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The Stars Look Down [1940]

Director:Carol Reed
Writer:J.B. Williams
Composer:Hans May
Length:110 minutes
(1 hour 50 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Drama
IMDB Rating:7.4/10
Amazon Rating:3.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to marry her and return home as local schoolteacher before finishing his degree.

Reaction: A bit heavy on the drama. Could use a bit more humor to lighten it up here and there, but it's not bad.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Carol Reed => Director
J.B. Williams => Writer
Hans May => Composer
A.J. Cronin => Novel
Allan Jeayes => Richard Barras
Aubrey Mallalieu => Hudspeth
Ben Williams => Harry Brace
Cecil Parker => Stanley Millington
Clive Baxter => Pat Reedy
D.J. Williams => Union Committee Chairman (uncredited)
David Horne => Mr. Wilkins
David Markham => Arthur Barras
Desmond Tester => Hughie Fenwick
Dorothy Hamilton => Mrs. Reedy
Edmund Willard => Mr. Ramage
Edward Rigby => Robert Fenwick
Emlyn Williams => Joe Gowlan
Frederick Burtwell => Union Official
George Carney => Slogger Gowlan
Ivor Barnard => Wept
James Harcourt => Will
Kynaston Reeves => Strother
Linden Travers => Mrs. Laura Millington
Margaret Lockwood => Jenny Sunley
Michael Redgrave => Davey Fenwick
Milton Rosmer => Harry Nugent, MP
Nancy Price => Martha Fenwick
Olga Lindo => Mrs. Sunley
Scott Harold => Headmaster Strother

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Carol Reed disowned the film, calling it "a gloomy little piece". He expected it to be a box office disaster and was highly surprised when wartime audiences warmed enthusiastically to it.
  • Michael Redgrave was normally very disdainful of films, preferring the stage. However, as a committed socialist, he was particularly proud of his involvement in The Stars Look Down.