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Stars in My Crown, Easter Morning

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brandonlinden
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Stars in My Crown, Easter Morning

Postby brandonlinden » March 21st, 2008, 7:21 am

When is a western not a western?
Joel McCrea stars in this crown, a post civil war story about a pastor (from the Confederate side) who ventures out west to start a congregation and a family.
So yes, it is set in the west but it is closer in spirit to the gentle Americana John Ford handled in his Will Rogers pictures or The Sun Shines Bright. But this is not an Americana that denies the reality of the post war, complete with Klansman and a devastating epidemic.
If Jean Renoir directed a western...but it is not Renoir, instead Jacques Tourneur the man who brought us Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie who directs with an assurance that lets the actors be quiet (Nobody shouts in a Tourneur film) and paints a portrait of a community. This was his personal favorite film.
Finally, let me add that this is the perfect Easter film because it is about re-birth, how we can find that rebirth in a community. It is also about "how to be good" (and how hard that is),
It is also extremely charming and not on DVD
Have a great Easter or a great weekend!

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » March 21st, 2008, 8:13 am

I caught this last time it was on. Practically unheard of, this film has a loyal following here and at TCM.

You're right. It's a bit of Americana. Not really a western except in its time frame. McCrea is his pretty good in a milder role (compared to some of his later westerns.)

Not a great film but certainly enjoyable. Hale gets lots of compliments for his role. It also has a pre-"Gunsmoke" casting of James Arness (uncredited) and Amanda Blake though they don't appear together.
Last edited by movieman1957 on March 21st, 2008, 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Chris

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Dewey1960
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Postby Dewey1960 » March 21st, 2008, 8:49 am

Thanks for the heads up, Brandon. Tourneur is my favorite Hollywood director and STARS IN MY CROWN is a film of his I've never seen. After ChiO extolled its virtues so eloquently on these very boards a few months ago, I was determined to finally catch up with it in its next go-around! Thanks again!

klondike

Postby klondike » March 21st, 2008, 8:51 am

Not much I can add here; this film is an often overlooked gem of its era, a Western that breaks the genre mold, I feel, by being so much more than a typical Western.
I can make this observation though: every time I watch it, I am overtaken by the judgement that it is Alan Hale who ultimately almost steals the whole film with his more-than-a-cameo supporting character role.
Along with Mssr. Tourneur, I suspect AH might well have considered this movie a personal favorite on his resume'.
:wink:

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Ann Harding
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Postby Ann Harding » March 21st, 2008, 11:22 am

I was very lucky to discover Stars in My Crown on a big screen many years ago. It became a favourite of mine instantly. They even showed the trailer which I adored. 8)
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=713
I watched the film again recently on an old VHS; it was as lovely as I remembered it. :)

An amusing aside: I was really fascinated by Ellen Drew's apple pealer and corer machine. Actually, they are now really fashionable again here in Europe. :wink:

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Mr. Arkadin
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Postby Mr. Arkadin » March 21st, 2008, 10:02 pm

I deleted this message
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Ann Harding
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Postby Ann Harding » March 22nd, 2008, 4:53 am

I completely agree with that, Mr Arkadin! This film gives you a real sense of happiness. 8)

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moira finnie
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Postby moira finnie » March 22nd, 2008, 6:59 am

Ark,
You could not have expressed the beauty & power of this movie more aptly. Thanks to Brandon, Klon, Chris and everyone for bringing its place on the TCM schedule to our attention here. I suspect that this film will be a newly discovered classic for many after Easter morning.
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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » March 22nd, 2008, 10:02 am

What stayed with me after the one time I've seen it is, as Brandon said, Community and, more importantly to me, memory of that Community.

The narrative is told by Stockwell as an adult -- so it is through his memory of events that we learn of the story. But he didn't witness some of the events, so we are really seeing his memory of tales (aided by some first-hand witnessing) about the community.

Tourneur creates a Myth of Community that we want to accept. Print the legend.

But Tourneur is wise enough to have faith in his audience with that last shot. As wonderful as the Community may be, some may remain the Other or the Outsider and never be fully embraced by the Community. No matter how beautiful the Myth that we try to create may be, it remains -- as we do -- imperfect.

Yeah, I'll be up at 5am to see this.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Mr. Arkadin
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Postby Mr. Arkadin » March 22nd, 2008, 3:02 pm

I know the scene you are talking about ChiO and you're absolutely right. I won't ruin it for others, but it really makes us re-evaluate everything we have seen beforehand. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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knitwit45
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Postby knitwit45 » March 23rd, 2008, 12:50 pm

I am soooo mad. I DVR'd this movie this morning, then sat down to watch after lunch. I was to the point where the parson confronts the men in Begley's store, and Jim Arness slips out to warn his dad and the parson, AND THE MOVIE STOPPED!!!!! I don't know if there was a time change, or if my cable provider slipped up, but I DON'T KNOW HOW IT ENDED!!

Could someone pm me and tell me what happened? I'm sure it resolved, and that poor Uncle Famous probably came out wounded if not worse, but the Alan Hale angle has me baffled. From what the discussion has been on this thread, he was the "star" of the movie. WHAT HAPPENED, PLEASE!!!!!!


Nancy

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knitwit45
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Postby knitwit45 » March 23rd, 2008, 4:05 pm

Thanks to Chris and Mr. A, I know the ending to this sweet movie. Thanks, fellas!

Joel McCrea seemed so comfortable and at ease in this movie. Some of his movie perfomances make me think his shoes are too small or his collar too tight, but not this time. Thanks to everyone who gave a heads up about this film. Hope they show it again, soon.

Nancy

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ChiO
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Postby ChiO » January 26th, 2009, 5:18 pm

This is on TCM tomorrow morning (Jan. 27 at 9:30am EST). A film never to be missed.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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ChiO
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Re: Stars in My Crown, Easter Morning

Postby ChiO » March 5th, 2010, 10:29 am

It's not Easter yet (but it is Dean Stockwell's birthday), but it's being shown today on TCM at 4:15pm. If you haven't seen it (or recorded it), now's the time! If you have seen it and recorded it, it's still the time.

And, as Fate would have it, I programmed and am moderating a Lenten Film Series at my Church on Friday nights. On tap for tonight: STARS IN MY CROWN. I'm getting choked up already.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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movieman1957
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Re: Stars in My Crown, Easter Morning

Postby movieman1957 » March 5th, 2010, 11:32 am

Let us know how it goes.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."


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