Some exceptional movies are so gentle, and achieve their effects so delicately, that the mere act of recommending them almost feels like a disservice to their charms. Can such movies bear the weight of high expectations? I fear overpraising MGM’s Stars in My Crown because of its simplicity and modesty, two elements that make it a convincing and winning piece of period Americana. After all, it doesn’t have a big pay-off; it isn’t ambitious; it’s merely a series of lovely scenes strung together. Did I say merely? We must not overlook the effort, however invisible, that goes into the creation of beguiling films like Stars in My Crown—including My Brother Talks to Horses (1946), Margie (1946), and Come Next Spring (1956)—that gracefully bring the past to very specific and evocative life. It’s no small feat to render a long-ago era onto the screen and have it just be. Stars in My Crown is a film that makes you want to go fishing or bake a chocolate cake, even if you’ve never wanted to do these things before. It’s a heartwarmer without goo.
excerpted from John DiLeo’s
Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery
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