Lost in the Stars

Overview

Lost in the Stars was an American Film Theatre adaptation of the musical play by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill--which in turn was based on the Alain Paton novel Cry the Beloved Country. Brock Peters portrays a South African minister who goes to the Big City to locate his son Raymond St. Jacques, who is now a criminal in the eyes of the white rulers. The minister forges a curious, foredoomed friendship with a white farmer (Paul Rogers). Lost in the Stars has sometimes been accused of blunting the edge of Paton's...
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Overview

Lost in the Stars was an American Film Theatre adaptation of the musical play by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill--which in turn was based on the Alain Paton novel Cry the Beloved Country. Brock Peters portrays a South African minister who goes to the Big City to locate his son Raymond St. Jacques, who is now a criminal in the eyes of the white rulers. The minister forges a curious, foredoomed friendship with a white farmer (Paul Rogers). Lost in the Stars has sometimes been accused of blunting the edge of Paton's angry study of the cruelties of Apartheid; fans of musical theatre will be more politely inclined to this loving filmization of the Broadway play. On its own, Cry the Beloved Country was previously filmed in 1951, with Canada Lee, Sidney Poitier and Charles Carson.
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Special Features

Theatrical trailer; "Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson, and Lost in the Stars" - an essay by Michael Feingold, Chief Theatre Critic, The Village Voice; The AFT Cinebill for Lost in the Stars; An Interview With Edie Landau - Executive in Charge, the American Film Theatre; Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera - AFT promotional reel - 1974; The American Film Theatre trailer gallery - includes a complete list of the AFT films; The American Film Theatre Scrapbook; Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Lost in the Stars is a far from perfect musical, but its strengths are such that most viewers willingly overlook its flaws. Criticized by many for presenting a view of apartheid that they see as somewhat patronizing (a charge that applies equally to the book upon which the musical is based), the larger problem with Stars is that Maxwell Anderson and Alfred Hayes' screenplay is often too earnest and polemical. Still, the writers have created a basic human situation that is compelling and engrossing, and this more often triumphs over the occasional didacticism. Most importantly, Stars benefits from a glorious, transcendent Kurt Weill score that includes the haunting and overwhelming title song and the tortured "Cry the Beloved Country," as well as the beautiful "Trouble Man." Director Daniel Mann's work is a tad unimaginative, especially given the material, but he handles his cast very well. Brock Peters scores impressively as the minister, torn between his God and his son, and a young Melba Moore does extremely well as Irina. Though not as cinematic as one might wish, Stars is undeniably powerful.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2003
  • UPC: 738329029326
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Letterbox
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 46,846

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brock Peters Stephen Kumalo
H.B. Barnum III Alex
Ivor Barry Carmichael
Ji-Tu Cumbuka Johannes
Clifton Davis Absalom
William Glover Eland
John Hawker Paulus
John Holland Van Jarsdale
Harvey Jason Arthur Jarvis
Paula Kelly Rose
Melba Moore Irina
Paulene Myers Grace
Paul Rogers James Jarvis
Raymond St. Jacques John Kumalo
Alan Weeks Matthew
Myrna White Linda
John Williams Judge
Michael-James Wixted Edward Jarvis
Technical Credits
Daniel Mann Director
Edward Lewis Producer
Walter A. Hannemann Editor
Robert B. Hauser Cinematographer
Alfred Hayes Screenwriter
Paula Kelly Choreography
Ely Landau Producer
Alex North Musical Direction/Supervision
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Kurt Weill Score Composer
Henry T. Weinstein Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "The Hills of Ixopo" [4:18]
2. "Train to Johannesburg" [9:06]
3. "Thousands of Miles" [5:25]
4. "The Little Gray House" [4:35]
5. "Big Mole" [7:38]
6. "Trouble Man" [8:52]
7. "Murder in Parkwold" [2:03]
8. "Fear!" [9:17]
9. "Lost in the Stars" [4:04]
10. "Stay Well" [3:54]
11. "O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me!" [11:25]
12. "Cry the Beloved Country" [6:37]
13. The Sermon [1:47]
14. "Cry the Beloved Country" (Reprise) [10:21]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scenes
   Special Features
      Lost in the Stars Theatrical Trailer
      "Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson, and Lost in the Stars" by Michael Feingold
      The AFT Cinebill for Lost in the Stars
         Alan Paton: What Now for South Africa?
         A Glossary of South African Words Used in This Film
         Epitaph for a Composer
         Maxwell Anderson: An Appreciation
      An Interview With Edie Landau
         Play Interview
      Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera
      Trailer Gallery
         Play All
         The First Season
            Butley: Play
            A Delicate Balance: Play
            The Homecoming: Play
            The Iceman Cometh: Play
            Lost in the Stars: Play
            Luther: Play
            Rhinoceros: Play
            Three Sisters: Play
         The Second Season
            Galileo: Play
            Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris: Play
            The Maids: Play
            The Man in the Glass Booth: Play
      The American Film Theatre Scrapbook
         A Letter From Ely Landau
         "Ely Landau Presents the American Film Theatre" - An Article by Larry Gross
         An Interview With Ely Landau
         Very Nice for Us All by Edward Albee
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