Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Set in a small Welsh mining town, a coal miner (Donald Crisp in his Oscar winning performance) and his wife (Sara Allgood) struggle to hold their family together through severe hardships. Based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn and directed by John Ford. It has been many many years since I'd seen HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and I had forgotten what an excellent film it is. The movie gets a lot of flak (unfairly) for winning the best picture Oscar over CITIZEN KANE but the argument over the relevance of the Oscars aside, it's a worthy choice. This being a John Ford movie, it's heavy with sentiment but fortunately since we're dealing with the Welsh and not the Irish, we're spared Victor McLaglen's mugging and starting barroom brawls. Most impressive is the art direction of Richard Day and Nathan Juran who are responsible for the 80 acre Welsh village that was built in the Santa Monica mountains and quite justifiably took home Oscars for their work here. The film is rich in its sense of family and family loyalties. The beautiful score is by Alfred Newman. The cast is perfect and includes Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall (one of the best child actor performances), Anna Lee, Patric Knowles, Barry Fitzgerald, John Loder, Rhys Williams (one of the few actors in the film who is actually Welsh) and Ethel Griffies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment