barbra had already been in a relationship with KK, however hard it may be for her or you to believe it.
Barbra and Kris had had an affair, and this was the cause of the friction between him and Peters during filming.
Elvis would have been great in the part. Elvis and Barbra had slept together as well, circa 1970. The musical numbers would have been incredible.
Little known fact- Lucille Ball tested for the role of Esther.
Elvis never slept with Barbra. You Babs queens are way over the top.
Kristofferson slept with everyone, a few minutes with BS would be out of the question.
Erm, OP? The problem with your post is that Kristofferson was by far the most authentic thing in the 1976 rock and roll remake of A Star Is Born. Duh.
Oh, I don't know R19. From the time she emerged into the national consciousness in 1963, really until the mid-80's, Streisand was a pop cultural juggernaut. Even if her music wasn't *your* thing she had most likely done something one was bound to like or admire. You didn't have to love her music to like Bogdanovich's What's Up, Doc? Even if you weren't into Broadway, Streisand was part of the political and social dialogue, as much as any other female performer, save Fonda. She was forthright in her views of feminism and injustice towards women and others. It's not like she was the Britney Spears of her day. She was arguably the most successful and powerful female entertainer in the world. Together with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Sidney Poitier, she formed First Artists production company in 1969. She was as much of a heavyweight as they were.
She wasn't Janis Joplin, sure. But there were moments when her MOR sounds cut across cultural boundaries. Her Central Park concert, Stoney End, singing with The Sweet Inspirations. Her music was the undeniable pop cultural moment of the promotion of A Star Is Born; the release of Evergreen sold the film as much as Houston's I Will Always Love You sold The Bodyguard.
Streisand may not have sold out stadiums to rock fans but she was still a superstar. She was Barbra Streisand, FFS. It's not like people would've booed or thrown bottles if she took to the stage to sing a few songs. To tame the crowds while filming the concert scenes I believe she sang People!
R22, I think you mean her pussy tried to get up on Kristofferson's erection!
R8- I remember reading somewhere where the movie and the Playboy pictorial broke up his marriage with Rita Coolidge. That pictorial was hot (still have that issue July 1976) I always assumed that they had an affair. Miles always came off as such a wild, free sprit.
Terrible movie but why is Kris Kristofferson miscast? He had done several movies at the time including work with Peckenpah, Scorsese and Mazursky and was a serious musician. And do you really think Presley or Jagger would have worked well opposite Streisand? I don't. Brando was not a musician. And Diamond would have had little contrast with Streisand and was far less of an actor than Kristofferson.
This was the first Streisand film to appeal to mallrats instead of gays, even though (or because of?) its so-called "rock" score was pathetic.
"Evergreen" is one of the Streisand classics that never did anything for me.
>>>She was forthright in her views of feminism and injustice towards women
TOTAL BULLSHIT. Streisand was a superstar but her biggest and only 'cause' was HERSELF. Before the 1990s, Streisand never went out on a limb for anything but herself, her career, her image - HERSELF. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but do not make Streisand into something she wasn't. I was there through all of it, I didn't read it in a book or on a fan site.
And am I the ONLY one who notices that Barbra Streisand is most definitely NOT the feminist in her movie characters? She chose characters to play that are the most dependent on men, abused by men, old fashioned by 1970s-80s standards -- not feminist parts. WHY? What you wrote, R36, is complete ignorant fan worship horsehit.
r41: The late Arthur Bell attended the Streisand press conference for A STAR IS BORN where Barbra wore a tuxedo "to show how the roles of men and women are changing" (or something like that). Afterwards, Bell cracked "Who raised her women's consiousness? Ann Miller?"
"Elvis would have been awful. He was such a stiff and wooden actor (& person)...repressed homo probably, but that's a thread of its own"
"Stiff" and "wooden?" Have you ever seen any of his movies? I doubt it, because if you had you would have seen that he had a very relaxed screen persona. His movies didn't require he do much more than be himself; he always seemed very comfortable and at ease. And in his musical numbers he shook his ass and was VERY sexy. Watch "Viva Las Vegas" sometime. His co-star was Ann Margaret and they have a very sexually charged chemistry in that film. They should have; they were having an affair at the time.
