The Stars Look Down (1975)

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Previously filmed by director Carol Reed in 1939, A.J. Cronin's Depression-era novel The Stars Look Down served as the basis for this 13-part, 13-hour British miniseries. The story took place in a poverty-stricken village in the North East, which relied upon the local coal mines and fisheries for its meager income. Ian Hastings headed the cast as David Fenwick, the son of a mining family, whose chances to escape his grimy surroundings were compromised by a number of highly dramatic complications -- and, ultimately, by his own conscience and sense of duty. Also in the cast was Alun Armstrong, making a meal of his role as all-purpose villain Joe Gowan. The Stars Look Down was broadcast by Granada Television from September 4 to November 27, 1975.