Review: ‘The North Star’

Samuel Goldwyn as the producer and Lillian Hellman, the writer, team to tell of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet. As entertainment, however, there's too much running time consumed before the film actually gets into its story and, in parts, it is seemingly a too-obviously contrived narrative detailing the virtues of the Soviet regime.

Samuel Goldwyn as the producer and Lillian Hellman, the writer, team to tell of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet. As entertainment, however, there’s too much running time consumed before the film actually gets into its story and, in parts, it is seemingly a too-obviously contrived narrative detailing the virtues of the Soviet regime.

Setting the background for the actual climax is a long and sometimes tedious one. The early parts of the film are almost always colorful in depicting the simple life of the villagers around whom this story revolves, but it’s a question of too premeditatedly setting, a stage of a simple, peace-loving people who, through the bestiality of the enemy, are driven to an heroic defense that must, in time, become legendary. For this is the story of the Soviet people as seen through the eyes of a small village.

Hellman’s story, when she finally gets around to it, is a parallel one, dealing with a picnic group that’s suddenly called on to rush arms through the German lines to their guerrilla comrades when the sudden invasion catches them unawares while on a walking trip. It is an exciting tale from here on in.

1943: Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, Sound, Special Effects

The North Star

Production

RKO. Director Lewis Milestone; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay Lillian Hellman; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Daniel Mandell; Music Aaron Copland

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1943. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Anne Baxter Dana Andrews Walter Huston Walter Brennan Farley Granger Erich von Stroheim
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