Elvis Presley was no "repressed homo." He was REALLY into women (or girls). Albert Goldman was continually casting slurs against Presley's masculinity in his sleazy "Elvis" biography, but Goldman had a seemingly pathological hatred of Elvis Presley; that was simply his viewpoint.
If given the right roles Elvis Presley might actually have done some good work in the movies; he had a very appealing screen presence and was so sexy. A couple of his films were decent but mostly they were commercial dreck. He stupidly followed the advice of his horrible manager Tom Parker, who just wanted Elvis to keep making dopey movies that made money instead of trying to be a real actor.
The "Elvis painting Streisand's toenails" story is bullshit. It did NOT happen.
And Elvis never "slept with" Streisand. They were really, REALLY not each other's type.
There's a good story about the filming of "A Star Is Born." Streisand was bossing Kristofferson around; "Goddamnit, you're not doing what I tell you to do!" is what she reportedly told him. He responded in kind. Offended, Jon Peters told him that he couldn't talk that way to "my lady." To which Kristofferson replied "if I want any shit from you I'll squeeze your head." Good one, Kris!
There was talk of Elvis starring with Streisand, but it didn't happen because Streisand demanded top billing and Tom Parker would not hear of that. Elvis second billed?! Unthinkable! Well, it's a good thing he never did that movie with her: it SUCKED! Kris Kristofferon did the best he could, but it was a thankless role. One critic commented on the scenes where the camera is trained on Streisand as she WATCHES Kristofferson talk.
LOL, R42, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Streisand was so fucking out of touch with THE WORLD outside herself, she thought she was making a political statement by wearing a pants suit!
R36, you are confusing Barbra Streisand, the performer, with Esther Hoffman, the character. There's no doubt Streisand was a superstar. But it didn't translate to the screen in ASIB. Hoffman had some vocal chops but she was an over-the-hill club performer and jingle singer and there was a reason she hadn't made the big time. And the songs she sings were emphatically NOT anything that would have wowed a concert audience. Quite the opposite, actually. I won't even go into the physical aspects of her performance or why a "rock legend" wouldn't have been swept off his feet by her.
""Stiff" and "wooden?" Have you ever seen any of his movies? I doubt it, because if you had you would have seen that he had a very relaxed screen persona. His movies didn't require he do much more than be himself; he always seemed very comfortable and at ease."
Always? Elvis was relaxed and at ease in his early films, but by the late sixties you could see he hated what he was doing. When he started out he was hopeful and sure that he could be a movie star, but after ten years of making worse and worse films he stopped trying. Look at some of his later films, he sucks and looks like he's angry he has to say those crappy lines.
He could have been capable of one more good performance, but a weak script and a hyper-diva costar weren't going to bring out hidden strengths.
R43, you are delusional. Elvis was a terrible actor.
I wouldn't characterize him as stiff or wooden, but I would include him among the absolute worst actors of all time.
He was only in films because of his enormous fan base who would buy tickets and love him in anything, regardless how stupid the film was and how terrible he was in it.
He and Evergreen were the only decent things about the movie.
I remember an old Movieline with Kris and Barbra on the cover looking all lovingly and the caption read, "we must do this again sometime". Then article went on to report was a nightmare the set was. It's a vague memory from 1970's. I remember not liking Kris because his chest was bare and as a 10 year old, the hairy chest was a must for me to get hard. As I got older I absolutely loved KK. He and Eastwood really grew on me, so sexy and now they are just old men.
I heard the reason Carly Simon walked away from the project was because the producers refused to hire her son as the love interest.
No Carly Simon walked away from pretty much everything because of a crippling case of stage fright.
When this movie opened, my local mall in Illinois had a Barbra Streisand look alike contest. All of the contestants had the 'fro she was working at tht time. The winner ended up working up at the perfume counter at JCPenney. I don't know if that was her prize.
