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The Stars Look Down (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 16 September 1940 (Sweden)
Davey Fenwick (Sir Michael Redgrave) leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with ... See full summary »


Carol Reed


A.J. Cronin (from the book by), J.B. Williams (screen play) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Redgrave ... Davey Fenwick
Margaret Lockwood ... Jenny Sunley
Emlyn Williams ... Joe Gowlan
Nancy Price ... Martha Fenwick
Allan Jeayes ... Richard Barras
Edward Rigby ... Robert Fenwick
Linden Travers ... Mrs. Laura Millington
Cecil Parker ... Stanley Millington
Milton Rosmer ... Harry Nugent, MP
George Carney ... Slogger Gowlan (as George Carnay)
Ivor Barnard ... Wept
Olga Lindo ... Mrs. Sunley
Desmond Tester ... Hughie Fenwick
David Markham ... Arthur Barras
Aubrey Mallalieu ... Hudspeth


Davey Fenwick (Sir Michael Redgrave) leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny (Margaret Lockwood) who gets him to marry her and return home as local schoolteacher before finishing his degree. Davey finds he is ill-at-ease in his role, the more so when he realizes Jenny still loves her former boyfriend. When he finds that his father and the other miners are going to have to continue working on a possibly deadly coal seam he decides to act. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


After location shooting in Workington, a replica of the pit head was built at Twickenham Studios and later reassembled at Shepperton Studios. At forty thousand square yards, it was the largest exterior set yet built for a British movie. See more »


[first lines]
Richard Barras: Well, Fenwick, will the men work tomorrow?
Robert Fenwick: Not if its to be in Scupper Flats, Mr. Barras.
[indicating a well-dressed union official]
Richard Barras: Even against your union?
Robert Fenwick: The union isn't being asked to work in Scupper Flats. On the other side of that coal seam is a million tons of flood water ready to rush right down on top of us.
Richard Barras: You don't think I'd take a chance in floodin' me own mine, do you, Fenwick?
Robert Fenwick: Well, show us the plans of them old workings, then!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S. release included additional narration spoken by an uncredited Lionel Barrymore. See more »


Version of ...e le stelle stanno a guardare (1971) See more »

User Reviews

A rare example of a British movie of the 30s-40s which deals sympathetically with "ordinary" people, here the coal miners of Northern England.
12 August 2007 | by dfswilliamsSee all my reviews

I watched and thoroughly enjoyed "The Stars Look Down" which was screened today as part of the BBC's Summer Festival of historic British movies, having read and enjoyed the novel many years ago but having never previously had an opportunity to see the movie.

It was of particular interest because the novelist, A.J. Cronin actually set the novel near my home town of Ashington in the North East of England, and got it pretty well right as he'd worked as a medic in the area for some years. Interestingly enough, I noticed that many US critics refer to it as being set in a "Welsh" mining village. This may well be because they recognised Emlyn Williams's accent as Welsh and the rest were a pretty mixed bunch - I spotted only one genuine North-East accent! Like all "Socialist Realism" the melodrama was overplayed - nonetheless, there was some truth and accuracy in there and it was fascinating to see how the movie treats coal miners - rightly, in my opinion - as heroic figures.

An unjustly neglected classic.

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Release Date:

16 September 1940 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

...a hvézdy mlcí See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grafton Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Ultra Violet Recording) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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