6.7/10
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11 user 8 critic

The Proud Valley (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 6 April 1940 (UK)
In a Welsh coal mining valley, a young man with a beautiful singing voice is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice when a pit disaster threatens.

Director:

Pen Tennyson

Writers:

Herbert Marshall (based on the story by), Alfredda Brilliant (based on the story by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Robeson ... David
Edward Chapman ... Dick Parry
Simon Lack Simon Lack ... Emlyn Parry
Rachel Thomas Rachel Thomas ... Mrs. Parry
Edward Rigby ... Bert
Dilys Thomas Dilys Thomas ... Dilys
Janet Johnson Janet Johnson ... Gwen Owen
Charles Williams Charles Williams ... Evans
Jack Jones Jack Jones ... Thomas
Dilys Davies Dilys Davies ... Mrs. Owen
Clifford Evans ... Seth Jones
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Mr. Trevor (as Alan Jeayes)
George Merritt ... Mr. Lewis
Edward Lexy ... Commissionaire
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Storyline

In a Welsh coal mining valley, a young man with a beautiful singing voice is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice when a pit disaster threatens. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wales | labor union | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1940 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tunnel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CAPAD, Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast occurred Monday 18 June 1945 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: South Wales 1938 See more »

Connections

Featured in Arena: Cinema (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Slag Heap
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Ernest Irving
See more »

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User Reviews

Paul Robeson shows the right spirit!
6 February 2002 | by shrbwSee all my reviews

This film was released in Britain shortly after the outbreak of war, and it reflects that uncertain period. Coal was a national priority, yet the coal industry had a long legacy of unemployment and bitter labour disputes.

Consequently, Robeson, in the guise of a discharged American seaman, fetches up in a South wales mining village, where he is a valuable recruit to the local choir. Unfortunately, a disaster closes the mine, and a group of the miners (including Robeson, of course), march down to London to try and persuade the colliery bosses to let them find a way round the blocked section. As they march, a succession of newspaper posters chart the events leading to the outbreak of war.

This is an echo of the pre-war hunger marches - but in this situation, a clever narrative device is used, for no-one is to blame for them being out of work. As a result, the bosses and workers are later seen working together, trying to reopen a pit that is strategically valuable to the war effort.

Of course, the plan eventually boils down to detonating an explosive charge that is, in effect, a suicidal act. Robeson knocks out the miner who has drawn the short straw and sacrifices himself. Just as the soldier on the battlefield, the miner sometimes has to lay down his life for his friends. (Mining in wartime Britain was a reserved occupation.)

There is hardly any reference to colour prejudice in this film, and full use is made of Robeson's fine singing voice.


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