How Green Was My Valley (1941) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Life is hard in a Welsh mining town and no less so for the Morgan family. Seen through the eyes of the family's youngest, Huw, we learn of the family's trials and tribulations. Family patriarch Gwilym and his older sons work in the mines, dangerous and unhealthy as it is. Gwilym has greater hopes… Runtime: 118 min Release Date: 28 Oct 1941
How Green was my Valley was the greatest film of all time. (by Ed-683)
Greatest movie of all time. I saw this first during World War II, and it made such an impression upon me that I had to go back time after time. Now 60 years later it lingers in my memory over any other movie I have ever seen. No movie before or since has left such a lasting impression upon me.It could easily be brought back to the modern screen as a classic film that will never die. I wish I could own it on DVD, but I have no idea where I can obtain it. It would be at the top of classic films of all time as an asset in my library. It appeared at a time in our history when the world was being <more>
torn asunder and we did not know what tomorrow would bring. It was so uplifting at a time when we needed that uplift.
A Family Film In Every Sense Of The Word. (by bkoganbing)
There has been a tendency to downgrade How Green Was My Valley recently because it beat out Citizen Kane for Best Picture of 1941. It turned out to be John Ford's only win in that department. Because Citizen Kane now is lauded as the best film EVER, How Green Was My Valley lost a bit of luster. Yet on its own merits it's a fine film and can be seen again and again without any boredom.It's like Ford's Liberty Valance in that it shows the progress that the world's first industrial society, 19th century Great Britain as reflected in that Welsh valley, just like the settling <more>
of the American West in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It's the reverse here, the valley is a place people leave, or at least a lot of the good ones. Nearly all the Morgan children and Walter Pidgeon who plays the minister.1941 and 1942 marked the high point in the career of Walter Pidgeon. He never quite made the top rung of actors at his home studio of MGM. Yet in those two years he happened to star in both the films the Academy designated as Best Picture, this one and Mrs. Miniver in 1942. He's an outsider, arriving full of ideals and then forced to leave to stop gossip about him and Maureen O'Hara.Maureen O'Hara made her John Ford debut in How Green Was My valley as the lovely and fetching Angharad. She and Pidgeon are in love, but Pidgeon does not want to inflict is life of denial on her. They give each other up and later their relationship is the cause of gossip.Arthur Shields the lesser known brother of Barry Fitzgerald is the head of the deacons at Pidgeon's church. A narrow, bitter man he's one of a string of religious hypocrite characters that Ford has in his films. Offhand I can think of Willis Bouchey in The Last Hurrah and Grant Withers in Fort Apache. Barry's in this too, playing the comical Cynfartha.The center of the film is the Morgan family headed by Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood. Playing Morgan patriarch Gwyllym Morgan, Crisp gets the Best Supporting Actor for this wonderful portrayal of strength and dignity. Sara Allgood matches him every step of the way. Besides Pidgeon and O'Hara, the rest of the film revolves around the generational conflicts between the conservative father and his more broadminded sons who want to get a union started. In 1941 America that was a timely theme as our American Labor movement got its first backing from a friendly government in the New Deal. The labor troubles that the Morgans and the other Welsh coalminers in the valley deal with was a very relevant. One of the great things about this is that Ford never takes sides here. Donald Crisp is never shown as a reactionary fool for his opposition to unionization. Indeed Ford puts him on a pedestal for sticking to his beliefs.All this is seen through the eyes of young Hugh Morgan, played by Roddy McDowall in his first major part as a juvenile and narrated in flashback by British actor Irving Pichel as the adult Hugh. McDowell has his own troubles here, he and Sara Allgood fall in a freezing river and both have health problems afterward. McDowell is the first of the Morgans to go to school and he's bullied by both pupils and a snobbish teacher. Young McDowell is taught to box by Rhys Williams to take care of the kids and later Rhys Williams as Dai Bando, an ex-pugilist takes matters in his own hands with the teacher in the films most hilarious scene.As we move into the post industrial age, the labor themes of How Green Was My Valley seem quaint. But the family travails, and heartaches, and triumphs with that 19th Century Welsh Coalmining family are timeless. This is the real genius of John Ford.
John Ford's film of social and familial change details the chilling effects hard economic times have on a large, but tight-knit Welsh coal mining family around the turn of the last century. Told in narrative flashback by the youngest of seven children 5 young men and a young lady it begins when the coalmines are new, the valley still green, and the village cohesive and close-knit. As economic times worsen, the family and community fray and slowly disintegrate. The backdrop village becomes darker and smokier as the family fights valiantly to remain together. But unlike the treatment the <more>
story would probably get today, the family does not lose its dignity.There is not much, if anything, to criticize in this movie, it's one of the best ever.
