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 author of the novel, Richard Llewellyn, had claimed to have based the book on his own knowledge of the Gilfach Goch area of Wales, but this was proven false, as Llewellyn was English-born and spent little time in Wales. As it turned out, he had actually gathered his facts from conversations with local mining families. See more »
The narrator says "As the slag spread over my valley ... ". Slag is a by-product of iron and steel making, which does not figure in the valley. Colliery waste is what is meant; the incombustible material that is excavated with coal. See more »
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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