The Stars Shine

The Stars Shine (German: Es leuchten die Sterne) is a 1938 German musical revue directed by Hans H. Zerlett and written by Zerlett and Hans Hannes.[1][2][3]

The Stars Shine
(Original title: Es leuchten die Sterne)
DVD cover
Directed byHans H. Zerlett
Produced byHelmut Schreiber
Written byHans Hannes
Hans H. Zerlett
StarringErnst Fritz Fürbringer
Fridtjof Mjøen
Paul Verhoeven
Karel Stepanek
Music byPaul Lincke
Ernst Kirsch
Leo Leux
Franz R. Friedl
Mathias Perl
CinematographyGeorg Krause
Edited byElla Ensink
Distributed byTobis Film
American Tobis Company
(United States)
Release date
  • 17 March 1938 (1938-03-17) (German theatrical)
CountryNazi Germany


A young secretary leaves the country and travels to Berlin to seek work as an actress. In a comedy of errors, she is mistaken for a famous dancer, which results in her heading the cast of a star-studded musical. The plot acts as a backdrop for this musical revue film, which includes many German film, sports, and entertainment stars of the 1930s.


Es leuchten die Sterne was a remake of the 1930 Tobis film Die Große Sehnsucht (The Great Yearning), directed by Stefan Szekely, a Hungarian Jew.[4] The remake was created as a Busby Berkeley-style musical set inside a movie studio,[5] and featured appearances by numerous stage personalities, athletes, and Tobis Films stars.[6] Joseph Goebbels was Propaganda Minister and considered entertainment films to be the best type of media with which to convey the political message of the Nazi regime.[7][8] Es leuchten die Sterne was created, as were many German films of the period,[9] to act as a propaganda piece promoting the Third Reich as a cultural entity.[8][10][11]


The film was first released in Germany on 17 March 1938. This was followed by a release in the Netherlands on 29 April, and then in the United States on 20 May as The Stars Shine.[12] It was released in various countries under different titles: in Belgium as Als de sterren schitteren (Flemish) and as Quand les étoiles brillent (French); in Italy as Brillano le stelle; in Denmark as Funklende stjerner; in Greece as Lampoun t' asteria; in France as Les étoiles brillent and as Vedettes follies; and in the Netherlands as Parade der sterren and Sterrenparade.[10] The film was released on DVD in its original German version on 21 July 2008 by Warner Home Video.[2]

Excerpts from the film were shown on German television in 1938, with La Jana present in the studio.[13]


Featured appearances


  1. "Es Leuchten Die Sterne (1938)". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  2. "Es leuchten die Sterne". OnlineFilmdatenbank (in German). Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  3. "Es Leuchten Die Sterne". Allmovie. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  4. Waldman, Harry (2008). Nazi films in America, 1933-1942. McFarland. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7864-3861-7.
  5. Richard W. McCormick, Alison Guenther-Pal (2004). Richard W. McCormick, Alison Guenther-Pal (ed.). German essays on film. Volume 81 of German library. Richard W. McCormick, Alison Guenther-Pal. p. 309. ISBN 9780826415073.
  6. Hull, David S. (1969). Film in the Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 1933-1945. University of California Press. p. 144. ISBN 9780520014893.
  7. Joseph Goebbels, Fred Taylor (1982). Fred Taylor (ed.). The Goebbels diaries (illustrated ed.). H. Hamilton. ISBN 9780241108932.
  8. Romani, Cinzia. Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the Third Reich. ISBN 0-9627613-1-1.
  9. Kreimeier, Klaus (1999). The Ufa story: a history of Germany's greatest film company, 1918-1945. Volume 23 of Weimar and now Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 235. ISBN 9780520220690.
  10. Hans-Michael Bock, Tim Bergfelder (2009). Hans-Michael Bock, Tim Bergfelder (ed.). The concise Cinegraph: encyclopaedia of German cinema. Film Europa: German Cinema in an International Context (illustrated ed.). Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781571816559.
  11. Leiser, Erwin (1974). Nazi cinema. Cinema two (illustrated ed.). MacMillan Publishing Company. ISBN 9780025702301.
  12. Nugent, Frank S. (May 21, 1938). "The Screen". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  13. Winker, Klaus (1994). Fernsehen unterm Hakenkreuz: Organisation, Programm, Personal. Volume 1 of Medien in Geschichte und Gegenwart (in German). Böhlau. p. 231. ISBN 9783412035945.
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