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
The mining village set cost $110,000 to construct and was modelled on the towns of Cerrig Ceinnen and Clyddach-cum Tawe. The studio brought in blocks of coal weighing over a ton apiece for the construction of the mines. To create the impression that coal slag covered the landscape in the opening and closing scenes, John Ford had the hillside painted black. See more »
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 »
This movie tugged at my heart strings like few others. I was thoroughly immersed in the lives of the Morgans and found myself especially drawn to young Huw's trials, tribulations, and triumphs. The scene where he taps his fork twice and sneezes before he is acknowledged by his father was poignant beyond belief. Despite the hardships and tragedies there is also warmth and humor such as when family friends of the Morgans visit the schoolmaster after he had been especially harsh with Huw. The romantic aspect of the film is also well done by its primary principles, Angharad and the pastor. All in all the films does a magnificent job of capturing the lives of a family in a bygone time and place. There is no doubt that this is a great film and the fact that it beat out the likes of Citizen Kane for Best Picture is a testament to that fact. 9/10.
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