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C. Aubrey Smith
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
Maureen O'Hara (Angharad Morgan) was the film's last surviving cast member when she died on October 24, 2015 at the age of 95. See more »
As Mr. and Mrs. Morgan argue about whether Huw should fight, in the camera angle that shows all three characters, Huw is right in front of Mrs. Morgan, but when there's a direct shot of Mrs. Morgan, Huw isn't close to her. See more »
Who is for Gwilym Morgan and the others?
I, for one. He is the blood of my heart. Come, Cyfartha.
...'Tis a coward I am. But I will hold your coat.
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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 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.
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