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How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family  |  9 April 1942 (Australia)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 14,236 users  
Reviews: 117 user | 67 critic

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans (he stern, she gentle) raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Title: How Green Was My Valley (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Huw
John Loder ...
...
...
...
Welsh Singers ...
Themselves
Morton Lowry ...
Arthur Shields ...
Ann E. Todd ...
Ceinwen (as Ann Todd)
Frederick Worlock ...
Richard Fraser ...
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Storyline

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 younger son how to honor his hard working parents. Huw who 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

village | wales | girl | coal mine | school | See All (66) »

Taglines:

Millions Have Read This Great Novel... Millions more will see an even greater picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 April 1942 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, John Ford had Rhys Williams record the narration as the adult Huw Morgan. When he became concerned that audiences would recognize the voice as belonging to Williams's on-screen character, the boxer Dai Bando, he had actor-director Irving Pichel re-record the lines, which had to be read in the same rhythms as Williams's to match sequences already cut to the narration. At one point, British prints of the film featured Williams's voiceovers. See more »

Goofs

Although a good effort is putting into making the locations look Welsh, the Southern California mountains sometimes seen in the background are too high for South Wales. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Gruffydd: But remember, with strength goes responsibility - to others and to yourselves. For you cannot conquer injustice with more injustice - only with justice and the help of God.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Get Smart: How Green Was My Valet (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Peter O'Pea
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish folk song sung by Donald Crisp
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Welch valley
31 August 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

John Ford was a director with a vision bigger than life, as demonstrated by his films. Richard Lewellyn's novel must have been one source of inspiration for bringing to life this story about a small town in Wales. The director had the good fortune to have Arthur Miller as his cinematographer for this tale about the stark conditions about the miners' lives. The small town comes alive by the vivid account one sees on the screen. At times, what we are witnessing before our eyes, remind us of the work of great photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White, whose pictures for the old Life magazine parallel Mr. Miller's stark photography in the film.

Mr. Ford uses songs in most of his films. In this movie as well as in The Quiet Man, this device enhances what we are watching. The songs are diversions for the stark reality in the miners' lives. Their every day misery is somehow eased when they sing with clear voices ancient folk melodies they, and their forefathers, have always known.

The Morgan family is at the center of the story. We hear the narration from Huw, the youngest member of this family. All the men work in the mine; they are all disillusioned by the working conditions and meager wages that they give without hesitation to the matriarch when they are paid. They appear content at the beginning of the film, but we watch them gradually abandon their village in search of a better life; who can blame them?

The cast assembled by Mr. Ford is first rate. Donald Crisp, as the patriarch of the Morgan family outdoes himself in this film. Walter Pidgeon as the local church pastor is excellent. The young and radiant beauty of Maureen O'Hara was so powerful, we can't stop watching her for a moment when she is on screen. Roddy McDowall as the youngest child of the clan in his first appearance is also a magnetic presence that holds the viewer's attention all the time.

The rest of the actors do incredible ensemble work to support the principals. Anna Lee, John Loder, Barry Fitzgerald, Anne Todd make us believe they are the characters they are playing.

Ultimately this is a John Ford's triumph. He is the force that welds everything together and in spite of all the bad things that happen to the family and the town, he seems to be telling us there still is hope and life will continue.


35 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Walter Pidgeon oldmotem
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AN INSULT TO WALES! geo-uk
Huw staying the same age ruins the movie alexanderkahn
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What is that song/hymn being sung? donmage
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