Strike a light


A new A Star is Born film is out; a new one was a due as it keeps the sequence of one every other decade going.  Although -3 in 1954 when the second one came out, it is my favourite, as I enjoyed James Mason playing Rommel in it.

However, it was the 1976 version which I saw at the pictures: The Granada, Clapham Junction.

It was a time when they still had B-movies at the cinema.   The B-film before the Barbra Streisand classic was a grainy, black & white film about Ernest Rutherford and him splitting the atom.  There were no songs like Evergreen in this film; not even a clip of the future 1st Baron Rutherford for Nelson humming Don’t rain on my parade.

Aside from me and my aspiring Barry Norman mates, there was a bloke sitting down the front (arguably better than sitting in the back)) of the cinema. Thirty-minutes into the atom-splitting film the nutter turned around to me and my mates and asked: “Is this the Barbra Streisand film?”

The lack of naked bath scenes and an aging star driving into the distance (not to mention the lack of songs) were the giveaways.   We suggested it wasn’t but stick with it as we’d paid our 4/6 (or whatever cinema entrance was in 1976) and there is a bath scene!

The main attraction started. Towards the end the Streisand character sings at a concert and several lights are lit from within the audience.  This was the cue for the nutter to get his powerful, out-of-control French lighter out to join in the memorial of a lost friend.

Within seconds the Fire Brigade was called, he was frog-marched out by a fleet of usherettes and submerged in a giant water tank, lighter held aloft, singing “Hello Dolly”.

That’s showbiz!


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