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Star in the Night (1945)

 -  Short | Drama | Family  -  13 October 1945 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 458 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

It's Christmas Eve. Three cowboys have just bought out a store of items as Christmas presents, despite not having anyone to give the presents to. While two of them admit to wanting to ... See full summary »



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Title: Star in the Night (1945)

Star in the Night (1945) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
J. Carrol Naish ...
Nick Catapoli
Donald Woods ...
Rosina Galli ...
Rosa Catapoli
Cowboy (as Dick Erdman)
Lynn Baggett ...
Maria Santos
John Miles ...
Cowboy (as Johnny Miles)
José Santos (as Tony Caruso)


It's Christmas Eve. Three cowboys have just bought out a store of items as Christmas presents, despite not having anyone to give the presents to. While two of them admit to wanting to impress the pretty sales clerk, the third just felt good buying gifts to give to someone. Riding through the dark desert on horseback, they see a flashing star off in the distance, which they ride over to investigate. The newly purchased second hand star is a sign just erected by Nick Catapoli for his business, the Star Auto Court. Nick has no Christmas spirit, especially as he deals with the problems of customers, this despite his wife Rosa serving all their customers with a smile and warm heart. He believes most people are hypocrites in that they espouse this spirit at this one time of the year while not having it any other time. As such, he does not want to extend his lobby as shelter for a drifter who just wants to come in from the cold for a little while. Although the drifter tries to explain the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | star | present | desert | cowboy | See more »


Short | Drama | Family







Release Date:

13 October 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una stella nella notte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was director Don Siegel's first commercial theatrical release. See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
Sung by one of the cowboys at the beginning
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece
7 January 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Star in the Night (1945)

**** (out of 4)

Brilliant updating of The Nativity Story has a small diner owner (J. Carrol Naish), a bitter man, opening his doors to a wide range of people on Christmas Eve. Included in this group are a hitchhiker (Donald Woods), a couple expecting a baby and three cowboys. Even though this film only runs 21-minutes I still think it's one of the best of the decade. The film won an Oscar for Best Short but it also marks the directorial debut of Don Siegel who would go onto direct several Clint Eastwood films. The movie tells a story we're all familiar with but it takes it to the next level with its warm characters and strong message. There's a mysterious undertone to the hitchhiker character that really reminds me of something we'd see decades later in The Twilight Zone. The future TV shows had the same feelings that are present in this film, which of course was made years later. Another strong thing are the performances with Naish leading the way. Naish was always a fine character actor but his performance here is chilling and might be the best I've ever seen from him. The same with Woods who brings so much life to his character even though he says very little. This film is flawless from start to finish so it's a real shame more people don't know it but thankfully Turner Classic Movies show it each year around the holiday.

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