35 user 12 critic

The North Star (1943)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 4 March 1944 (Mexico)
A Ukrainian village must suddenly contend with the Nazi invasion of June 1941.



(original story and screenplay), (additional dialogue in new edition)

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

Nominated for 6 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Swamp Water (1941)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A hunter happens upon a fugitive and his daughter living in a Georgia swamp. He falls in love with the girl and persuades the fugitive to return to town.

Directors: Jean Renoir, Irving Pichel
Stars: Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis
Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

This is the story of the crew of a downed bomber, captured after a run over Tokyo, early in the war. Relates the hardships the men endure while in captivity, and their final humiliation: ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Dana Andrews, Richard Conte, Farley Granger
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Canadian Mountie of German descent feigns disaffection with his homeland in hopes of infiltrating and thwarting a Nazi sabotage plot.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Julie Bishop, Helmut Dantine
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man shows up at Kimberley Prescott's villa claiming to be her brother. But Ward Prescott died in a car accident a year ago, so how can this man be him? Despite Kim's protests that the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Todd, Anne Baxter, Herbert Lom
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War 2, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in 5 excavations across Egypt.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Cold War a Naval Intelligence officer endowed with a powerful photographic memory is transferred to the CIA to participate in a covert operation in Moscow.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Nigel Green
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Devil arranges for a deceased gangster to return to Earth as a well-respected judge to make up for his previous life.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A German spy ring plans to publicize a false rumor that Russia, who is fighting Germany, plans to invade neutral Turkey in order to ally them with the Nazis.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: George Raft, Brenda Marshall, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this family saga, Mrs. Parkington recounts the story of her life, beginning as a hotel maid in frontier Nevada where she is swept off her feet by mine owner and financier Augustus ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Edward Arnold


Cast overview, first billed only:
Kolya Simonov
Dr. Kurin
Sophia Pavlov
Clavdia Kurin
Dr. von Harden (as Erich Von Stroheim)
Rodion Pavlov
Grisha Kurin
Carl Benton Reid ...
Boris Simonov
Ann Carter ...
Olga Pavlov
Anna Kurin
Ruth Nelson ...
Nadya Simonov


In a peaceful Ukrainian village, the school year is just ending in June 1941. Five young friends set out for a walking trip to Kiev, but their travels are brutally interrupted when they are suddenly attacked by German planes, in the first wave of the Nazi assault on the Soviet Union. When the village itself is attacked and occupied, most of the men flee to the hills to form a guerrilla unit. The others resist the Nazis as well as possible, but soon the village is placed under the command of a Nazi doctor who begins using the town's children as a source of constant blood transfusions for wounded German soldiers. Meanwhile, the small group of young persons tries desperately to take a supply of firearms to the guerrillas. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Samuel Goldwyn's Masterpiece See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Unrated | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

4 March 1944 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Armored Attack  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-edited) (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's four leads, Anne Baxter, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan and Dana Andrews, also starred in Swamp Water (1941). See more »


During the wagon ride in the hay-cart while the peasants are singing, little Grisha is shown first with, then without, and finally with his harmonica. See more »


Damian Simonov: Be a man of the world in front of your own mirror. It's better that way - mirrors don't talk back.
See more »


Song of the Guerrillas
Music by Aaron Copland
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The changing winds of politics and war
9 January 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

... made this historical curiosity possible.

The German invasion of Russia transformed Stalin from one of Hitler's allies to one of ours, and made necessary the production of propaganda films -- this one, "Mission To Moscow", "Song of Russia" -- to bring everyone around to the new way of thinking. Hollywood liberals seem to have been keen to have the chance to make a pro-Soviet film.

"The North Star", therefore, has an impressive list of credits. Lewis Milestone directs a rather poor Lillian Hellman script, while the music is provided by the unusual combination of Aaron Copland and Ira Gershwin.

The story takes place in a Ukrainian farming village, where ordinary people are determined to resist the foreign aggressors, just as they are in "Dragon Seed" (1944) where the Japanese invasion of China is resisted by Chinese peasants Katherine Hepburn and Walter Huston.

Since this is a propaganda film, and just as realistic as "Dragon Seed", we see a lot of scenes of village life before war breaks out. It's an endless round of singing, dancing, picnicking, and accordion-playing. Everyone is expected to sing in this film, and that includes Farley Granger, Walter Huston, and Dana Andrews, who accompanies himself on balalaika. Listen closely for the jolly folksong about Soviet children eating too much jam. Girls always have flowers in their hair, and people never walk when they can gaily skip down the road. This is a typical Soviet village in the same way that the Von Trapps are a typical Austrian family.

In reality, the pre-war years in the Ukraine saw several million in the countryside starve to death during the artificial famine which was part of Stalin's forcible collectivization policy. In the area where this fairytale village is found, many of the locals welcomed the Germans as liberators.

The pre-war scenes in "The North Star" are certainly ridiculous, but in spite of everything they do manage to have a certain goofy charm. The film changes dramatically for the worse once war breaks out. Most of the film consists of extended battle sequences which are never very convincing or persuasive, where something poignant -- villagers having to set fire to their own houses -- will be followed by something stupid -- cavalrymen leaping from horses through windows at Germans.

Anne Baxter at the end, in a scene intended to evoke Tom Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath", delivers an inspiring speech from her cart. It's a little embarrassing to sit through, but by that point in the film, you've gotten used to it.

32 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
to all the Soviet bashers and neo-Cold Warriors dohistory
Where can this be seen LEGALLY? sareroam2002
Every day's a picnic at the commune! blackcat-77
American Fools WisdomThreeNine
Grisha Avalon123
68 Years to see rest of film goonbird
Discuss The North Star (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: