Of Stars and Men
|Of Stars and Men|
|Directed by||John Hubley|
|Produced by||John Hubley
|Written by||Dr. Harlow Shapley (original book)|
|Narrated by||Dr. Harlow Shapley|
|Distributed by||Brandon Films|
|April 28, 1964 (New York City premiere)
May 13, 1964 (general release)
Of Stars and Men is a 1964 animated film from the Hubley family of animators, based on the 1959 book of the same name by astronomer Harlow Shapley, who also narrates. Made in the style of a documentary, it tells of humankind's quest (in the form of a child) to find its place in the universe, through themes such as outer space, physical matter, the meaning of life and the periodic table. There are no character voices; instead, they "talk" through their actions. It has been cited as an example of an "animated documentary".
When it was finished, the film was first screened during a conference at MIT's Visual Department. The film's public premiere was on April 28, 1964 at New York's Beekman Theater, along with a collection of Hubley/U.P.A. shorts (Moonbird and Gerald McBoing-Boing among them) which preceded its showing. The critical reception was uniformly positive.
Its genre was a matter of contention among festival curators. At the Venice Film Festival, Of Stars and Men was placed in the live-action feature category, while at the San Francisco Film Festival, it competed in the documentary category and won an award.
- Review of Of Stars and Men by Bosley Crowther (1964, April 29). The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2007. (Registration required to read.)
- DelGaudio, Sybil. If Truth Be Told, Can Toons Tell It? Documentary and Animation. Film History 9:2 (1997) p. 189-199
- Beck, Jerry (2005), pp. 181–2. The Animated Movie Guide. ISBN 1-55652-591-5. Chicago Reader Press. Accessed May 23, 2007.
- Of Stars and Men at the Internet Movie Database
- PBS' Independent Spirits page about the Hubleys (includes clip from the film; RealPlayer required to watch)
- TV Guide review
- Harvard Square Library's full text scan of Shapeley's original book.
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