Every time I hear the lines "Men like my father cannot die.They are with me still, real in memory as they were in flesh." near last scene,I cannot help from my tears flood out. Huw's two teachers of his life,Mr.Gruffydd and his father are both very attractive.Despite his position ,I move Mr.Gruffydd's indirect expression of his passion for Angharad.I also like the scene when Mr. Gwilym Morgan says "Call Dai Bando!" and following the scene Dai Bando teaches Huw how to fight. The scene Sara Allgood's speech protecting her husband reminds me not actually saw John <more>
Ford's famous speech in the middle of the McCarthy era Communist witch-hunt "My name is John Ford.I direct films...."
Rating: 9 out of 10. Directed by John Ford, "How Green Was My Valley" is one of the best movies ever made. Winner of five academy awards including a best director award for Ford, and best picture beating out movies "Citizen Kane" and "The Maltese Falcon".This story is about a Welsh family in a coal mining town in the late 19th century. Donald Crisp, who won an academy award in this film for best supporting actor, does a superb job playing the head of the Morgan family, his wife played by Sara Allgood nominated for best supporting actress is in a strong role as <more>
well. The female lead character is the daughter of the Morgan family, played by Maureen O'Hara as Angharad. A really young Roddy McDowell plays Huw, the youngest son. Walter Pidgeon is brilliant as the village preacher. Writing this comment makes me want want to see it again.
"...but if manners prevent our speaking the truth, we will be without manners." (by classicsoncall)
With producer Darryl F. Zannuck's three hundred thousand dollar purchase of the film rights a record sum at the time, his vision of the movie encompassed a four hour epic extravaganza on the scale of "Gone With The Wind", complete with full color treatment. However with World War II looming, and Nazi warplanes bombing England and Wales, on location shooting became impossible. The dried out brown hills of Malibu didn't fit the bill when it came to 'green', and as it turns out, created a blessing in disguise for this tale of family and labor strife set in a Welsh coal <more>
mining town. The black and white format captures the anguish and ill fortune of an entire town in a way that color never could, and with it, garners an array of film awards including an Academy Best Picture.For young Roddy McDowall, the film was a blessing as well. He had only been in the country for two weeks with his mother, on the run from the war in England, when he auditioned for the part of Huw Morgan. There is probably no better definition of being in the right place at the right time. The story is told through the eyes of Huw, and his portrayal captures an unusual maturity and integrity. Director John Ford immediately took to the young actor, and brilliantly utilized his ability to convey the rigors of mining life and the trauma that comes from being different. The 'little genius from the coal pits' teaches all of us about dignity and individualism, even when a bully school teacher couldn't beat it out of him.The movie is blessed with impressive performances. Donald Crisp excels as the Morgan family patriarch, and in turn was recognized with a Best Supporting Actor. Equally assured is Sara Allgood as his wife Beth, holding her family together in a way that even her husband couldn't. Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara deliver one of the most heart rending unrequited love combinations in film, giving the movie as much an uncomfortable undercurrent as the dangers lurking underground in the mines.Ironically, the recognition of "How Green Was My Valley" as Best picture came out of a field that included "Citizen Kane", widely recognized today as the best film of all time in many quarters. On that count, my preference tilts toward Orson Welles, but I've seen that one quite a few more times. Nevertheless, for a first time viewing today, 'Valley' leaves an impressionable imprint, with no surprise as to how it's characterization of family unity and living by one's principles can strike a chord among viewers even some sixty plus years after it was made.
This movie tugged at my heart strings like few others. I was thoroughly immersed in the lives of the Morgans and found myself especially drawn to young Huw's trials, tribulations, and triumphs. The scene where he taps his fork twice and sneezes before he is acknowledged by his father was poignant beyond belief. Despite the hardships and tragedies there is also warmth and humor such as when family friends of the Morgans visit the schoolmaster after he had been especially harsh with Huw. The romantic aspect of the film is also well done by its primary principles, Angharad and the pastor. <more>
All in all the films does a magnificent job of capturing the lives of a family in a bygone time and place. There is no doubt that this is a great film and the fact that it beat out the likes of Citizen Kane for Best Picture is a testament to that fact. 9/10.
Yes, You Can Almost Feel The Grime (by ccthemovieman-1)
This movie is a little long at times, but this is still a powerful story about the many stories that came out of the coal mining families in Wales, Great Britain. One of the top aspects of the movie is the cinematography, under the direction of John Ford. It is very effective. You can just feel the grime and dirt of the mines and cobblestone town. It looks really good now that's it out on DVD.Walter Pigeon is the likable minister, and lead character, "Mr. Gruffydd." He's likable because he doesn't judge people as the head deacon does. The latter is portrayed ludicrously <more>
by Barry Fitzgerald, much to the delight of secular-minded film critics, who loved his performance. Nonetheless, there is a lot of "religion" pictured positively in this film, a lot of spiritual scenes and most were done well.Roddy McDowell plays the most memorable character, I thought: "Huw," a young boy who went through some really tough times, as did most of the townsfolk. If you are used to modern films, be warned this film does drag in spots. It is a fine movie, to be sure, and a powerful and emotional story.
