The Heart-Wrenching "A Star Is Born" Trivia Quiz

By: Julie Medina
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

This musical drama captured the heartache of an aspiring singer who falls in love with a handsome star, only to find her career eclipsing his.

What is the name of the actress who portrays Esther Hoffman?

Barbra Streisand portrays Esther Hoffman in the 1976 version of "A Star is Born." This film is a remake of two earlier versions – the 1937 version was a drama starring Janet Gaynor, and the 1954 version was a musical starring Judy Garland.

What is the name of the actor who portrays John Norman?

Kris Kristofferson portrays John Norman in the 1976 version of "A Star is Born." This film is a remake of two earlier versions – the 1937 version was a drama starring Frederic March, and the 1954 version was a musical starring James Mason.

Besides acting, what else did Barbra Streisand do in the movie?

Barbra Streisand not only acted and sang in this movie, but also co-produced it with Jon Peters. At the time, Jon Peters was Barbra Streisand’s hairdresser-turned-producer and Streisand’s boyfriend.

Frank Pierson directed the movie. What other roles did he fill?

Frank Pierson was one of the writers of the screenplay as well as directed the movie. At this point in his career, he was a top screenwriter with such movies as "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975). With "A Star Is Born," he made the leap to directing. Did you know this film was remade, just as the other versions were remade into "A Star is Born"? In 2013, "A Star is Born" was remade in Bollywood as "Aashiqui 2."

Who was the actor who portrayed John’s manager?

The cocaine- and alcohol-enabling manager, Bobbie Ritchie, is portrayed by Gary Busey. Gary Busey has appeared in over 150 films, including "Lethal Weapon" (1987), "Predator 2" (1990), "Point Break" (1991), "Under Siege" (1992), "The Firm" (1993), "Carried Away" (1996), "Black Sheep" (1996), "Lost Highway" (1997), "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998), "The Gingerdead Man" (2005) and "Piranha 3DD" (2012).

What is the character name of John’s producer?

Paul Mazursky portrays Brian Wexler, John Howard’s producer who promises to listen to and produce the new music that John has begun to write. Paul Mazursky is a film director, screenwriter, and actor. Mazursky is well known for writing and directing "An Unmarried Woman" (1978), "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" (1969), "Blume in Love" (1973), "Harry and Tonto" (1974), "Moscow on the Hudson" (1984), and "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986).

What is the name of the character who is a spacey reporter that ends up being discovered in bed with John?

Marta Heflin played Quintin, a spacey reporter who will do anything to get an interview. It was the typical or quintessential scene where the husband gets caught in bed with a woman. In press for "A Star Is Born," Heflin told reporters that Barbra “was really like a big sister, very helpful and very professional.” Marta Heflin is best known as having appeared in Robert Altman's films, "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" and "A Perfect Couple."

What is the name of Esther’s singing group?

The singing group was called the Oreos, starring Venetta Fields and Clydie King as well as Barbra Streisand. Venetta Fields is a back-up vocalist for American and British rock and pop acts of the 1960s and 1970s, including Ike & Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Steely Dan, and the Rolling Stones. Clydie King is also a back-up singer who recorded with B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Dickey Betts, Joe Walsh, and many others. Barbra was in good company.

Who says this? "You can trash your life, but you're not going to trash mine."

Esther tells John this in the peak of her rage. She finally expresses to him that she has confidence in herself, and doesn't need him. However, she would give everything up for him – her career, everything. In real life, Barbra Streisand should have confidence in herself. This was her tenth film.

Barbra Streisand changes her clothing many times throughout the film. Who was the costume designer?

Barbra Streisand told "In Style" magazine, “I designed the dress. I took a couple of my silver and black shawls and draped them. Isn't that cool? Slinky, snaky, shiny. I gave myself a little credit at the end of the movie—it just said, 'Miss Streisand's clothes from her closet.' I was made fun of, but it was the truth!”

What is the name of John’s band?

