“Bridge Burner,” posted on 4.22.18: This morning I happened to read a great making-of-a-disaster article called “My Battles With Jon and Barbra,” a blow-by-blow account of the making of the 1976 version of A Star Is Born.
It was apparently written in a state of seething frustration by director and screenplay co-author Frank Pierson. Pierson, who passed in 2012, was arguably a better screenwriter (Cool Hand Luke, Dog Day Afternoon, Haywire, Presumed Innocent, Mad Men) than a director, but he certainly knew the realm.
Howe’s intro: “This is the infamous article, written by the director of A Star is Born and published shortly before the film had its premiere. Streisand and Jon Peters begged Pierson not to hurt their film by publishing it. The article was a betrayal to Streisand — a public airing of behind-the-scenes battles that, traditionally, were always kept private between director and star. It is included here so readers can understand why Streisand is so private and wary of the press.
“A different edit of the piece also ran in the November 15, 1976 issue of New York magazine. I’ve incorporated several of the excised sentences here, as well as scans of some of the photos that appeared in that magazine.
“In 1983, Barbra told journalist Geraldo Rivera: “Pierson’s article was so immoral, so unethical, so unprofessional, so undignified, with no integrity, totally dishonest, injurious. If anyone believes it, without examining who that person is, to try to put a black cloud over a piece of work before it’s even released: that’s the most important indication of who that person was.”
Again, the article itself.