Comparison between the theatrical version and the extended Encore version (both included on the American "Special Encore Edition" Blu-ray)
- 14 differences, incl. 3 scenes with alternate material and 1 re-cut
- Difference: 707.8 sec (= 11:48 min)
A STAR IS BORN and the Role of Music
The original A Star is Born was made back in 1937. Since then, the simple and timeless narrative has been used several times, it spun three remakes. In the original, a little farm girl arrives in Hollywood and finally gains the attention of an alcoholic mentor. The same plot was used in the 1954 remake with Judy Garland and James Mason, which is probably preferred by many viewers. In 1976, the remake with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson was moved to the musical sphere and the same is true for the 2018 version.
It stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who was also directing for the first time and proving his vocal talent. The song "Shallow", sung together, was a must-hear for many months and developed into a hit, for which the award as Best Song at the Oscars was almost certain. But also beyond Lady Gaga's standing as well as Cooper's unquestionable musical ability, the film could convince critics as well as the audience. A box-office result of more than 400 million US dollars as well as countless sold singles/soundtracks underlined this.
While the similarly successful Bohemian Rhapsody was only released on DVD/Blu-ray/4K-UHD in the familiar theatrical version, A Star is Born was announced with a 12-minute longer Special Encore Edition. Fans were explicitly baited with additional songs like "Is That Alright?" or "Clover". This version was released in the US on June 4th, 2019.
Additional material in the Special Encore Edition of A STAR IS BORN
At first, it is not surprising to note that most of the vocal pieces have been extended. For the best-known song "Shallow", only a short a cappella interlude has been added, but the interested listener should know enough about such performances anyway. All in all, it's easy to see why the scissors were used for the theatrical version, but for viewers of a music movie it's a welcomed thing anyway.
There are actually some small additional story/dialogue scenes apart from that. Dave Chappelle gets a lot more space in his guest appearance to give some wisdom. Also, the enthusiastic young band member Marlon is allowed to chat with Jack at length, even though this sequence is already very exhausting and doesn't offer much added value. Jack's suffering from tinnitus gets a bit more room and Sam Elliott unfortunately only appears a bit longer. None of that is earth-shattering.
Last but not least, there are a few moments with an alternate course, even though it's not too spectacular. Although equipped with completely the same visuals, the scene that follows immediately after the wedding stands out, because the other song in the background, which is accompanied by an expansion in the Encore Edition, changes the atmosphere a bit. Apart from that, these are only rounder transitions around additional material of the Encore Edition.
So do you need the long version now? Certainly not, but since at least the US Blu-ray or the British and French editions have both versions on board, this can already be seen as the preferred choice for a new purchase - if you haven't already bought the first Blu-ray that features only the theatrical version.
Runtimes are ordered as follows:
Theatrical version Blu-ray / Special Encore Edition Blu-ray
02:24 / 02:24-03:39
After half a turn, "Black Eyes" goes much longer and the intoxicated Jack may let the song fade away before he is brought away.
75,2 sec (= 1:15 min)
25:47 / 27:02-27:30
After Jack's "Holy shit!", Ally's parking lot A-capella of "Shallow" goes a little further. In between she asks "Is that stupid?".
36:50-36:57 / 38:34-39:08
A shot of Jack playing the guitar is a bit longer in the Encore Edition, the instrumental part of the song is much more elaborate.
Until the versions are synchronized again with the new vocals, the theatrical version contains a short alternate course or shortened moments from the Encore Edition.
Encore Edition runs 27,2 sec longer
53:48 / 55:59-58:37
After Jack went on stage, the complete performance is missing in the theatrical version. In the Encore Edition you can hear the song "Clover".
After that, they rehearse another track outside, on the bus and inside (partly connected with alcohol excesses).
158,7 sec (= 2:39 min)
65:07 bzw. 65:23-66:02 / 69:57-70:51
You can still see Jack and Ally romping around the house outside, Ally uses a swing.
Ally: "Look at me!"
Jack: "You're a natural."
Ally: "Thank you very much."
He takes her off the swing and as it still swings around her head, they both laugh.
Then there's cuddling in the bathtub, briefly suggested sex and Jack is still strumming around on the piano. This part follows unchanged in the theatrical version a few seconds later after getting to know the dog, therefore it is not illustrated.
Encore Edition runs 15,7 sec longer
66:02 / 71:07-71:14
But here in the Encore Edition you can see Ally scampering around with the dog for a bit longer.
71:17 / 76:29-77:17
Noodles talks to Jack a little longer.
Noodles: "I don't mean to get preachy, I'm just sayin', 10 years from now, what's gonna happen? You'll be payin' half price of the movies by then."
They both laugh and he continues: "Shit. It's landing, bro."
Noodles: "Are you gonna land it, or you gonna crash this motherfucker? Just tell me now. I don't have all the answers, but I just wanna see you be all right. That's all. That's all, man. How's your brother?"