Classic and enjoyable John Ford film with great cast giving terrific performance (by ma-cortes)
Vintage and memorable film and one of Ford and Maureen O'Hara's best. This tearjerker tale of a Welsh's valley's turn of the century family from a coal mining region . It is told in flashback by a voice-in-off carried out by Huw Morgan Roddy McDowall who has decided to leave the valley forever . As he remembers back to his growing up period, when the dust from the coal mines, his family , mirths and distresses . Huw played by a 13-year-old Roddy McDowall is the youngest in a family composed by parents Donald Crisp , Sara Allgood and 6 brothers John Loder, Patrick <more>
Knowles, among others and one sister Maureen O'Hara who falls in love with the new preacher, Mr. Gruffydd Walter Pidgeon , who had a slightly different view of his relationship with her, and which would end up destroying his life in the valley. Rich is their humor! Deep are their passions! Reckless are their lives! Mighty is their story! Millions Have Read This Great Novel... Millions more will see an even greater picture! Stunning and sensitive tale about tribulations and trial of a Welsh mining family from the youthful perspective of the youngest child , marvelously played bt the agreeable prodigy child Roddy MacDowall who had subsequently a long career as a great secondary actor . This dramatic film contains interesting characters , full of good feeling and tragic moments . This classic , sturdy picture ranks as one of the most sentimental of John Ford's work . It contains Ford's usual themes as familiar feeling , religion , friendship , sacrifice , sense of comradeship among people and ample shots on the mining village .It is a hight-spirited tale , being one of Ford's finest movies with a marvelous fresh-air feeling . Thought-provoking , enjoyable screenplay portraying in depth characters and brooding events with interesting issues running beneath script surface .In the forties , Ford won-back-to-back Best Director Oscars for two more classics he made at Fox, the screen adaptations of future Nobel laureate John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic Grapes of the wrath 1940 in 1941, and of Richard Llewellyn's memoir of his youth in the coal-mining region of Wales, this How Green was my valley 1941 . Adequate production design that achieved a deserved Oscar , buit by Richard Day and Nathan Juran , 160 builders took six months to construct Richard Day's elaborate set design. The studio brought in blocks of coal weighing over a ton apiece for the construction of the mines. To create the impression that coal slag covered the landscape in the opening and closing scenes, John Ford had the hillside painted black. This magnificent film featuring a magnificent performance by the whole casting , including a top-notch support cast such as Anna Lee , John Loder , Sara Allgood ,Barry FitzGerald , Rhys Williams ,Frederick Worlock , Ann Todd , Richard Fraser and Arthur Shields .There is another rendition about this classic story made in 1975 by Ronald Wilson 6 episodes, 1975-1976 with Stanley Baker , Siân Phillips , Mike Gwilym , Gareth Thomas . Beautifully cinematographed by Arthur Miller in black and while , plenty of lights and shades . Evocative and sensitive musical score by Alfred Newman . The picture was magnificently directed by John Ford . John Ford often referred to this film as his favorite. In the 1940s, Ford won-back-to-back Best Director Oscars for two more classics he made at Fox, the screen adaptations of future Nobel laureate John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic The grapes of the wrath 1940 in 1941, and of Richard Llewellyn's memoir of his youth in the coal-mining region of Wales, ¡Qué verde era mi valle! 1941 . the mid-1940s, after working in many genres, Ford began to focus on Westerns again, beginning with My Darling Clementine 1946 , one of the classics of the genre. Many of his Westerns featured John Wayne, whom he had first worked with on Stagecoach 1939 and who became a superstar in Howard Hawks' classic oater Río Rojo 1948 . Wayne appeared in Fort Apache 1948 , She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 1949 , and Río Grande 1950 , the famous "Cavalry Trilogy." Along with "My Darling Clementine," Ford was plumbing the nature of American myth-making, and the creation of history as an historical narrative, that is, the re-creation of history John Ford created so many classic Westerns that he began to be associated with the genre. It's interesting to note that from 1950 through 1959, he made only one Western, the classic The searchers 1956 , one of the greatest examples of the genre. Starting with Horse soldiers 1959 which he made for the Mirisch Co. at the end of the decade, six of his last eight completed movies were Westerns, including his last masterpiece, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." rating : Above average , 8 .