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How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family | 9 April 1942 (Australia)
1:23 | Trailer
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.


John Ford


Philip Dunne (screen play), Richard Llewellyn (based on the novel by)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Mr. Gruffydd
Maureen O'Hara ... Angharad
Anna Lee ... Bronwyn
Donald Crisp ... Mr. Morgan
Roddy McDowall ... Huw
John Loder ... Ianto
Sara Allgood ... Mrs. Morgan
Barry Fitzgerald ... Cyfartha
Patric Knowles ... Ivor
Welsh Singers Welsh Singers ... Singers
Morton Lowry ... Mr. Jonas
Arthur Shields ... Mr. Parry
Ann E. Todd ... Ceinwen (as Ann Todd)
Frederick Worlock ... Dr. Richards
Richard Fraser ... Davy


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Millions Have Read This Great Novel... Millions more will see an even greater picture! See more »


Drama | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


When the miners greet their women by putting their earnings in baskets, Maureen O'Hara stopped the scene's filming once she noticed that her basket was a modern Kraft basket and not a basket of the movie's period. John Ford was so upset by being corrected in front of the cast and crew that he closed down the set and told O'Hara to wait on a nearby hill until he called for her. Fuming, O'Hara waited an hour before an assistant came to retrieve her, but was satisfied to see that the basket had been changed upon her return. 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 »


Dai Bando: A man is never too old to learn, is it, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: [uncertainly] No.
Dai Bando: I was in school myself once, but no great one for knowledge.
Mr. Jonas: [angrily, shaking his cane] Look here, what do you want?
Dai Bando: Knowledge.
[taking Mr. Jonas' cane]
Dai Bando: How would you go about taking the measurement of a stick, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: By its' length, of course.
Dai Bando: And how would you measure a man who would use a stick on a boy one-third his size?
[throws Mr. Jonas' cane aside]
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Alternate Versions

The British version of this film was narrated by Rhys Williams instead of Irving Pichel See more »


Referenced in Frasier: High Crane Drifter (1996) See more »


Music by J.T. Rees
Welsh lyrics by Charles Wesley
Arranged by Tudor Williams
Hymm Sung in Church
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User Reviews

Classic and enjoyable John Ford film with great cast giving terrific performance
8 January 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Vintage and memorable film and one of Ford and Maureen O'Hara's best. This tearjerker tale of a Welsh's valley's turn of the century family from a coal mining region . It is told in flashback by a voice-in-off carried out by Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall) who has decided to leave the valley forever . As he remembers back to his growing up period, when the dust from the coal mines, his family , mirths and distresses . Huw (played by a 13-year-old Roddy McDowall) is the youngest in a family composed by parents (Donald Crisp , Sara Allgood) and 6 brothers (John Loder, Patrick Knowles, among others) and one sister (Maureen O'Hara) who falls in love with the new preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon) , who had a slightly different view of his relationship with her, and which would end up destroying his life in the valley. Rich is their humor! Deep are their passions! Reckless are their lives! Mighty is their story! Millions Have Read This Great Novel... Millions more will see an even greater picture!

Stunning and sensitive tale about tribulations and trial of a Welsh mining family from the youthful perspective of the youngest child , marvelously played bt the agreeable prodigy child Roddy MacDowall who had subsequently a long career as a great secondary actor . This dramatic film contains interesting characters , full of good feeling and tragic moments . This classic , sturdy picture ranks as one of the most sentimental of John Ford's work . It contains Ford's usual themes as familiar feeling , religion , friendship , sacrifice , sense of comradeship among people and ample shots on the mining village .It is a hight-spirited tale , being one of Ford's finest movies with a marvelous fresh-air feeling . Thought-provoking , enjoyable screenplay portraying in depth characters and brooding events with interesting issues running beneath script surface .In the forties , Ford won-back-to-back Best Director Oscars for two more classics he made at Fox, the screen adaptations of future Nobel laureate John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic Grapes of the wrath (1940) in 1941, and of Richard Llewellyn's memoir of his youth in the coal-mining region of Wales, this How Green was my valley (1941) . Adequate production design that achieved a deserved Oscar , buit by Richard Day and Nathan Juran , 160 builders took six months to construct Richard Day's elaborate set design. 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. This magnificent film featuring a magnificent performance by the whole casting , including a top-notch support cast such as Anna Lee , John Loder , Sara Allgood ,Barry FitzGerald , Rhys Williams ,Frederick Worlock , Ann Todd , Richard Fraser and Arthur Shields .There is another rendition about this classic story made in 1975 by Ronald Wilson (6 episodes, 1975-1976) with Stanley Baker , Siân Phillips , Mike Gwilym , Gareth Thomas .

Beautifully cinematographed by Arthur Miller in black and while , plenty of lights and shades . Evocative and sensitive musical score by Alfred Newman . The picture was magnificently directed by John Ford . John Ford often referred to this film as his favorite. In the 1940s, Ford won-back-to-back Best Director Oscars for two more classics he made at Fox, the screen adaptations of future Nobel laureate John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic The grapes of the wrath (1940) in 1941, and of Richard Llewellyn's memoir of his youth in the coal-mining region of Wales, ¡Qué verde era mi valle! (1941) . the mid-1940s, after working in many genres, Ford began to focus on Westerns again, beginning with My Darling Clementine (1946), one of the classics of the genre. Many of his Westerns featured John Wayne, whom he had first worked with on Stagecoach (1939) and who became a superstar in Howard Hawks' classic oater Río Rojo (1948). Wayne appeared in Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Río Grande (1950), the famous "Cavalry Trilogy." Along with "My Darling Clementine," Ford was plumbing the nature of American myth-making, and the creation of history as an historical narrative, that is, the re-creation of history John Ford created so many classic Westerns that he began to be associated with the genre. It's interesting to note that from 1950 through 1959, he made only one Western, the classic The searchers (1956), one of the greatest examples of the genre. Starting with Horse soldiers (1959) which he made for the Mirisch Co. at the end of the decade, six of his last eight completed movies were Westerns, including his last masterpiece, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." rating : Above average , 8 .

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Welsh

Release Date:

9 April 1942 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley See more »


Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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