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Showing 1-10 of 289 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 459 reviews
on February 7, 2013
January brought two John Ford masterpieces to Blu Ray for the first time and the results are stunning to say the least. Olive films released the long awaited Ford classic "The Quiet Man"(1952) on blu ray for the first time in an impression 4K scan restoration that puts all other DVD & VHS versions to shame. Likewise, Fox has released the Oscar winning "How Green Was My Valley"(1941) in a new Blu Ray transfer that's not only stunning, but a wonder to behold. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to upgrade from my regular DVD of "How Green Was My Valley" because of Fox's recent less than steller blu rays of "Titanic"(1953) and "The Grapes of Wrath"(1940, another Ford classic). But when I thought of their excellent blu rays of "All About Eve"(1950), "Gentleman's Agreement"(1947)and "The Hustler"(1961), I decided to take the plunge. I'm glad I did. Like Warner's recent blu ray of "Mrs. Miniver", "How Green Was My Valley" looks just beautiful on blu ray. There are no scratches, dirt, white specks, hair or debris of any kind on the film. I don't know if they used the original film negative but it sure looks like it. Although filmed in black and white, you can still get a sense of the green valley that the coal miners live and work in from Arthur C. Miller's superb cinematography. Blacks, whites and greys look stunning and every frame is crystal clear(Bitrate: 35.73). "How Green Was My Valley" has been unfairly targeted over the years as the film that did not deserve the Oscar for Best Picture of 1941. Many film historians and so-called Oscar experts think that the award should have gone to "Citizen Kane". The same argument could be made the year before when Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" beat John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath". Except for "Citizen Kane" the other three were based on popular novels of the time and all of the films can stand on their own as filmmaking at it's best. The one thing that separates Ford from other filmmakers is how he casts the actors in his films that make you believe that you're watching a real family. Whether it's the Joads of "The Grapes of Wrath" or the Morgans in "How Green Was My Valley" or the frontier family of "The Searchers"(1956), you really believe the actors are a family. That was one of Ford's qualities as a director. Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood are superb as the heads of the Morgan family and they get great support from Ford regulars Barry Fitzgerald and Maureen O'Hara to name a few. But it's little Roddy McDowell that really touches your heart in a winsome and heartbreaking performance. It's a picture that touches on many human interest themes including daily living hardships both personal and working, conflicts, bullying, romance and even tragedy. But through it all it's the family that holds everything together. "How Green Was My Valley" is 119 minutes long(Aspect ratio: 1.33.1) and has the following subtitles: English SDH and French. Audio includes: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 and French DTS 5.1. Extras include "The Making of" featurette. If you like classic films from one of the masters then you can't go wrong with Fox's blu ray of "How Green Was My Valley".
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on April 23, 2013
It has become the in thing to denigrate this film over other films from 1941 such as THE MALTESE FALCON, THE LADY EVE, SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, SERGEANT YORK and especially, CITIZEN KANE. You see, this is the film that beat out the Welles film for Best Picture and everything else at the Oscars that year, and to cineasts, that is an unpardonable sin. A film that has gorgeous cinematography, pitch-perfect performances, flawless direction and a literate and witty script like KANE should have won everything hands down that year. But you see, this film also had those same ingredients plus an ending that will touch your soul, and as technically astounding and rule-breaking as KANE is, I think missing that emotional punch at the end is what made this film win Best Picture. Is this Ford's greatest film? Not sure-STAGECOACH and THE GRAPES OF WRATH, from less than two years before, are probably better, and you should include MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, THE QUIET MAN and THE SEARCHERS in that mix, as well. However, Ford managed to elicit one of the finest child performances ever with Roddy McDowell, brilliant work from such stalwarts as Walter Pidgeon, Barry Fitzgerald, Sara Allgood and especially Donald Crisp (who won the Oscar for Supporting Actor that year over Sidney Greenstreet in MALTESE FALCON, and I would have been hard pressed to choose between either one) and a look to the film from Arthur Miller, one of the greatest cinematographers in the history of the medium (although again, choosing between this film and Gregg Toland's work on KANE probably would have had me flipping a coin) along with tossing a shout-out to unionization, I really cannot see what all the fuss is about anymore. Those who see KANE and no other film as being worthy from this year really ought to give this film another look, and if by the end they can still only prefer the Welles film after drying their eyes, then those people have no hearts.
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on May 20, 2017
Another great movie for people who really feel things emotionally, and watch movies/read books/etc. for emotional impact as much, and probably more so than an intersting, rational experience. This won't appeal at all to a modern, "being overly emotional is somehow a bad thing, we should all strive to be the new hip - separated from being overly emotional, and bemused, if not downright disdainful of those who aren't" sort of person. For more deliberate, detached folks, this will come across as sappy and dated, because it involves sentimentality, and that is SO generations ago, and has almost nothing but a bunch of working-class stiffs playing out mythologized caricatures that the ignorant earlier generations of moviegoers bought into due to their general stupidity and acceptance of a capitalist, materialist brainwashing. For those of you not like this latter group, buy this movie.
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on February 17, 2013
ENGLISH & GERMAN REVIEW:

