22 user 4 critic

Star in the Night (1945)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama, Family | 13 October 1945 (USA)
Three cowboys riding across the desert with gifts for no particular recipient, see a distant bright light and find it comes from the Star Auto Court sign where the owners and guests work together to help a young pregnant wife and husband.



(story), (screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
... Nick Catapoli
... Hitchhiker
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 | Western


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?


Vitaphone production reel #1401A. See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
Sung by one of the cowboys at the beginning
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User Reviews

The updated story of the Nativity-with a little Christmas Carol twist tossed in.
19 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

This short, which won an Academy Award, is a modern day variant on the Nativity, complete with a Scrooge, wonderfully done by J. Carroll Naish. This short was a marvelous vehicle for this veteran character actor and he shines in the spotlight. This short runs on Turner Classic Movies between films, with Christmas Eve and Day as natural opportunities to catch this at least once. It's a longish short, but most definitely worth the time and effort to catch. Most recommended.

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