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Stars in My Crown (1950)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family, Western  |  11 May 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,108 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 13 critic

In 1865, the small Southern town of Walsburg has become so dangerous that Parson Josiah Doziah Gray gives his sermons while holding a gun.



(novel), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Josiah Doziah Gray
Harriet Gray
Jed Isbell
Dr. Daniel Kalbert Harris, Sr.
Dr. Daniel Kalbert Harris, Jr.
Faith Radmore Samuels
Juano Hernandez ...
Uncle Famous Prill
Charles Kemper ...
Prof. Sam Houston Jones
Connie Gilchrist ...
Sarah Isbell
Lon Backett
Jack Lambert ...
Perry Lokey
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
Chloroform Wiggins
Narrator (voice)


Civil War veteran Josiah Grey comes to a small town to be a gospel minister. In time he has a family and many friends, but he also finds friction with a few of his parishioners. A young doctor grates at what he feels is the parson's interference in the scientific treatment of patients, and a mine owner resents Grey's protection of an old sharecropper whose small plot of land stands in the way of his continued mining. Grey must face a public health crisis and a lynch mob as a result, all seen and described through the eyes and memory of Grey's young nephew John. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Take your choice ... either I speak ... or my pistols do !


Drama | Family | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estrelas da Minha Coroa  »

Box Office


$1,175,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Taylor and Van Heflin were originally slated to star in the film. See more »


Beulah Land
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User Reviews

McCrea Classic a Family Must-See!
3 December 2002 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

'Stars in My Crown' is over 50 years old, yet in it's humor, it's message of brotherhood, and it's depiction of small-town Western America at a time when religion was the true center of everyone's lives, this film has rarely been equaled!

The story is told through the observations of young John Kenyon (sensitively portrayed by Quantum Leap's Dean Stockwell, with Daktari's Marshall Thompson voicing Kenyon as an adult), who lives with Soldier-turned-Minister Josiah Dozier Grey (Joel McCrea, in one of his finest performances) and his wife, Harriet (Ellen Drew). Grey is kind, warm, and totally sincere, with a penchance for telling funny stories with a Message, rather than being 'preachy' short, the kind of Parson who can win hearts, as well as souls!

Grey's congregation includes some of Hollywood's finest character actors, including Lewis Stone (Judge Hardy) as a crusty old doctor, James Mitchell (Days of Our Lives) as his doubting physician son, Alan Hale (The Adventures of Robin Hood) as a Civil War buddy with a large family (including 'Matt Dillon' James Arness!), Amanda Blake (who would costar with Arness in 'Gunsmoke') as the schoolmarm, Arthur Hunnicutt (The Big Sky) as a local character nicknamed 'Chloroform'(!), Oscar-winner Ed Begley as a rich mine owner, and, in a remarkable performance, Juano Hernandez as 'Famous Uncle Prill', a Black farmer who experiences with dignity the racism of the time.

Director Jacques Tourneur, best-known for his gothic classic 'Cat People', shows patience and restraint, allowing the story to build under its own steam, which gives the climaxes (a typhoid epidemic and a Klan near-lynching) an emotional wallop. McCrea's scene with the incensed Klan members foreshadows Gregory Peck's confrontation with the lynch party in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', and is truly unforgettable.

'Stars in My Crown' is a rich, wonderful film that your family will cherish. It is on the short list of my favorite films, and is one that you can enjoy for years to come!

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