THIS BLU-RAY IS CODEEFREE AND CONTAINS GERMAN SOUNDTRACK AND ALSO GERMAN MENUE
Diese Blu-Ray is Codefrei and enthält neben englischer Sprachfassung auch deutsche Sprachfassung (und Untertitel) sowie auch deutsche sprachige Menu.

This movie is wonderful restored (it looks clean and sharp, without any damages, scratches, dirt).
Der Film wurde wunderbar restauriert. Das Schwarz/weiss Bild sieht sauber und scharf aus, sowie ein ueber 70 Jahre alter Schwarz/weiss Film restauriert aussehen muss.

Audio-Commentary (with Actress Anna Lee) and the Bonus-Documentary are NOT subtitled.
Der Audio-Kommentar und die 25 minuetige Bonus-Doku enthalten KEINE Untertitel.

Fazit: its a wonderful movie about and in my mind: not dated. It has the much better actors/actress and better dialogues than any new movie today. And MASTER Roddy McDowall is amazing!

4 Stars only for not having subtitles for Commentary and Documentary.

Trivia: Mae Marsh from "The Birth of a Nation" can be seen as one of the villagers woman
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on June 19, 2013
John Ford's masterpiece "How Green Was My Valley"(1941) comes laden with Oscar glory from the Golden Age of the Hollywood studio system. It was the richly deserved recipient of the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Black-and-White Cinematography and Best Black-and White Interior Decoration Academy Awards. Its main Oscar competitors were "Citizen Kane", Orson Welles' wildly overrated (by the AFI, among others) and self important take down of William Randolph Hearst (see Pauline Kael on the subject) and "The Maltese Falcon", John Huston's brilliant but bleak portrayal of mankind at its greediest and most treacherous. "Valley", while not blinking in the face of death, cruelty and destruction, opts for a far more positive attitude about life and the human species. The merit of "Valley's" Oscars is evidenced by the loving Blu-ray transfer from 20th century Fox.
"Valley" is a memory piece, imperfect as all memories are; it is also a coming of age story of a young bibliophile who emerges as a writer himself and provides the voice-over narration which informs the story. It is set in late Victorian Wales, with working people as its central characters for the second straight time in a major Ford production. "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) is perhaps the definitive fictional depiction of migrant workers. "Valley" serves the same function for coal miners. Ford details this world both in the boy, Huw's, sentimental retrospect and in its harsh reality. Huw, endearingly played by Roddy McDowell, attends a national school where class prejudice and brutality inside and outside of the classroom are prevalent; he is one of a number of pre-adolescent boys who work in the coal mine; gossip and self righteous shunning pass for morality in a world dominated by an antiquated sexist and unloving code. "Valley" shows us a Celtic patriarchy in decline because of changing economic conditions and social attitudes. It also shows us an industrial system grounded in environmental hazard and the exploitation of the workers.
The 2 dominant institutions in this "Valley" are the colliery and the church. They are artfully juxtaposed in the massive set constructed on an 80 acre site in the Santa Monica Mountains. This Blu-ray captures the very texture of the stone cottages, which house the workers in close physical and emotional proximity, and the interplay of light and shadow on the low hung ceilings which shelter and circumscribe their inhabitants. (Take that Gregg Toland and "Citizen Kane".)
Chief among the villagers are the Morgans, a family of 6 sons and a daughter, Angharad, played by Maureen O'Hara, new to the Ford stock company but one who would evolve into the quintessential Ford heroine in "The Quiet Man"(1952). The father (Donald Crisp) is the head of the family and the mother (Sara Allgood, Oscar nominee and Abbey Theatre veteran in the role of her film career) is its heart. She risks life and limb in a wintry landscape to defend her husband's honor at a strikers' rally in the hills. The lightly erotic interplay between Allgood and Crisp (she calls him "boy" and he her "girl") is a charming depiction of a long and tradition laden marriage.
