The Stars Look Down is a visual education on British mining. A picturization of a subject long an uncomfortable wedge in the English social-political scheme, Stars would merit laurels alone for a faithful and gripping treatment. But film goes for more; it is a splendid dramatic portrait of those who burrow for the black diamond in England's northland. Direction is of class standing and picture is mounted with exactness of detail and technique.
The Stars Look Down is a visual education on British mining. A picturization of a subject long an uncomfortable wedge in the English social-political scheme, Stars would merit laurels alone for a faithful and gripping treatment. But film goes for more; it is a splendid dramatic portrait of those who burrow for the black diamond in England’s northland. Direction is of class standing and picture is mounted with exactness of detail and technique.
Adopted from A.J. Cronin’s novel of the mining town from where two sons seek different roads to success, one returning to foster misery, the other to fight on for its alleviation, film unrolls at steady pace a wealth of dramatic incident.
There are some gaps where treatment is not on par with dramatic situation. The Emlyn Williams part, the focal point of the tragedy, is under-developed, but director Carol Reed has guided well a cast that exacts the utmost generally. Michael Redgrave, as son of the strike-leader (Williams), a ne’er-do-well, and Margaret Lockwood, as a slut, share the starring honors.
The Stars Look Down
Grafton/Grand National. Director Carol Reed; Producer Isadore Goldsmith; Screenplay J.B. Williams; Camera Mutz Greenbaum; Editor Reginald Beck; Art Director James Carter
(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 104 MIN.
Popular on Variety
Last Time I Cried at the Movies
How Alfonso Cuarón Filmed that 'Roma' Beach Scene in One Shot
Rebel Wilson on 'Isn't It Romantic' Controversy: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'
'Lorena' Director: Howard Stern Owes Lorena Bobbitt a Public Apology
Daniel Radcliffe on Answering Prayers in 'Miracle Workers'
BTS Wants to Sing With Lady Gaga
How Miley Cyrus Set Up Her Duet With Shawn Mendes
Smokey Robinson Defends J. Lo’s Motown Grammy Tribute
Brandi Carlile on LGBTQ Representation: 'It's Important to Be Out in Your Music'
Rams vs. Patriots: Who Should Win Super Bowl LIII?
MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]
An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]
When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]
If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]
After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]
Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]
Graham Burke, the Australian film industry veteran, is to step down from Village Roadshow by the end of the year. His move follows a period of feuding among the family owners, and significant corporate restructuring. Describing the 2018-19 financial year, which runs to June, as a “reset and transition to FY20,” the group presented a [...]