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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 for his youngest son, but Huw has his own ideas on how to honor his father. Daughter Angharad is the most beautiful girl in the valley and is very much in love with Mr. Gruffydd, who isn't sure he can provide her the life she deserves. Times are hard and good men find themselves out of work and exploited by unseen mine owners. Written by
Sara Allgood clashed repeatedly with John Ford during the making of the film, something the director found rather unsettling as he wasn't used to having his authority questioned. Nevertheless her performance was recognized by the Academy with a Best Supporting Actress nomination. See more »
When Huw comes home after being beaten by his teacher, there is no blood or marks on his back. See more »
[Cyfartha is holding Mr. Jonas in boxing position]
Now look, to make a good boxer, you must have a good... *right hand*, you see?
[strikes Mr. Jonas with a right jab, the force of which knocks Mr. Jonas into the wall]
Now, you see, that is how you will punish your man - with a right and a left, and put your shoulder into it!
[Mr. Jonas is slumped against the wall, dazed]
The gentleman is talking to you!
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This moving film has become part of the all-time American classics, and rightly so. It is a beautifully conceived and executed adaptation of a beloved novel.
One of John Ford's finest hours, it is magnificently staged and shot, with a lovely score (by Alfred Newman) and rich performances, headed by Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowall.
That it was made on a fairly limited budget and filmed entirely on the 20th Century back lot is little short of amazing. Its truly great, sprawling set seems to be the real thing: a actual coal mining town.
Ford's attention to careful group blocking and staging of tableau adds to the artistry of the work. Its political subtext corresponds with America's stance regarding European policy at the time. Other issues such as women's rights and religious bigotry help to likewise bolster the tale.
I agree that "How Green Was My Valley" is a fine achievement, now gloriously restored to dvd for many future viewers to enjoy.
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