Customer Review

88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into The Valley, February 21, 2003
This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
John Ford's 1941 film How Green Was My Valley tells the story of a Welsh mining family, the Morgans, through the eyes of the youngest member of the family, ten-year old Huw (Roddy McDowell). Mr. & Mrs. Morgan (Donald Crisp & Sara Allgood) have seven children and struggle to keep their family afloat. Mr. Morgan is a miner, but he refuses to join a newly formed union and join in on their strike. This creates tensions within the family and violence erupts. Through it all the family survives, but their hometown and culture begin to decline. Mr. Ford poignantly portrays the fading of childhood innocence and the good side and down side of life in a small town. The film is still relevant today as Mr. Ford shows how technology dehumanizes society as machinery that is more efficient and cost-effective starts to replace many of the mine's best workers and renders them unneeded and forces them into unemployment. The film beat out what is considered the greatest movie of time, Citizen Kane, to win the 1941 Academy Award for Best Picture and Mr. Ford beat Orson Welles to win his second consecutive Best Director Award (and the third of his total of four). The film won three other Oscars including Best Supporting Actor for Mr. Crisp. The film was to be shot in color on location in Wales, but due to the escalation of World War II, filming was moved to California and shot in black & white to help create the dreariness of South Wales. This worked out brilliantly as the lack of color helps create more a bleaker mood and Arthur C. Miller was rewarded with an Oscar for Best Cinematography.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 22, 2011 6:39:04 PM PDT
This movie is timeless.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2013 2:47:31 PM PDT
Yes, it is. I'll never forget it. I first saw it on b/w TV in the 50's. Then, I read the book in the '80's --- also timeless, lyrical, beautiful, haunting.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2013 11:04:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 5, 2013 11:05:33 AM PDT
Diana, David: Yes this movie is timeless as you say and universal. The scene around the family dinner table where the young men defy Mr. Morgan by speaking freely, speaking their truth and finding their voice resonates in our family as well. Same issues, unions called socialism by the older generation; younger generation fighting for their own survival. Older generation too trusting of the captains of industry to be fair with labor and on and on and on. I come from a family of autoworkers in Detroit and I can remember the same conversations around the dinner table at grandma's house when I was 8 years old, the age of Roddy McDowall in this movie (?).
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