A Ukrainian village must suddenly contend with the Nazi invasion of June 1941.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 6 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After claiming his daughter's childhood-sweetheart killed the marshal, one man finds himself in conflict with his daughter, his fiancée and many of the townsfolk.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Margaret Hayes, Robert Vaughn
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

American soldiers stranded in the Philippines after the Japanese invasion form guerrilla bands to fight back.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Tyrone Power, Micheline Presle, Tom Ewell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Elwin Kettle might win a scholarship to an agricultural college. Essay contest judges Mannering and Crosby decide to choose between the two finalist by spending the weekend at the home of ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Alan Mowbray
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Kettles and their fifteen children are about to be evicted from their rundown rustic home when Pa wins the grand prize by coming up with a new tobacco slogan. Birdie Hicks is jealous of... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Richard Long
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden
The Sandpiper (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint
Ivy (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An Edwardian belle meets a rich bachelor, but what to do about her husband and her lover?

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Drama following the lives of an immigrant farm family in Maine.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Jean Muir, Donald Woods, Russell Hardie
Bedside (1934)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Bob Brown uses his bedside manner to charm his patients while his partner makes the actual diagnoses.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Warren William, Jean Muir, Allen Jenkins
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Al is a down on his luck promoter who is thinking of taking the final bow when he meets Jan, the singing porter. He sees something in Jan so he signs him to a contract. Al works odd jobs to... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Jane Froman, James Melton
Desirable (1934)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man meets the daughter of his lover and they begin to fall in love.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Jean Muir, George Brent, Verree Teasdale
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A well-cloistered and protected-against-reality group of college students get their diplomas in the heart of the Great Depression, and quickly learn that the piece of paper the diploma is ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Franchot Tone, Jean Muir, Margaret Lindsay
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

A rolling wall of hell that couldn't be stopped... A handful of men who had to stop it!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 November 1944 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Armored Attack  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-edited) (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the severely re-edited, re-titled re-release, all references to the Russian nationality of the participants in the original story was either eliminated or obscured. See more »

Goofs

In the opening moments of the film, Damian slides out from under a tractor that has rubber tires. Moments later the tractor is shown as having only steel wheels and no rubber tires. See more »

Quotes

Karp, old wagon driver: Anna! Anna! Where's Pavel Grigorich? I've come to be his guest at breakfast.
Anna, doctor's cousin-housekeeper: Stop shouting! Don't be so young with the voice.
Grisha Kurin, doctor's grandson: You'll have to come back, Comrade Karp. Grandpa is still asleep. A new baby came to the hospital last night and then Grandpa came home and did his writing
[to Comrade Karp]
Clavdia Kurina, doctor's granddaughter: Good morning!
[to Grisha]
Clavdia Kurina, doctor's granddaughter: That's not the way you say it. You say, 'A baby came into the bright world in the darkest part of the night.'
Anna, doctor's cousin-housekeeper: Don't talk so pretty.
See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Fatherland
(uncredited)
Music by Aaron Copland
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hollywood does agitprop -- and succeeds
26 April 2004 | by (Corpus Christi TX) – See all my reviews

In the early 1960's, when "The North Star" was being syndicated to local TV stations as part of their late-night fodder, the film was re-cut and booked under the title "Armored Attack." That version featured an apologetic introduction by an off-screen narrator, explaining that despite the fact the movie's characters were from the same nation, the Soviet Union, that had recently brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in October 1962, Russians were, at one time, America's allies in a war against a common foe -- Fascism. And thus was the rationalization of featuring a story that actually dared to picture the agrarian population of a southern Socialist Republic (Ukraine) as humane and sympathetic.

Thankfully, Lewis Milestone's classic has been re-released in its original form. I don't know if that says much about the political enlightenment of contemporary American film-viewers, but "The North Star" is obviously propaganda -- yet clearly more anti-Nazi than pro-Communist. And while screenwriter Lillian Hellman's sentiments did lean Left, she, like Orwell, despised tyranny, no matter from what extreme of the political spectrum it appeared.

Much has been made of the folk-peasant sentimentality that dominates the first half-hour of the film by other posters to this site, so I'll dispense mention of that here. Suffice it to say, however, that from the first scene of violence -- a merciless daytime bombardment of civilians on a quiet Ukrainian country road -- the film gathers emotional strength. And when Anne Baxter, playing a schoolgirl, gazes for the first time upon the horrific vision of her school chums, now dead as the result of mechanized warfare, she states evenly, "We're not young anymore." And as the rest of the movie demonstrates, she means it. She and a few others escape into the forest, emerging now and then to engage in hit-and-run sabotage against the Nazi aggressors. The film builds to a climax in which Russian partisans astride horses attempt to take back their village from the better-equipped Germans, giving director Milestone an opportunity to reprise the long tracking shots of approaching figures that became his trademark visual motif.

When Samuel Goldwyn produced "The North Star," he pulled out all the stops. He enlisted James Wong Howe to photograph and William Cameron Menzies to design the production. The cast, besides Baxter, includes Dana Andrews, Farley Granger, Walter Huston, and, as the Nazi You Love to Hate, the legendary Erich Von Stroheim, as a German military doctor who compromises his professional oath through medical experimentation. Supplies of blood for the German wounded have dried up, so Dr. Von Stroheim orders the children of the village rounded up and brought to the local school, where he draws great quantities of blood from them -- so much so, that a few of the kids die from the process. Effective and highly dramatic, it certainly beats visions of the Hun boiling Belgian babies in oil.


32 of 37 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:
?