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|Index||17 reviews in total|
A very sentimental and heartfelt story with a refreshingly optimistic
outlook about people reaching out to one another. A decorated WWII vet
named Noah returns home to find the world has moved on during his
absence. His parents have died, his brother is in prison, his family's
farm has been sold.
Noah sets out to rebuild his life, not really knowing where he's bound, and encounters a mysterious and gifted old man who directs him to a nearby town. Upon arriving there, Noah is immediately embraced by the locals who at once recognize him to be of high character. He meets a mute boy named Matthew he befriends, and an elegant widow named Eleanor. Noah's talent for fishing quickly makes him a local legend, and his kindness to others wins the hearts of everyone he meets. The beauty of this story is the interaction of all of the characters. There really are no "bad guys," everyone has their place in bringing joy into the life of some other person(s). It's very touching, and the dialogue is rich with spiritual symbolism.
The entire cast breathe life into all these pleasant, likable characters. It's overall a "feel good" story (although there is one tragedy the characters face together), with a very positive approach.
"The Valley of Light" is a drama with a little bit of romance. I echo
the other comments about the refreshing lack of foul language and
violence that passes for entertainment nowadays. It's also great to see
courtesy, good manners and integrity given prominence.
The drama centers on a man (Noah) troubled by his service in the military (post WWII). Without family to fall back on, he goes on his own "odyssey", following whatever river he happens to find himself on and fishing for food. One river takes him to an encounter with an old man who has some encouraging and enlightening words for him, as well as a possible path.
In the next town over the ridge, he finds some answers to what he needs in life, befriending a mute boy in need of a father and a widow woman in need of love. When a crisis hits, Noah has to decide whether to cut and run or work with the relationships he has built to that point.
Nearly all of us define our lives by the relationships we hold dear, and the movie does an excellent job in showing how Noah developed his relationships with the mute boy, the widow, and the rest of the townspeople. I found myself (a techie guy who works on computers all day) while watching the movie longing to go to that time of no gadgets or TV. Beautifully filmed, good acting and story come together for an enjoyable movie.
It was so refreshing to see a movie with a good script, good acting and that contains values that seem to have disappeared in light of all the smut and garbage that have invaded prime time television. I would love to see more movies like this one. I thought it was excellent in every category. The scenery was beautiful, it took place just after World War 2 had ended and troops were returning home, and it gave me a real sense of nostalgia although the War took place years before my birth. The acting was great and the people of the valley were warm and inviting, again a characteristic gone with yesteryear. This movie reached out and embraced me, much like Andy Griffith and Mayberry used to when I was a little girl.
Noah Locke has served in Europe during World War II, earning a Purple
Heart. Still, he comes home to find that the farm he lived on belongs
to someone else, and his brother Travis is in prison (though he says
all he did was drive the car). Travis was told he could go to his
mother's funeral but he couldn't do go through with that if he had to
be chained, feeling it would bring shame to his family. The brothers
have also lost their father.
As he explains later, Noah travels from place to place across the South, camping out and fishing in various rivers. While fishing, he meets an old man named Hoke with a special gift, who tells him about this wonderful community in a nearby valley, where there is a legendary fish no one can catch.
Noah follows Hoke's advice. Taylor runs the store in the town, and it is there that Noah befriends Matthew, who never speaks. Matthew's mother is deceased and his father may be working somewhere in Tennessee. His grandparents Howard and Ada, who invite Noah to their church, are raising Matthew.
Also at Taylor's store, Noah meets Eleanor, who gives Noah some work to do and a place to live. Eleanor's late husband fought in the war, and now she is trying to run a farm on her own while taking care of her elderly grandmother Beatrice, known as Granny.
Noah makes a living partly from fishing, and Taylor also gets him to do work at his store Moody and Peavo won't. Moody and Peavo are lazy and just want to talk and otherwise have fun. They are the movie's primary comic relief.
Noah has a positive influence on this community, particularly on Matthew and Eleanor. The big question: will he win the big fishing contest, which attracts many outsiders? Will Noah catch that fish no one else can? And will Noah and Eleanor become a couple?
There's not really anything here for parents to be concerned about. Noah has memories of the war, but these are not a big problem. The reality of the war has caused some sadness, though. And there is a tragedy by movie's end which could be upsetting to children, though it brings out the best in several of the actors. But strong family values are presented here. Noah always says, "Yes, sir" and "Yes, ma'am", for example. And he believes in hard work, as do most of the people in town. I've mentioned the exceptions.
The acting is very good here. Zach Mills is particularly impressive because he can give a great performance without saying a word, and he makes us care about Matthew.
It was worthy of the name Hallmark Hall of Fame.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good old-fashioned romance with a post-WWII setting. Like those "good 'ol days" when much of what is said is in the facial expressions and body movements, not the dialog. In those days, dignity and well manners ruled in rural America, so you did not see the kind of emotional violence, 4-letter words, and action common to some of today's movies, and that's OK! Romance ruled here...not the shallow passion you sometimes see today. Good job by Chris Klein (playing Noah) as the WWII vet with post-war anguish. You could see that in his face, but he brightened up well with his interaction with Matthew (played by Zach Mills). Gretchen Mol also did a good job as Eleanor. Perhaps her best scene was the scene when Noah was leaving. Zach Mills as the young boy was very good, even without one word of dialog. I guessed on my own that Hoke was an angel, and it fit in very well. I enjoyed the good old-fashioned bantering and teasing among the characters, and the fact there was no violence. Hallmark was the sponsor, and is the only sponsor I see on TV where I usually cannot miss the heart-warming commercials.
