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Star in the Night (1945)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama, Family | 13 October 1945 (USA)

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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 »



(story), (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Nick Catapoli
Rosina Galli ...
Rosa Catapoli
Cowboy (as Dick Erdman)
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


Short | Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

13 October 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Classics of the Screen (1952-1953 season) #4: Star in the Night  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although not credited by choice, Star in the Night was co-written by Betty Smith who, at the time, was romantically involved with credited screen writer Bob Finch. The screen adaptation of Smith's best-selling novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, was also released in 1945. See more »


Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)
Written by John Francis Wade
Sung by a chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

STAR IN THE NIGHT (Don Siegel, 1945) ****
19 March 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

According to his autobiography, "A Siegel Film", the action-oriented director did not like his own first directorial effort, finding it "over-sentimental, cloying with syrup and gooey molasses"; consequently, he was surprised when it eventually won the Oscar for Best Short Subject! Personally, I have to disagree with him completely because this wonderful short, a surprising Christmas allegory, turned out to be one of the great, unsung Yuletide films. The three wise men are here replaced by rambling cowboys, a young married woman gives birth in a barn and there is even a benign tramp that vaguely represents John The Baptist! There are all-round fine performances, led by J. Carroll Naish as a cynical barkeeper (who manages to overcome a stereotypical Italian characterization) redeemed through the influence of the aforementioned stranger. Siegel never again did anything with this kind of warmth afterwards preferring to lean mostly towards hard-hitting subjects…which is perhaps why he (injudiciously) eyed this gem of a film with suspicion in his memoirs.

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