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The Stars Look Down (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 16 September 1940 (Sweden)
Davey Fenwick (Sir Michael Redgrave) 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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

A.J. Cronin (from the book by), J.B. Williams (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Redgrave ... Davey Fenwick
Margaret Lockwood ... Jenny Sunley
Emlyn Williams ... Joe Gowlan
Nancy Price ... Martha Fenwick
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Richard Barras
Edward Rigby ... Robert Fenwick
Linden Travers ... Mrs. Laura Millington
Cecil Parker ... Stanley Millington
Milton Rosmer ... Harry Nugent, MP
George Carney ... Slogger Gowlan (as George Carnay)
Ivor Barnard ... Wept
Olga Lindo ... Mrs. Sunley
Desmond Tester ... Hughie Fenwick
David Markham David Markham ... Arthur Barras
Aubrey Mallalieu Aubrey Mallalieu ... Hudspeth
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Storyline

Davey Fenwick (Sir Michael Redgrave) 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 (Margaret Lockwood) who gets him to marry her and return home as local schoolteacher before finishing his degree. Davey finds he is ill-at-ease in his role, the more so when he realizes Jenny still loves her former boyfriend. When he finds that his father and the other miners are going to have to continue working on a possibly deadly coal seam he decides to act. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1940 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

...a hvézdy mlcí See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grafton Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Ultra Violet Recording) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented U.S. telecast of this movie took place in Philadelphia Sunday, January 2, 1949 on WCAU (Channel 10). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Barras: Well, Fenwick, will the men work tomorrow?
Robert Fenwick: Not if its to be in Scupper Flats, Mr. Barras.
[indicating a well-dressed union official]
Richard Barras: Even against your union?
Robert Fenwick: The union isn't being asked to work in Scupper Flats. On the other side of that coal seam is a million tons of flood water ready to rush right down on top of us.
Richard Barras: You don't think I'd take a chance in floodin' me own mine, do you, Fenwick?
Robert Fenwick: Well, show us the plans of them old workings, then!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S. release included additional narration spoken by an uncredited Lionel Barrymore. See more »

Connections

Version of The Stars Look Down (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best British films of its period
27 March 2017 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

One of the greatest British films of its period. Carol Reed directed this version of A J Cronin's novel in a free-wheeling, naturalistic style that belies its literary source. It's consistently cinematic in a way British cinema wasn't until the late fifties or early sixties. It's about coal-mining, (and the coal-mining sequences are superb), but it's also about politics and education and class and its various themes run seamlessly through the picture.

Michael Redgrave, in an early performance, is remarkably good as the idealistic young miner who educates himself and becomes a teacher but sells out and marries a heartless guttersnipe brilliantly played by a young Margaret Lockwood. Emlyn Williams is the spiv she really loves and Edward Rigby and Nancy Price are both superb as Redgrave's parents. In terms of style it's a much more primitive picture than some of Reed's later work such as "The Third Man" and "The Fallen Idol" but that works in its favour. This is a raw, highly energized picture and it's very moving.


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