Chris Klein, Gretchen Mol, and Zach Mills steal the show in The Valley
of Light, which premiered on CBS's Hallmark Hall of Fame tonight.
Klein stars as Noah, a soldier returning home from World War II, who is passing through a Southern town. He is a talented fisherman, and learns of a gigantic bass in a nearby lake, which he aspires to catch. Noah meets Eleanor, a young woman with a kind heart, and Matthew, a young boy who sees him as a father-figure. When tragedy befalls the town, Noah is faced with a tough decision.
I loved this movie. I cried through some of it, and really it is a powerful, touching drama chock full of talented actors. Klein is number one here, and I really felt the emotions he intended to convey. Quite impressive was the young actor Mills, who's character was completely believable and really resonated. Definitely worth viewing if you happen about it, but keep a box of tissues handy.
Another Hallmark movie made for television which has all the elements
that are always included in their presentations. Like basically
everything we see coming from the Hallmark folks, we are taken to
scenic spots of our country, in this case rural Oregon, with its
natural beauty and excellent outdoor quality that translates so well
into the stories at hand.
"The Valley of Light" takes the viewer back to the 1940s at the end of WWII. Noah, a soldier without work, is surprised to find his younger brother in jail. He decides to escape from it all, perhaps because what he experienced overseas in Europe, to a more peaceful setting. He finds he has an knack for fishing in rivers and streams where he seems to pull catfish in record numbers. One day he meets Hoke, an older man, who tells him about his ability to see "angels" and who advises him to go into the Valley of Light where nice folks live.
At the valley, he finds an ideal place in where to spend time. He endears himself to the local population where he is regarded as something of a marvel because, when prompted, he can fish better than anyone. Noah seems to know where to cast his line with good results. He meets the lovely widow of a soldier that has committed suicide. Noah seems to have everything he hoped for, yet, tragedy strikes taking a young boy who he feels responsible for his untimely death.
As directed by Brent Shields, this film fits perfectly in what is expected from the sponsor. Was it me, or didn't Chris Klein, who plays Noah, kept reminding us of Keanu Reeves? Mr. Klein doesn't show the intensity that perhaps Mr. Reeves would have brought to his role, but he is adequate. Lovely Gretchen Mol is perfectly sweet as Eleanor, the young widow who awakens to love after being so lonely. Others in the cast include the excellent Robert Prosky, Jay O. Sanders, Stephen Tobolowsky, in a small pivotal role, Zach Mills and Kevin Chamberlin.
This is a film that while not breaking any ground, will delight the audience for which is targeted.
This film was very refreshing to watch and enjoy because of the very down to earth story of a small town after WW II and the deep effects war has on people and how it can ruin people mentally and physically. Chris Klein,(Noah), "The Long Weekend", plays the role of a soldier wandering around and just plain getting out in nature and sleeping under the stars and mostly fishing. Noah meets up with an old gentleman who tells him how to fish like a professional and also directs him on the right path for him to take into a wonderful valley where there is a nice small town and good fishing in a lake. Noah meets up with all the local town people and also with Gretchen Mol (Eleanor) "Attracton" who gives a great performance as a woman who is deeply troubled and living with a grandmother who only wants to eat Hersey Bars. Sweet lovable story back when they had rumble seats in the back of cars. Enjoy
I loved the way this movie was done. I know many won't like it because
it dares to leave out sex, violence, profanity, etc., and just tell a
simple tale that makes you feel good. For those people there are nearly
an infinite number of choices to see. For the rest of us, this is a
rare movie that feels like something from a time before I was born- and
it left me feeling happy, and not many of today's movies do that for
Also, as most of my closest friends and my oldest nephew live and breath fishing, I'm thinking they'd enjoy it as that is always in the background.
If you watch this, don't go in expecting something convoluted and complex, but rather a very pleasant distraction from all the unpleasantness we usually see in the movies.
The cinematography in this movie gives the soul the space and wings to
soar! The rivers and lakes are swarming with schools of fish, skirted
by beautifully dense woods filled with chirping crickets. The lush
green pastures with rich black earth are ripe with enormous wiggling
worms - great pickin' for fish-bait.
The characters and the plot are heartwarming - yet heartbreaking.
A handsome WWII soldier wandering the countryside trying to outpace the grief that dogs his every step since returning stateside.
A pretty widow with a warm heart who takes loving care of her deceased husbands' brain-addled aged grandmother.
A lonely young mute boy, makes one wonder if it is perhaps from his young mother's death or his runaway fathers abandonment of him.
The town and it's cast of characters are quite charming - they make one long to move to this little friendly town in the valley of yesteryear.
Throw in a mess of fishin' to boot and this is a MARS & VENUS Movie. The finale of this movie gives ones' soul hope and that's no tall tale. Don't let this movie be - "The One That Got Away"!
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