John tours with Speedway in the beginning scenes of the film, but they eventually leave sue to his lack of devotion. This lack of devotion was caused by John falling in love with Esther. While John promotes Esther's career, John's career falls by the wayside. Barbra Streisand wanted the part of John Norman Howard to be played by either Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando or Mick Jagger.

When the Oreos are not singing in night clubs, how else do they make money?

The Oreos land a job singing for a TV marionette for "Trinidad Coconut Oil Shampoo." Although Esther is not a singing waitress, she does work as a drive-in waitress in one of the restored cut scenes.

What is the name of the DJ that keeps hounding John?

Bebe Jesus was played by a real DJ known as M. G. Kelly. In the film, John sees Esther, who is recording a jingle for a TV commercial when he brings a case of Jim Bean whiskey to the DJ, along with an apology for his actions. Things don’t go well and John ends up throwing the case of whiskey through the window of the recording studio.

What lessons did Barbra Streisand take to play the character of Ester?

Barbra studied guitar before filming began because she wanted to be authentic. Her teacher, Lori Barth of Studio City, California, received some press after the film opened. Barbra didn’t want to cut her nails to play the guitar, so Barth told her, “Okay, no guitar lessons,” then she left. Barth continued, "About a month later, her secretary called me and said, 'Barbra's had her manicurist cut her nails and she wants to start guitar lessons right away.'"

Which of these songs were on the soundtrack?

These were just some of the songs on the soundtrack album. The album held the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart for six weeks and was certified 4x platinum by RIAA for more than 4 million copies, with a reported 15 million copies sold worldwide.

What other songs do you recognize from the soundtrack?

All of the above plus "Hellacious Acres," "Crippled Crow" and the finale, "With One More Look at You/Watch Closely Now." The soundtrack album also reached number one in the UK and Canada. Plus, it reached number three in Australia and number ten in Norway.

Who else was considered for the role of Esther?

Although Streisand nailed it, there were others in consideration for the role. All of the above, including Helen Reddy. In March 2015, it was announced that Bradley Cooper would be starring in, directing, and co-producing the remake. In August 2016, it was announced that singer-actress Lady Gaga would be starring and composing new music for the remake.

Who are the presenters when Esther accepted the Grammy Award?

Tony Orlando and Rita Coolidge present Esther with the Grammy Award. Kris Kristofferson’s then-wife Rita Coolidge appeared as herself. Kris Kristofferson almost didn’t get the role, due to a conflict over publishing rights.

There was much controversy behind the scenes in this film. How did Director Frank Pierson and Barbra Streisand get along?

Director Frank Pierson was so angered by his experience working with Barbra Streisand on this film that he wrote a first-person account, published in both "New York" and "New West" magazines, detailing what a horrible experience it had been. Pierson portrayed his star as egocentric, manipulative and controlling. The article was published just prior to the film's release in December 1976, and Streisand and Pierson have never worked together again.

What did Streisand do to interest Elvis in the role of John Howard?

She went to Las Vegas to see Elvis after one of his performances in 1975 and talked to him directly, to convince him to play the part. Elvis wanted to do it but Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, was angry that Streisand did not come to him first. Colonel Tom Parker had many demands if they wanted Elvis that the studio couldn’t agree with, although The King himself wanted to do it.

What famous choreographer worked on "A Star Is Born"?

The film was choreographed by David Winters of "West Side Story" fame, who worked closely with Streisand to perfect the movie's dancing sequences. Besides producing, designing her own wardrobe, staring and singing, Streisand had no time to create her own choreography.

How did Kris Kristofferson get along with Barbara Streisand?

Kris Kristofferson said: "Filming with Streisand is an experience which may have cured me of the movies." Kristofferson did not get along with the Director, Frank Pierson, either. In fact, he compared making the movie to going through Ranger School, the elite US Army Ranger program, which he did in 1963. In Ranger School, you sleep an average of three hours every 24 hours, and your skills and will to succeed are constantly challenged to the maximum for three months.

Where was the majority of the movie filmed?

Most of the movie was filmed in Tucson, Arizona, although the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, was used for the concert scene. In addition, there were some studio scenes shot at Warner Bros. Burbank Studio, and the Grammy Awards scene was filmed at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.

