How Green Was My Valley

1941 | Drama | 118 minutes | English and Welsh with English subtitles

Info

Huw Morgan is the youngest son in a Welsh coal mining family of nine. His childhood is idyllic: everyone in town gets along; the men working in the mines are adequately paid; and his family is preparing for the wedding of Huw’s older brother, Ivor. At the boisterous wedding, Angharad, the groom’s sister, meets Mr. Gruffydd, the newly appointed pastor, and it’s obvious there is a mutual attraction.  As the men go off to the mines, Beth, the mother and daughter Angharad take care of the house. Problems arise when the mine owner cuts the wages, which results in a furious protest. Gwilyn, Huw’s father, tries to be the peacemaker by not supporting the strike. However, this affects his relationship with his sons. Also, the relationship between the family and several townspeople  is strained. The hard liners believe the only way to restore their wages is to strike. It’s the only language the owner will understand. The idyllic, peaceful life of the village will never be the same. 

Cast
Walter Pidgeon (Mr. Gruffydd) / Roddy McDowall (Huw) / Donald Crisp (Gwilym) / Maureen O’Hara (Angharad) / Sara Allgood (Beth)
Why Stream This Film?
Arguably one of the greatest films ever made. One could easily relate the misfortunes endured by a mining family in Wales  with families in Appalachia in the U.S.
  • Rotten Tomatoes (Critics Consensus): 89%
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Picture; Best Director (John Ford); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Donald Crisp); Best Cinematography (Arthur C. Miller)
  • National Board of Review, USA: Selected: Top Ten Films; Winner, Best Acting (Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall)
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Director (John Ford)
  • The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
Expert  performances from Donald Crisp, Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, and a host of brilliant actors enhance a magnificent movie experienc.
Don Druker

Chicago Reader

Out of the homely virtues of a group of Welsh mining folk—and out of the modest lives of a few sturdy leaders in their midst—producer Darryl Zanuck, director John Ford and their associates have fashioned a motion picture of great poetic charm and dignity, and one that may truly be regarded as the outstanding film of the year.
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

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