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Stars in My Crown
Directed by Jacques Tourneur • 1950 • United States
Starring Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell
One of Jacques Tourneur’s most remarkable films, this pastoral chronicle of a Reconstruction-era southern town centers on idealistic preacher Josiah Gray (Joel McCrea), as seen through the adoring eyes of his orphaned nephew (Dean Stockwell). With a brace of pistols at his waist and a bible in his hand, Parson Gray leads Walsburg in prayer, song, and moral example. Yet the parson’s powers will be tested when typhoid sweeps the town and a white businessman sics a racist mob on a black farmer (Juano Hernandez) who won’t surrender his land. A work of enveloping nostalgia and firm moral principle, STARS IN MY CROWN is a wistful cinematic hymn unlike anything else in American film.