Stars in My Crown

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Family, Western
Director(s): Jacques Tourneur
Production: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
 
IMDB:
7.5
APPROVED
Year:
1950
89 min
127 Views


# Will there be any stars,

any stars in my crown #

# When at evening the sun goeth down #

# When I wake with the blessed

in those mansions of rest #

# Will there be any stars in my crown? #

# I am thinking today

of that beautiful land #

# I shall reach when

the sun goeth down #

# When through wonderful

grace by my savior I stand #

# Will there be any stars in my crown? #

# Will there be any stars,

any stars in my crown #

# When at evening the sun goeth down #

# When I wake with the blessed

in those mansions of rest #

# Will there be any stars in my crown? #

# Oh, what joy it will be #

# When his face I behold... #

Hear that?

Might say I was raised on that song.

Hearing it takes me back...

back to the old times when I was young,

Back to Walesburg.

According to the words of the song,

We're promised a city

of gold in the hereafter.

I used to think that was a

long time to have to wait.

But I know now that

there is a city of gold

Right here on earth

for every one of us...

the city of our youth.

Walesburg's only one

name for it; that's all.

Walesburg not as it is

now, but as it used to be.

I just have to shut

my eyes, and I'm there.

Nothing's changed.

Even I haven't changed.

I'm always a boy in Walesburg.

And there at my side, just as he'll

always be, is the Parson... Parson gray.

And passing before me are all the people

who were a part of my growing up...

People like Mrs. Belcher,

who took in boarders,

And her niece faith Samuels,

the district schoolteacher.

Sweet, pretty miss Samuels.

Did you hear that, john?

Granny Gailbraith, who could remember

Seeing George Washington.

Thad Carroll, who had served as

drummer boy at the first bull run.

Lon Backett, who kept the general

store and had a finger in every pie.

Even chloroform Wiggins.

His ma had never heard of

chloroform until he was born,

And she thought it was

a mighty pretty name.

And all the others,

Walesburg people.

Gone now, most of them,

And yet as close to me still

as people in a favorite story...

a story that had its

beginning before I was born

On the day the Parson

arrived in our town.

Of course, this wasn't

much of a town then

In those first hard years

That followed the war

between the states,

But it suited the Parson

Right from the minute

he stepped off the train

And started to look around.

He must have attracted

plenty of attention

As he walked down main

street for the first time

In his brand-New black pulpit coat

And faded gray cavalry breeches

And his big old bible in his hand.

But he just kept on walking till

he got to jerry Higgins' saloon.

He didn't have to call for quiet.

It just followed him through

that room like a hound dog.

Boys, I'm your new preacher,

And I aim to give my first

sermon right here and now.

Thanks.

Now, seeing that this is as

new to me as it is to you...

I reckon we'd best

begin at the beginning.

"In the beginning was the word,

"And the word was with god.

And the word was god. "

From that day on,

Walesburg and the Parson

kind of grew up together.

He preached around in back rooms,

And he prayed in parlors,

And he led the singing in barns.

# Shall we gather at the river #

# Where bright angel feet have trod #

# With its crystal light forever #

# Flowing by the throne of god #

# Yes, we'll gather at the river #

# The beautiful, the beautiful river #

# Gather with the saints at the river #

# That flows by the throne of god #

And by the time work

started on the Parson's church,

His victory was won.

Just about everybody in Walesburg

took a hand in that church building.

And if ever a house of god or man

was put together with loving hands,

This one was.

Yes, the Parson's church is one of

the nicest parts of the Parson's story.

And now I was in the story, too.

Had been ever since I could remember.

My parents had died when I was small,

So I'd come to live

in the Parson's house,

Sharing the Parson's heart

with the Parson's wife,

Who was my aunt Harriet.

What's this? Dinner not ready yet?

Garfield, we better get a new cook.

Enjoy the service this morning, Harriet?

Humph.

Well, now I'm glad to hear that.

Everyone else was saying what

a good service it was, too.

John Kenyon, you know,

You don't have to do

everything the Parson does.

Yes'm.

You know, to tell you the truth,

I thought it was a pretty

good service myself.

Don't you laugh at me, Mr. Gray.

Why, Harriet, honey,

What gives you the idea

I'm laughing at you?

Here I am standing around

with a big smile on my face

Just 'cause I feel good, and you...

yes, well, all I have to say is,

You ought to feel ashamed of yourself.

I was brought up to believe

That a man who broke his

solemn promise to a lady

Was a pretty poor sort of a man.

Oh, Harriet, I guess you found me out.

I am a pretty poor sort of man.

I was intending to mention it sooner.

Something always came up.

This morning was just the last straw.

You know you promised me

time and time and again

That as long as I played

the organ for the services,

I could choose the hymns.

So I have.

Yes, and promise is all you do.

Never mind what I want to sing;

What anybody else in

Walesburg wants to sing.

Oh, no, week in, week out,

It's that old stars in my crown.

I like stars in my crown.

Oh, I know you do, Mr. Gray.

I assure you, it's common knowledge.

Never hear the last of it in this world.

And I suppose if you have your way,

It'll be the same in the next.

John, you put those shoes

and stockings right back on.

They make my feet hot.

I don't care. You're not

Going to run around

barefoot on the Sabbath.

It isn't respectful.

Shoo.

Aw, Garfield.

Language?

Now, john, do exactly as

your aunt Harriet says.

Any woman who can bake a

chocolate cake as good as this

Deserves all the

consideration she can get.

Now, Harriet, honey,

About this hymn business.

It's for you to say what you want done

And for me to do it.

Don't be shy about

expressing your desires.

Just speak right up,

And I won't open my mouth...

except to do the preaching.

If the day ever comes when

you don't open your mouth...

that's my last word, Harriet...

except to do the preaching.

# Will there be any stars #

# Any stars in my crown #

# When at evening the sun goeth down #

# When I wake with the blessed #

# In those mansions of rest #

# Will there be any stars in my crown? #

After the

Parson and my aunt Harriet,

The most important people in my world

Were uncle famous Prill

and his old dog belle.

Uncle famous knew everything

about hunting and fishing,

And I don't guess there was

a boy or man in Walesburg

Who hadn't had him for a teacher.

# Any stars,

any stars in my crown #

# When at evening the sun goeth... #

Hello, john.

Hello, chloroform.

Hello, uncle famous.

Chloroform.

Where are y'all going?

Fishing.

That's where I thought you was going.

Well, good-Bye, john.

Bye, chloroform.

Bye, uncle famous.

Chloroform.

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Margaret Fitts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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