Be careful what movies you watch and what music you listen to when you are twenty years old. It imprints itself on you and you carry it with you all your life.
I first watched A Star is Born in the first week of January 1977 at the theater in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood, New York. And while I have heard the soundtrack since, and have seen sections of the movie here and there flipping through channels, I have not seen the whole movie again since then – until now. There were entire sections that I had completely forgotten about, there were songs I had not remembered that were in the movie, but overall it simply transported me back to age twenty – now 33 years ago – and it was like I was there again.
I remembered how one of my dreams at the time was to build a house in the desert, like theirs outside Tucson. I have actually built houses in the desert, but they were family homes in neighborhoods, nothing exotic like that. I remember looking forward to building an exotic life of fame and riches, just what twenty year olds think about. I have had a good life, a rewarding one, but not an exotic one, and there are probably many more dreams that faded than dreams I have realized. I guess I have to watch some other old movies to remember those. I remember the bathtub scene with the candles, some of them held by Schlitz beer cans, and how I was sure that one day I would have my own big bathtub and occasions to light up candles all over the rim. I tried that on at least one occasion and the effect was nothing like in the movie.
A Star is Born is probably the only musical that I actually like, and I am sure it’s not because of the quality of the movie itself, it’s because of the personal associations. But I think the movie works fantastically because there is an entire generation of people, approximately my age, that were affected similarly and hold the movie high on their list of favorites. For that reason, I classify it as very powerful and influential.
Go rent it and bring back the memories.