Does anyone think that Babs sounded too Broadway for a "rock star"? I mean considering actual female rockers at the time: Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks (was she there at the time?), Linda Ronstadt and maybe Heart... Babs was not a rocker.
"you are delusional. Elvis was a terrible actor."
He showed promise in his early films. But then he fell into those silly formula movies and he was a movie "personality" rather than an actor.
He could have been a good actor. He had a lot of potential. He just had a lof of bad luck.
r51: Like you, when I was a yungun' I was only really turned on by hairy chests. But Kris' huge gumdrop nipples trumped his smoothness.
Chewy McNip sez: "Great nipples are ageless and Evergreen"
I am not Chewy McNip but I always wanted to chew on Kristofferson's nipples. Always. That smooth chest, those nips. And seeing that ass pumping up and down in Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea..... picture preserved in that Playboy pictorial from July 1976.
OP suggested if ASIB was made 3 years earlier, Bobby Darin could have co-starred with Barbra. I heard that she wanted him for the sequel to Funny Girl. Unfortunately, he died before Funny Lady was made. Would they have worked well together?
Barry Gibb could have played John Norman Howard.
If only Judy Garland had still been alive, she would have been great in the part.
Thought Kristofferson was okay, he mumbles his lines but then the character would've, too. Babs voiceover comments on the dvd for this are great. And some of the deleted scenes are good. She doesn't remember Marta Heflin's name and barely Rita Coolidge's. Yes, I thought she sounded too Broadway and the only times she sounded sorta rock was on "Stoney End" and "The Main Event" (which is an amazing song and vocal performance!).
Streisand doesn't remember these people because she's senile? Or just self-absorbed (again).
Although Kris Kristofferson was an old man compared to the younger Barbara Streisand. He was still just sexy enough to be believable as the svengali but not too hot that it would overshadow Barbara's character.
R64, Kristofferson is 6 years older than Streisand, hardly an old man at the time.
I remember a review at the time saying Streisand wowing a rock crowd was tantamount to Kate Smith stopping the show at a Rolling Stones concert.
I think that just about sums it up, R66. If Streisand had even tried to have a few more rock songs in the concert scenes, it would have helped but all of her material is so schmaltzy it begs belief that she wouldn't have been hooted off the stage.
It would've been more interesting with Simon and Taylor.
[quote]Barry Gibb could have played John Norman Howard.
With the falsetto? Um, no honey. And did you see Sgt. Pepper? They needed someone who could act.
[quote]There was talk of Elvis starring with Streisand, but it didn't happen because Streisand demanded top billing and Tom Parker would not hear of that. Elvis second billed?! Unthinkable! Well, it's a good thing he never did that movie with her: it SUCKED!
Hmmmmm OK lest see...
"A Star Is Born", was the second largest grossing film of 1976 right behind The Oscar Best Picture winner "Rocky"
Over $100 million world wide gross with 1976 admission prices
Four Oscar nominations including one win
Five Golden Globe nominations with Five wins including Best Picture Musical and Best Actress and Best Actor
Soundtrack Number One for five weeks selling ten million worldwide with three Grammy nominations and one win
Elvis Presley's last film "A Change Of Habit" starring as a doctor to Nuns Mary Tyler Moore & Barbra McNair last seen as the bottom of a double feature with "Skullduggery", with Burt Reynolds as an adventurer who discovers the missing link.
Yeah you're right, it's a good thing Elvis never did that movie with her.
R65 what I meant was that Kris Kristofferson looked like an old man compared to Barbara. The beard aged him 10 years.
On reason I keep coming to DL is for these memories. Am I the only person who remembers that double bill at the drive-in? Elvis was actually proud of his performance. MTM as a "hip nun," and Barbara McNair as her sidekick.
That post made my night.
