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Stars in My Crown

G Released Mar 17, 1950 1h 29m Drama List
Reviews 88% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
Man of God Josiah Gray (Joel McCrea) is determined to bring religion to the people of Walesburg, a dusty southern town still healing from the Civil War. Though initially Josiah must hold his parishioners at gunpoint, in time he wins over the community and marries his organist, Harriet (Ellen Drew). As the years pass, a number of situations arise, including a typhoid outbreak and a hostile mob, in which Josiah must prove that God is the only force that can restore peace in Walesburg. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (3) Critics Reviews
Richard Brody New Yorker One of Hollywood’s frankest and fiercest depictions of racist violence. Jul 5, 2023 Full Review Michael E. Grost Classic Film and Television Beautiful, joyous religious film. Aug 9, 2007 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews A fine example of an old-fashioned heartwarming family film. Rated: B+ Nov 5, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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kevin w Interestingly enough, this one from 1950 features an undercurrent all too prevalent in these modern times of a divided country. A small town is the scene in this heavily nostalgic play on "the good ol' days", designed to appeal to a longing for "simpler times", a place where most folks are just getting by, everybody knows everybody and events all go by pretty slowly. But a epidemic brings sad times ~ as well as a bitter argument between the town doctor and the local preacher. Which is the best way, science and new thinking versus tradition? The resolution is well-played, sympathetic and even if a bit slow, not completely unbelievable. Not bad. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Surprisingly, not sappy, or overbearing. In fact, quite believable and inspirational. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member I saw this movie when I was eight years old. It's dramatic affirmation of social justice, solidarity and creativity in turning around a mob has been a precious part of my life ever since. Though I forgot most of it, the scene of reading the "will" which led to the lynch leader throwing down the rope has been etched in my memory. I was active in my local church and believe this was the first time it became clear to me that faith meant standing up for justice in a calm, courageous and heartelt was that could call forth the bes in a very violent and greedy man. This film was an address on its time, and even more so an inspriation for ours. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review s r A bit of racial undertones set up this feel good family flick. It was a bit contrived, but has its moments. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member At first, I thought this was just another John Ford-esque tale of small town American life in the inner West, but gradually its folksy charms and dark realities won me over. Joel McCrea is the Parson who comes to Walsburg after the Civil War to build community; he takes a wife (Ellen Drew) and together they raise a young orphan (Dean Stockwell) who narrates the tale. We are treated to numerous anecdotes from the town's life but the major plot threads involve 1) the gruff young doctor who conflicts with the Parson over how to treat the typhoid epidemic that attacks the town; and 2) the old sharecropper whose property stands in the way of the town's mining interests and who is confronted one dark night by the KKK. Mostly though, this is a gentle, affectionate picture with human characters who may or may not believe in God but do believe in having a strong sense of community. Whether or not the world was ever like this, it does seem a shame when it's gone. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Wonderful, inspirational unsung masterpiece The story of a preacher in a small town in the United States, circa 1870s: his interactions with the townsfolk, ups and downs, trials and tribulations. On the surface, a western. Even the preacher brandishes six-shooters (initially)! However it is soon obvious that it is more than that. It is a wonderful look at a small town, how its citizens bond together, how some try to take advantage of others, how they have fun and how they deal with adverse events. A study of a much more innocent and idyllic time. Throw in some great life lessons and other inspirational morals, and you have a fantastic, emotional, heart-warming story. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Stars in My Crown

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Movie Info

Synopsis Man of God Josiah Gray (Joel McCrea) is determined to bring religion to the people of Walesburg, a dusty southern town still healing from the Civil War. Though initially Josiah must hold his parishioners at gunpoint, in time he wins over the community and marries his organist, Harriet (Ellen Drew). As the years pass, a number of situations arise, including a typhoid outbreak and a hostile mob, in which Josiah must prove that God is the only force that can restore peace in Walesburg.
Director
Jacques Tourneur
Producer
William H. Wright
Screenwriter
Margaret Fitts
Production Co
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Rating
G
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 17, 1950, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 5, 2012
Runtime
1h 29m
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