On This Day: Kris Kristofferson, Barbra Streisand’s ‘A Star is Born’ Film Released 44 Years Ago

by Kayla Zadel

On this day in 1976, the “A Star is Born” film that starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand debuted in the United States.

The film tells the story of a young woman, Barbra Streisand, who’s found singing in a bar by Kris Kristofferson. The two strike up a romantic relationship and Streisand ends up falling in love. During the film, Kristofferson lets the young star perform on stage during one of his shows. Streisand’s character continues to find fame, however, we watch Kristofferson continue in a downward spiral.

The 1976 version of the film won five Golden Globe Awards. Streisand and Kristofferson both picked up Best Actress and Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Additionally, the film received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Evergreen.”

The second version of “A Star is Born” grossed $80 million at the U.S. box office, making it the 2nd highest-grossing picture of 1976.

Though the film was successful at the box office, movie critics weren’t too kind to the film. According to Vulture, critics tore apart Streisand’s acting skills and called her performance “sentimental, without being convincing for an instant.”

Furthermore, the on-screen relationship between the two was under attack. Roger Ebert, a legendary film reviewer for the New York Times wrote this.

“There’s also something completely bogus in the pairing of Miss Streisand and Mr. Kristofferson, who, as lovers, are less exciting than King Kong and Jessica Lange. It would be easy to say that it’s not Mr. Kristofferson’s fault, but I’m not sure it isn’t. He walks through the film looking very bored.”

Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand Cast in Remake

Believe it or not, the 1976 movie is not the original “star.” It’s actually the second remake of the original 1937 drama. Then the motion picture was made into a musical that starred Judy Garland and James Mason.

“A Star is Born” was even adapted as the 2013 Bollywood film “Aashiqui 2,” before it was remade again in 2018.

The more recent version actor Bradley Cooper took under his wing. He directed, co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in the film. Popstar Lady Gaga joins him on the silver screen as the main female role.

All four of the official “A Star is Born” movies have been nominated for at least four Academy Awards. And just like the 1976 movie, the 2018 version won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. “Shallow” is a powerful performance and a written collaborated effort between Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt.