Of Stars and Men

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Of Stars and Men
Directed by John Hubley
Produced by John Hubley
Faith Hubley
Written by Dr. Harlow Shapley (original book)
Starring Mark Hubley
Hampy Hubley
Narrated by Dr. Harlow Shapley
Distributed by Brandon Films
Release date(s) April 28, 1964 (New York City premiere)[1]
May 13, 1964 (general release)
Running time 53 min.
Country United States
Language English

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".[2]

When it was finished, the film was first screened during a conference at MIT's Visual Department.[2] 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.[1] The critical reception was uniformly positive.[2]

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.[2]

Of Stars and Men received a VHS release from Buena Vista Home Video in July 1990, and had its DVD debut from Image Entertainment nine years later, as part of a compilation of Hubley productions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Review of Of Stars and Men by Bosley Crowther (1964, April 29). The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2007. (Registration required to read.)
  2. ^ a b c d 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.

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