R41, fair enough. Clearly you hate her. I was there too. The times were different back then. Political discourse was far more serious and elevated back then, not shrill and ridiculous like it is now. People didn't assert themselves by screaming and being a blowhard, they actually embodied who they were. The tuxedo thing is hilarious. But Streisand also made Up The Sandbox, in which her character contemplated abortion, and The Way We Were which, though clearly a throwback to women's pictures of the 1940's & '50s, also featured her as a politically activated woman struggling to make sense of her feminine and masculine roles.
R41? They can hold back the tide but they can never hold the wo-man...I said, THE WOMAN IN THE M-AH-OON!
The real thing is on TCM right now (5pm-7pm, PDT): 1937, Frederic March & Janet Gaynor.
To be followed (7pm-9pm, PDT) by the inspiration for all of the versions: "What Price Hollywood?", 1932, Constance Bennett & Lowell Sherman.
[quote]Kristofferson is 6 years older than Streisand, hardly an old man at the time.
He looked older because he was the character. He was a drunk mess and old before his time. Right before the movie premiered Geraldo Rivera interviewed them on ABC and Kristofferson clearly said that she and Jon Peters saved his life by giving him the part. Because he saw so much of himself in the character, he got sober right after filming.
I thought he was great in the movie....much better than Barbra Strident.
It was a huge hit for both of them and she made millions from the movie and the soundtrack album.
[quote]It was a huge hit for both of them and she made millions from the movie and the soundtrack album.
He made some big bucks off the album too and I went to see him that summer at Radio City Music Hall with his wife and people were calling out to sing the songs and he said "No, they aren't my songs" and peopled booed.
R73, what does political discourse have to do with Barbra Streisand thinking she's a feminist because she wears a suit in a movie.
R78 that's a legal issue. If he didn't own the rights to the songs, he can't sing them in public.
And make sure you tell him one is as black as the ace of spades.
Redd Foxx would have been a much better choice than Kristofferson.
[R42] You reminded me of Arthur Bell's priceless headline of his Village Voice review: "A Bore is Starred"
[quote]that's a legal issue. If he didn't own the rights to the songs, he can't sing them in public.
No, he could sing them, but he'd have to pay for them.
He probably just didn't want to be associated with a film most of his fans despised.
Elvis was too far gone with drugs and his weight and serious personal issues to star in this movie.
Kristofferson did a fine job and I honestly think this movie has gotten far too much bashing over the last 36 years.
There are hundreds of movies (maybe more) that are far worse in cinema history. I'm not saying it equals the original or even th Judy Garland re-make but it is good and both he and Streisand were fantastic in it.
Elvis,no question,could have been a great actor,but "The Col." wouldn't hear of it. If Elvis had ditched that man,he ould have taken his career under 100% control.
I honestly don't get what it is about this film that makes people say it's so terrible.
Why don;t you all give it rest?
It's been 36 years fo pete's sake!
I;m not a big fan of the movie, but all these posts act as if the movie was a big flop, when in fact it was a huge success.
Kris Kristofferson worked as a janitor at Columbia studios while Bob Dylan was recording the album Blonde on Blonde.
Lucy was offered the role of John. This time Lucie talked her out of it.
Speaking as someone who Worked on This Abomination...it should Never Have Been Made!
Only Babs has an Ego Big enough to Think that she could remake the iconic Judy Garland Film.
Streisand was a Horrible Shrew on-set...she would look right through you, as if you were beneath her!
What. A. Bitch.
Let me get back into my Time Machine scroll down back to 1975, I'll let you know.
R70, what's your point? Are you one of those unfortunates who confuse popularity and awards with QUALITY?
I think the chosen Kris Kristofferson was perfect on many levels. Remember we are watching a 'burnt out alcoholic rock singer' he did that very well. Watch the film again and notice, his look of passion, admiration and need to please the woman he had found. i have recently watched this film again, unlike the first time around (1976) it has left me feeling a need to want to rescue John Norman and a sadness overcomes me because of course I cannot! It's a film I have to keep reminding myself and an old one at that!
Kris Kristofferson was really famous for about 2 years, then he flamed out.