Jack: "He's good."
76:29-76:51 / 82:29-85:05
After the wedding the two go on stage in the Encore Edition and dance to jazzy sounds. Then Ally sits down at the piano and performs her marriage vows again in half-sung form, including the track "Is this alright?". Jack is touched and at last you can see them smearing some cake in their faces.
In the theatrical version you can see identical material, which was used at the beginning and at the end also in the extended Encore scene. However, we hear the previous, quiet song, so that the atmosphere is quite different.
Encore Edition runs 134,9 sec (= 2:15 min) longer
84:50 / 93:05-93:44
After the passionate kiss, Jack sits at the piano for a while, puts on his headphones and plays something. A whistling sound can be heard throughout which could mean that Jack's tinnitus gets worse.
89:29 / 98:23-98:42
After the argument in the bathroom you can see Ally selecting more outfits and planning her tour.
Ally: "Boots... Knee-high boots."
Rez: "Mmm-mmm-mmm. Good call."
Ally: "I like the boots but I'd rather almost do, like, a long sheer thing."
Woman: "Got it, got it. Okay.
Rez: "You good?"
Ally laughs: "Yeah. I'm so good. What do you mean? We're planning my world tour. I'm fucking great."
Rez: "Good. I know it's exhausting."
91:36 / 100:49-101:19
Jack and Bobby come to the concert hall earlier and there is a little talk with a band member (Marlon) who sees Jack as the real star.
Jack: "Damn Déjà-vu."
Bobby: "Yes, buddy."
Jack: "How are you?"
Marlon: " Marlon."
Jack: "Marlon? Nice to meet you."
Marlon: "Yes. I must say, it's a great pleasure to share the stage with you."
Jack "Yes. Absolutely. That's a nice guitar."
Marlon: "Thank you very much, thank you very much. Thank you very much. But it kind of feels like you should be up there, you know."
Jack: "Up where?"
Marlon: "You should lead the prosecution. It's kind of upside down."
Jack: "How's that?"
Marlon: "It's the wrong way."
92:49 / 102:33-103:43
Here, too, Jack is seen much earlier with Marlon. There’s quite bumpy small talk, among other things about Marlon's homeland New Zealand.
Jack: "All right."
Marlon: "Do you feel good?"
Jack: "What is that?"
Marlon: "Do you feel well?"
Jack: "Yes, it feels great. That was good."
Marlon: "Man.... I'm all over the place."
Jack: "That was great, yeah. Hey, where are you from?"
Marlon: " New Zealand."
Jack: "Oh, New Zealand? Okay, great."
Marlon: "Yes. Have you been there before?"
Jack: "I was in..... The north. The North Island.
Marlon: "Oh, yeah? Yeah, I'm not going up there."
Jack "You've never been there?"
Marlon: "I don't know..."
Jack: "I think I flew to Auckland once."
Marlon: "Oh, yes? For a gig?"
Jack: "Yes. No, actually I saw a girl there."
Marlon: " Really?"
Marlon: "A kiwi girl?"
Jack: "No. She was from London."
Marlon: "From London? Ah..."
Jack: "Yes. I am Bungeejumped. The first time I did that."
Marlon: "Is that a euphemism?"
Jack: "I don't know what the word means, but.... Yes. That was really good. Have you been playing for a long time?
Marlon: "Have I played for a long time? Since I was born, yes."
Jack: "Ah, that's great."
Marlon: "Like you probably?"
Jack: "Yes. Well, not since I was born, but as soon as I picked up a guitar. Actually it was the piano first, but..... Yes."
Marlon: "Oh, yes? Well, you go with a guitar."
Jack: "What is that?"
Marlon: "You go with a guitar."
Jack: "Oh, great. That's a good thing, otherwise I made a big mistake."
Marlon: " Yes."
70,3 sec (= 1:10 min)
99:43-99:51 / 110:36-110:58
The scene with Jack and Ally in the bathroom is different.
The camera goes back in the Encore Edition and blurs. Finally, the tinnitus stops.
In the theatrical version you can see that in a clearly recognizable shot instead.
Encore Edition runs 13 sec longer
104:05 / 115:12-115:53
Jack introduces Carl and also performs a short a-capella.
Jack: "You met Carl?"
Carl: "Oh, yes."
Ally: "Yes, I did."
Jack: "Carl is a musician."
Carl: "No, I'm not a musician."
Jack: "Yes, you are. Of course you do."
Ally: "You are?"
Jack: "Yes, he has it in his soul. Oh, do you mind, just for..... And I hate to embarrass you people when they do, but this slow..."
He sings something in Yiddish.
Carl: "Thank you. I like your things too. Nice to meet you.
Ally: "Oh, thank you."
Jack: "This is forgotten music and he brings it back."
Carl: "See you later."