Of Stars and Men

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Of Stars and Men
Directed byJohn Hubley
Written byHarlow Shapley (original book)
Produced byJohn Hubley
Faith Hubley
StarringMark Hubley
Hampy Hubley
Narrated byHarlow Shapley
Distributed byBrandon Films
Release dates
  • April 28, 1964 (1964-04-28) (New York City premiere)[1]
  • May 13, 1964 (1964-05-13) (general release)
Running time
53 minutes
CountryUnited States

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.[2] 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".[3]

When it was finished, the film was first screened during a conference at MIT's Visual Department.[3] 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.[3]

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.[3]

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]


  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. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
  3. ^ 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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