A small airplane crashes in the sweltering deserts of southern Africa hundreds of miles from civilization. As parallels are drawn between the stranded group of seven passengers and a nearby... See full summary »
In many people's opinion, the original novel by Richard Llewelyn was the closest thing to "The Great Welsh Novel" ever written. In adapting this work to the small screen, Stanley Baker (probably the greatest Welsh actor of his generation), writer Elaine Morgan and the other members of the cast and crew have achieved a remarkable feat.
The story is one of growing to maturity and overcoming adversity in the claustrophobic but gregarious environment of the Valleys (the coal-mining area of South Wales) in the early years of the twentieth century. Although centred on the character of Huw, the youngest of the Morgan family, there are numerous other siblings around which to weave plenty of sub-plots. There are tales of workers standing up to harsh oppression, of unrequited love affairs in plenty, of harsh choices to be made between principles and personal loyalties and of facing tragedy which so often struck in the unforgiving world of the mines.
The cast list is a roll of honour of the welsh actors and actresses of their day. Many have an authentically pinched and starved appearance, and hearing the accents of some of them (such as Gareth Thomas, who played the preacher Mr. Gruffydd) declaiming in full flow, will bring tears to the eyes of any expatriate Welshman.
Richard Llewelyn wove another three novels around the characters of "How Green was my Valley"; perhaps, a quarter of a century after this TV series appeared, it is time to show the last, "Green, green my Valley now". The BBC, take note.
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