Crisp's Oscar winning character, Gwilym Morgan, is the polar opposite of the brutal father who terrorizes his perpetually virginal waif of a daughter, played by Lillian Gish, in D.W. Griffith's "Broken Blossoms" (1919). Here he is stern but loving, a leader both within his family and within the mining community, a man who reveres his Bible yet is intellectually inquisitive when being tutored in math alongside his youngest son. Crisp's death scene, due to a mine cave-in, is the emotional high point of the film and exhibit number one in the presentation of genuine sentiment, as opposed to sentimentality, which suffuses the film. Ford's triptych presentation of Huw's father figures in the lift, balanced against the 3 black shawled Madonnas of mother, daughter and daughter-in-law, is both emotionally and visually striking.
This densely textured, virtually speck free Blu-ray is a glory of black and white cinematography and profits from an enhanced Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. (I was startled by the depth and clarity of such a small sound as the opening and closing of a door.)
The film is 72 years old and full of traditional family values, yet it lives in the collective memory (and what else is film?) of film fans, especially those of the Celtic variety. Never has such a vision been as articulately spoken as it is in this splendid 20th Century Fox Blu-ray.
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VINE VOICEon February 19, 2017
To call this film a classic is of course an understatement. The cast cannot be equaled today. Donald Crisp earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Mr Morgan. Sara Allgood owned her part, as Mrs. Morgan A young Roddy McDowell brings so much innocence to the screen at first , and then so much strength and determination as young Huw Morgan. Mareen O' Hara is wonderful as always. Walter Pidgeon's performance as the Reverend is brilliant and scary at the same time. The rest of the cast are wonderful as well. A must have in any classic movie lovers collection.
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on March 29, 2017
I watched this many many years ago. I was pleased to find it on DVD! A very touching story about a close Welsh family and community. Keep the Kleenex close.
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on October 22, 2014
This is a beautiful movie. The performances were great. It is a nostalgic recollection by Huw, the youngest son of the Morgan family. He narrates his memories of a pristine Welsh valley, living in a strong, traditional family. He has good role models in his father, mother, older brothers, and the minister who is a mentor to Huw. The lowering of wages from the coal mine, and the differing opinions in the family of how to deal with the mine owners is a conflict between father and sons. Despite the conflict, the family loyalty and love remains steadfast. The coal slag encroaches on the beautiful valley, and will eventually cover even their home.
There is stunning music from a Welsh men's choir. There is a beautiful rhythm to the dialog, which gives a feel for the pattern of the Welsh language.
It is a bittersweet movie, but powerful and uplifting.
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on December 7, 2015
This book helped me clearly understand my Welsh Roots . It was very descriptive and allowed me to picture life of a coal miner's family in Wales. My great grandfather was a miner in Wales as well as in Pennsylvania. I read the book, then saw the move and I loved both. Can't say enough good things about this story.
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on April 28, 2017
A wonderful story. The pride of the Welsh people against extreme poverty. A well cast movie.
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