Ask The Critic

A 'Star' Is Corn

What's the funniest movie that didn't mean to be funny? No easy answers like Plan 9 From Outer Space, either. -- Jerry

Unintentional laugh riots don't get much better than the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born. It seems to be taking place in some hilariously clueless alternate showbiz universe, where throngs of cheering kids could work themselves into fits of hysteria over Kris Kristofferson's growly, awful ''rock'' singing. As the rising superstar who tries to salvage his boozy soul, Barbra Streisand looks, and acts, like the world's most devoted poodle. The demented high point of their last-nail-in-the-hippie-era romance arrives when a desperate Kristofferson heads to the middle of the desert and builds a house, man, just like that.

What movie would I be shocked to learn that you've never seen? -- John

I'm not partial to Westerns, and though I've caught up with many of them over the years, I now confess before the world that I have never once seen the granddaddy of the Hollywood horse opera, John Ford's Stagecoach.

Originally posted Nov 21, 2003 Published in issue #738 Nov 21, 2003 Order article reprints