Who says this? “I’d rather believe that tastes change, like eyebrows. But I also think that also like eyebrows, tastes are going back to natural.”

In the film both the character, Esther, and the actor, Barbara Streisand, wanted to be very natural and authentic, whether it was eyebrows or singing. For example, Streisand wanted "Evergreen" to be a live recording, filmed in a single take. Streisand wanted to be able to have close-ups during the scene (which would expose any flaws in lip sync), and she wanted a more "natural" feel to that version (as evidenced by the kissing and laughing). Kris Kristofferson was reluctant about singing live on screen.

What does John Howard ride during his concert?

John Howard, high and drunk, takes a fan’s motorcycle and started riding it on stage. He gets hurt when he loses control of the bike, and both bike and star fall off the stage. Did you know that Neil Diamond was seriously considered for the role of John Norman Howard, but had to turn it down due to his concert commitments? Diamond and Streisand know each other from high school - they both attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn.

Which song from the movie has these lyrics? "Time has come again, And love is in the wind, Like some music in a dream, You made them all come true, When you came inside of my life."

This song came from a beautiful scene from the film when Esther and John Norman write "Lost Inside Of You" together. It’s magical. Did you know that "A Star is Born" was the first Dolby System film released with rear channel information, making it the first Dolby surround sound film?

Why does John kill himself?

John thinks if he takes his life, that he will then not drag Esther down with him. According to writer and director Frank Pierson in his "New West" magazine article entitled, “My Battles With Barbra and Jon," he says. “…it is not that her success galls him, or that she wins over him; the tragedy is that all her love is not enough to keep alive a man who has lost what he measures his manhood with; his career."

What other theme runs through this movie?

According to Groucho Reviews, ”…no theme resonates more…than the circus atmosphere surrounding a superstar (a key sequence being an arena show turned Bacchanalia, with audience frenzy fueling artist frenzy), the irrational neediness of the audience and the psychic toll on the individual-turned-celebrity.” What’s interesting is, the behind-the-scenes controversy made filming this movie even more of a circus.

Where can you view some of the unpublished footage of "A Star Is Born"?

In 2006, the Region 1 DVD of "A Star Is Born" was released in North America in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with extras, including a full-length commentary by Barbra Streisand, 16 minutes of never-before-seen footage and additional footage, as well as the original wardrobe test.

How was the film received?

Reviews have been largely negative. "A Star Is Born" has a 31% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews. Paul Mavis, reviewing Warner's 2006 disc release of "A Star is Born" for DVD Talk, wrote, "There is something of value in 'A Star is Born'--one thing--and that's Kris Kristofferson's amazingly adept, heartfelt performance as the doomed rock star, self-destructing despite the love of an up-and-coming singer. However, the box office showed the audience loved it. It was the second-highest grossing film of 1976.

Which song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song?

The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Evergreen," with the award shared by its songwriters, Streisand and Paul Williams. The movie was also nominated in the categories of Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Original Song Score.

Because of the outstanding songs, the film made an impact. How is it recognized by the American Film Institute?

AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs is a list of the top 100 songs in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute in 2004, in a CBS special hosted by John Travolta, who appeared in two films honored by the list, "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease." "A Star Is Born" is recognized for the song "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" as number 16 out of 100 films.

Which song won a Grammy Award?

"Evergreen" won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The Oscars and the Grammy Award were not enough for this song. Streisand and Williams also won Golden Globes for Best Original Song.

How many Golden Globe Awards did the film win?

"A Star Is Born" won five Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy; Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Streisand); Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Kristofferson); Best Original Score (Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher); and Best Original Song (Streisand and Williams for "Evergreen").

Even though there was a lot of controversy surrounding this movie, how did the film do at the box office?

The film was a blockbuster - on a budget of $6 million, it earned $80 million. As for the controversy, according to several Barbra Streisand bios, she mentioned that she directed a few minor scenes herself, after she and Frank Pierson disagreed over the necessity of those scenes.

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