Stars in My Crown (Tourneur, 1950)

Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur, 1950)

Post-Civil War, two white boys ride in the back of a wagon atop a pile of freshly harvested crop after spending a day with their families helping a local black landowner after his property is ransacked and destroyed. They discuss God in only the way innocence and pure hearts can, all the while doing the work that would make Him proud. This is the kind of integrity littered throughout this film. A hard-nosed, ‘love thy neighbor’ small town drama, Stars in My Crown in no way tries to hide its traditional setting and approach. While it teeters on the edge of being overly ‘aw shucks’, its captivating and authentic tone helps restore a balance to the realism. It’s almost impossible to not get sucked in and feel like a member of this community, and when it comes to small town settings, as a viewer it’s hard to ask for more (even despite the somewhat frequent, but mostly forgivable, flaws in storytelling).  8.25/10

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