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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
For the most part, the atmosphere on the set was totally congenial, with John Ford trusting his cast to deliver strong performances with a minimum of guidance. The one problem for Maureen O'Hara occurred when she pointed out - in front of the cast and crew - that the basket with which she and Sara Allgood were supposed to receive Donald Crisp's weekly wages was not of the period. In response to what he considered her breach of etiquette, he removed her from the scene. An hour later, an assistant called her back to the set and handed her a new, historically accurate basket, so Ford could shoot the scene with her in it. See more »
In the chapel right before the woman is shunned, Mr. Gruffydd closes the Bible. The pages are clearly blank. See more »
Nothing is enough for people who have minds like cesspools. Oh Huw, my little one, I hope when you're grown their tongues will be slower to hurt.
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In Wales, Huw Morgan recalls his childhood fifty years ago, in the end of Nineteenth Century. In a green valley, where the colliery is the unique economical activity, Huw (Roddy McDowall), his brothers and his sister are raised by his beloved parents, Mr. Gwilym Morgan Sr. (Donald Crisp) and Mrs. Beth Morgan (Sara Allgood). In times of changes and exploitations of the worker class, the young workers try to gather their power in a labor union and fight against the unemployed reserve army with a strike, while Mr. Morgan is against their movement. Along the years, the situation of the dwellers gets worse and worse, with poverty, while the coal mine blackens the hills of the valley with the slag.
What a magnificent movie "How Green Was My Valley" is! This is the first time I see this movie, and I am really excited with such masterpiece. The outstanding and awesome direction of John Ford certainly deserved the Oscar he won in 1942. The story is excellent, with drama and romance in a period of economical and political changes in the world. There are many important and strong characters, built with heart by the cast, and I was particularly impressed with the touching performance of Roddy McDowall, in the role of a boy with strong personality and moral qualities. The awarded black and white cinematography is also remarkable. The wonderful metaphoric title completes this classic. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Como Era Verde Meu Vale" ("How Green Was My Valley")
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