Top positive review
Sadly dated, but not outclassed.
on January 19, 2015
"How Green Was my Valley" was a great read. The movie that John Ford made from it surpassed the book in many ways, and slipped up once or twice. But John Ford was simply not capable of making an 'average' film, let alone a bad one. The casting is perfect. On paper Pidgeon and O'Hara may have seemed to be a mismatch, but they work because of the relationship of the characters. To support them Ford has selected few of his group of supporting actors, and selected a cast of superb actors who become the characters they play.
The plot may contain a few cliches by today's standards, but I doubt they were cliches in the 1940's. The miracle is that we can connect with so many of them in 2015, their joys, sorrows, disappointments, and coping with life in less than ideal circumstances.
The photography is still magnificently perfect. The sound is better than when I first saw the film in a revival theatre when the picture was perfect but the sound dated. Technically, there are few elements, other than colour, different from the best of today's films. The best advantage is that everyone here gives totally of themselves, knowing they are making a film for the ages.