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The Proud Valley (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Music  |  6 April 1940 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 230 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 7 critic

In a Welsh coal mining valley, a young man with a beautiful singing voice is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice when a pit disaster threatens.

Director:

(as Penrose Tennyson)

Writers:

(story), (as Louis Goulding) , 4 more credits »
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Title: The Proud Valley (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Edward Chapman ...
Simon Lack ...
Rachel Thomas ...
Dilys Thomas ...
Edward Rigby ...
Bert
Janet Johnson ...
Gwen Owen
Charles Williams ...
Evans
Jack Jones ...
Thomas
Dilys Davies ...
Mrs. Katherine Owen
Clifford Evans ...
Seth Jones
Allan Jeayes ...
Mr. Trevor
George Merritt ...
Mr. Lewis
Edward Lexy ...
Commissionaire
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Storyline

In a Welsh coal mining valley, a young man with a beautiful singing voice is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice when a pit disaster threatens. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wales | labor union | ealing | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1940 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Tunnel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Long Way To Tipperary
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Paul Robeson shows the right spirit!
6 February 2002 | by (dundee) – See all my reviews

This film was released in Britain shortly after the outbreak of war, and it reflects that uncertain period. Coal was a national priority, yet the coal industry had a long legacy of unemployment and bitter labour disputes.

Consequently, Robeson, in the guise of a discharged American seaman, fetches up in a South wales mining village, where he is a valuable recruit to the local choir. Unfortunately, a disaster closes the mine, and a group of the miners (including Robeson, of course), march down to London to try and persuade the colliery bosses to let them find a way round the blocked section. As they march, a succession of newspaper posters chart the events leading to the outbreak of war.

This is an echo of the pre-war hunger marches - but in this situation, a clever narrative device is used, for no-one is to blame for them being out of work. As a result, the bosses and workers are later seen working together, trying to reopen a pit that is strategically valuable to the war effort.

Of course, the plan eventually boils down to detonating an explosive charge that is, in effect, a suicidal act. Robeson knocks out the miner who has drawn the short straw and sacrifices himself. Just as the soldier on the battlefield, the miner sometimes has to lay down his life for his friends. (Mining in wartime Britain was a reserved occupation.)

There is hardly any reference to colour prejudice in this film, and full use is made of Robeson's fine singing voice.


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