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Stars In My Crown [Remaster] (1950)

Joel Mccrea , Ellen Drew , Jacques Tourneur  |  G |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Mccrea, Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell, Alan Hale, Lewis Stone
  • Directors: Jacques Tourneur
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P8R9VG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Folks in Walsburg may want to pay heed to the brace of pistols holstered onto Josiah Gray's hips. In time, they may want to pay even more heed to the Bible in his hand. Gray (Joel McCrea) is the newly arrived parson in the woodsy post-Civil War Tennessee town. And the true test of his strength will come when, during his greatest and most dangerous challenge, he sets aside his six-shooters and relies on his faith. McCrea brings a quiet resolve to this touching tale burnished through the recall of the pastor's impressionable nephew (Dean Stockwell). Based on the novel by Joe David Brown (who would later provide the source novel for Paper Moon), Stars in My Crown shines with a powerful, simple dignity.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McCrea Classic a Family Must-See! December 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
'Stars in My Crown' is over 50 years old, yet in it's humor, it's message of brotherhood, and it's depiction of small-town Western America at a time when religion was the true center of everyone's lives, this film has rarely been equaled!
The story is told through the observations of young John Kenyon (sensitively portrayed by Quantum Leap's Dean Stockwell, with Daktari's Marshall Thompson voicing Kenyon as an adult), who lives with Soldier-turned-Minister Josiah Dozier Grey (Joel McCrea, in one of his finest performances) and his wife, Harriet (Ellen Drew). Grey is kind, warm, and totally sincere, with a penchance for telling funny stories with a Message, rather than being 'preachy'...in short, the kind of Parson who can win hearts, as well as souls!
Grey's congregation includes some of Hollywood's finest character actors, including Lewis Stone (Judge Hardy) as a crusty old doctor, James Mitchell (Days of Our Lives) as his doubting physician son, Alan Hale (The Adventures of Robin Hood) as a Civil War buddy with a large family (including 'Matt Dillon' James Arness!), Amanda Blake (who would costar with Arness in 'Gunsmoke') as the schoolmarm, Arthur Hunnicutt (The Big Sky) as a local character nicknamed 'Chloroform'(!), Oscar-winner Ed Begley as a rich mine owner, and, in a remarkable performance, Juano Hernandez as 'Famous Uncle Prill', a Black farmer who experiences with dignity the racism of the time.
Director Jacques Tourneur, best-known for his gothic classic 'Cat People', shows patience and restraint, allowing the story to build under its own steam, which gives the climaxes (a typhoid epidemic and a Klan near-lynching) an emotional wallop.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem July 6, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Orson Welles' definition of movies as a "ribbon of dreams" helps account for cinema's special hold on human consciousness. To return to a film that we may remember seeing as children is more than revisiting the past: it's reexperiencing the actual moment of wonder that was ours the first time we saw the film.

"Stars in My Crown" is a film that has stayed with me since I saw it at Rockford, Illinois' proud Coronado Theater over 50 years ago. It's a first-rate "B" movie by a director who excelled at making such pictures--Jacques Tournier. I suspect that my lifelong attraction to the movie had more to do with the star (Joel McRae, as a tough yet gentle preacher) and the hymn providing the title (after seeing the movie I began to search every church hymnal for "Stars in My Crown," usually with disappointing results) than with the director's resourceful style (only in recent years have I become aware of Tourneur as a creative filmmaker, thanks to Scorcese's praise of him).

The film's achievement is to combine pastoral elegy (it foregrounds the narrator's memory of a nostalgic time and community) with singular realism in its portrayal of race relations in the South. In fact, it "humanizes" the Klan while making them redeemable. In the film's remarkable climax they're transformed by the power of the "Word" from murderous, rampaging brigands into chastened stars in the preacher's crown.

But even with its inflammatory racial theme, the more interesting subtext is the story's representation of the conflict between science and religion. The preacher and doctor, in effect, become engaged in rivalry for the town's affections. When the doctor stems the typhoid epidemic, he's embraced by the town as its new hero.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic, heartwarming experience July 11, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A great cast and authentic flavor make this movie well worth watching. It is based on Joe David Brown's novel; although some of the novel's best parts are ommitted, the film is true to most of the story. It deals with community and racial issues, so it's not fluff, but can teach and inspire. END
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Movie February 14, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a wonderful story of a preacher with principles who's not afraid to stick to them. You'll love where he delivers his first sermon in town and how he gets the people's attention! Even in the face of tragedy, he is true to himself, his family, and his God.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) presents "STARS IN MY CROWN" (1950) (89 min/B&W) -- Starring Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell, Alan Hale, Lewis Stone, James Mitchell & Amanda Blake

Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Civil War veteran Josiah Grey (Joel McCrea) comes to a small town to be a gospel minister. In time he has a family and many friends, but he also finds friction with a few of his parishioners. A young doctor grates at what he feels is the parson's interference in the scientific treatment of patients, and a mine owner resents Grey's protection of an old sharecropper whose small plot of land stands in the way of his continued mining. Grey must face a public health crisis and a lynch mob as a result, all seen and described through the eyes and memory of Grey's young nephew John

Director Jacques Tourneur, shows patience and restraint, allowing the story to build under its own steam . Giving the climaxes a typhoid epidemic and a Klan near-lynching, an emotional wallop. Joel McCrea as the take charge parson is understated as always, but never hogs the spotlight and seems to have a great respect for The Story. McCrea's scene with the incensed Klan members foreshadows Gregory Peck's confrontation with the lynch party in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', is truly an unforgettable moment in this wonderful film.

Must make mention that acting honors go to the fabulous Juano Hernandez as Uncle Famous, a peaceful black man who refuses to give in to racial intimidation in his own easy-going way --- The ending packs a wallop. Won't soon forget the truly haunting image of those two blank sheets of paper thought to be the last will and testament of Uncle Famous', being swept along in the wind.
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