Would This Scene Be Better If...? Garland's Shouting Match in A Star is Born (1955)

Spoiler alert.

Sometimes even highly-acclaimed movies leave you wondering if some scene "would have been better if." Take, for instance, the second to last scene of the award-winning drama A Star Is Born (1955).

Movie star Vickie Lester (Judy Garland) is depressed and will not return to work. This comes after a distressing scene at her husband's funeral where neither her fans nor the press will leave her to grieve.

Later, her best friend Danny (Tommy Noonan) stops by to coax her out of the funk. When she gets stubborn about it, Danny shouts at Vicki and taunts her with biting sarcasm. He follows her around the room screaming in her face and she returns the favor; I almost expected someone to get slapped.

By the end of the scene, she's ready to return to work.

Perhaps it's my visceral aversion to people shouting at each other that's making me uncomfortable here, but, coming on the heels of her husband's funeral,wouldn't this scene have been better if  they used the same dialogue but played it quieter? One of them should have been more subtle to offset the other person's hysterics.

Her reactions to his prodding are appropriately grief-stricken; after all, she's unexpectedly become a widow. But should he have underplayed? Tell me what you think.


Video link of the scene doesn't work.[Thanks for telling me, Silver Screenings.] I've substituted with a screenshot of the scene.


  1. I am more bothered by how quickly she changes her mind about going to the benefit and; the editing in this scene just seems too choppy. Tommy Noonan's performance in this particular scene is not up to par with what Garland is doing, either.

    1. DaveandWeb,
      Very good point about how quickly she changes her mind! Maybe that's really what's bothering me. When she finally makes it to the theater, she almost cannot walk when she spies a memento from her first meeting with the late husband.

      Why didn't she just call off the performance? You'd think people would understand she needs a break.
      Sometimes movies are so aggravating.

      Thanks for dropping by.
      -- Java

  2. I wasn't able to play the clip because it was blocked.(?) Anyhoo - I know the scene and I agree with you. A more subdued approach would have made it more powerful.

    1. ...more powerful and less distressing for the audience. I wanted to tell Danny to back off.

      Thanks for letting me know about the blocked Youtube video. Couldn't find another so I uploaded a screenshot.


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