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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy remastering of Hollywood�s best film of 1941.
Richard Llewellyn's poignant, nostalgic novel "How Green Was My Valley" appeared in 1939. Hollywood was quick to work on a film adaptation, requiring a top director and producer, the recreation of a Welsh mining village in California, assembling a Welsh male choir and all the other essential requirements. Its success might be measured by the swag of academy awards and...
Published on Nov. 21 2005 by John Austin

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BRING KLEENEX - A POIGNANT TEAR JERKER
"How Green Was My Valley" is a story about the celebration and disillusionment of family. It takes place in a Welsh mining town (actually a Twentieth Century-Fox set built in California) and centers on the Morgan family, mum, dad and five adult sons and one child, played brilliantly by Roddy McDowell. The whole story is seen through McDowell's eyes. Director...
Published on April 1 2003 by Nix Pix


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy remastering of Hollywood�s best film of 1941., Nov. 21 2005
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
Richard Llewellyn's poignant, nostalgic novel "How Green Was My Valley" appeared in 1939. Hollywood was quick to work on a film adaptation, requiring a top director and producer, the recreation of a Welsh mining village in California, assembling a Welsh male choir and all the other essential requirements. Its success might be measured by the swag of academy awards and nominations it received, triumphing over such contenders for best picture as "Citizen Kane" and "The Maltese Falcon".
There is an appeal to the heart here. Homely, sturdy values and speech idioms of long ago are displayed in their best light. There is also an appeal to the mind. Political issues are examined, as are the effects of capitalization, worker exploitation and unionism.
Because a reading of the book and a viewing of the film have always moved me deeply, I have avoided them for many years. I recently watched the DVD version however, and can report that the DVD remastering has been completely successful. Although 1941 was a good year for cinematography, sound track quality was far from satisfactory. Some slight enhancing has been done here to render the choral singing and orchestral sound at least tolerable. Dialogue is clear.
The film immortalizes the work of veteran actors Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood, who play the parts of Gwillym and Beth Morgan, the parents of the mining family. It also best shows the child acting talent of Roddy McDowell, then aged 13. And it is Irving Pinchel who provides the unforgettable narration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Was Too Quick to Judge, Jan. 10 2004
By 
Brett R. Wychopen (TX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
I was reluctant to watch this movie. After all, I am 21 and am used to seeing John Ford movies such as "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". I was sure I would be bored with this movie. Was I ever wrong. This movie touches you in every way. It is quite possibly the saddest and most emotional movie I've ever seen. The cast is very solid: Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Walter Pidgeon, and Roddy McDowall. There is something special about How Green Was My Valley that I cannot explain. I am glad it won Best Picture at the Oscars in 1941. I hope nobody tries to remake this film because no actor or director could do a better job. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Trees" Also Grow in Wales, Oct. 10 2003
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
Frankly, I had forgotten how excellent this film is until seeing it again recently. (It was selected to received the Academy Award for best film, instead of Citizen Kane and the other nominees.) The impact on me of a film at a given time is almost wholly dependent on how accessible I am when seeing it. I first saw How Green Was My Valley as a child and then again several years later. Probably because since then I have become a father and then a grandfather, I am much more appreciative now than I was before of what director John Ford achieves in his portrayal of a Welsh mining town and of a specific family there which struggles so courageously to enable one of its own, not only to escape from the mines but from the limits of a culture (albeit loving and supportive) to fulfill his human potentialities which would otherwise be denied. The film covers a 50-year period as an adult Huw Morgan recalls it (he is played by Roddy McDowell), with the primary focus on his ordeals as the youngest of several children. Donald Crisp received an Academy Award as best actor in a supporting role as Morgan family's patriarch. Many believe this is Ford's best film and I would be hard-pressed to disagree with them. It really has everything. With Philip Dunne's screenplay based on Richard Llewellyn's novel, How Green Was My Valley combines superior acting and cinematography with Alfred Newman's complementary musical score. For me, this film's greatness is found in its graphic portrayal of hardship and despair in a bleak mining town which are offset by a proud family's enduring faith in Huw and their determination to protect and support him. Ford affirms their essential dignity with a respect and admiration he invites us to share.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BRING KLEENEX - A POIGNANT TEAR JERKER, April 1 2003
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
"How Green Was My Valley" is a story about the celebration and disillusionment of family. It takes place in a Welsh mining town (actually a Twentieth Century-Fox set built in California) and centers on the Morgan family, mum, dad and five adult sons and one child, played brilliantly by Roddy McDowell. The whole story is seen through McDowell's eyes. Director John Ford cuts a masterful swath in telling this tale. Maureen O'Hara and Walter Pigeon, as the ill-fated lovers, are superb. Donald Crisp and Sara Allgoode are brilliant as the elders of the Morgan clan. This is a wonderful, timeless film to share with your family and friends. A genuine classic in every sense.
The transfer from Fox is pretty much the same as the previously issued DVD. Contrast levels seema bit low at times but the black and white picture is pretty much pristine, especially when it comes to the stunning close ups. The remixed soundtrack is a bit too aggresive in its side channel output, often drowning out the more soft spoken bits of dialogue with music. Not to worry. The film's original mono audio is also included and it is properly balanced. Dialogue, though dated in fidelity is nevertheless well represented. On this incarnation we get a documentary on the making of the movie that is all too brief and some theatrical trailers that don't add anything to the enjoyment of the over-all film experience. BOTTOM LINE: If you have the previously issued DVD you might want to think twice before going out and rebuying this title again. The extras aren't worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An iconic portrayal of a kinder, gentler world that -- sadly -- is no more ..., Dec 26 2012
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
This movie was made before I was born, but I read the book for the first time when I was about 10 years old. It was a gift from my grandmother that I reread several times, before finally catching up to the film at a rep theater in the early 1960's. For reasons that many of you will recognize, I have never forgotten either of them. Both book and movie have left an indelible mark on my heart, on my mind and on my soul. I hope that as many of you as possible take the opportunity to share this beautiful experience with me, and with the people you love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent good old fashioned movie, Dec 10 2009
By 
Emm (Vancouver Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
If you are looking for a good old fashioned family movie, this one is worth watching. It's about a small mining town and the ups and downs of life in the olden days. It's kind of an interesting insight into the past with lots of emotion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Will Make You Cry and Cheer, Aug. 27 2003
By 
Matthew T. Szramoski (Fairfax, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
You cannot give this film less then 5 stars. The story of a young boy growing up in the Welsh mine country touches on everyone. A young Roddy McDowell sees his family go though loss, redemption, hatred and love. If nothing else, the movie shows the strength of th family and in particular the English people.
An outstanding cast almost makes you feel like you are in old Wales. You can almost feel the coal dust on your tongue as you watch the miners traverse the dangerous coal mines. You can feel the suffering and the happiness of the family as they deal with trajedies and triumphs. Watch it-one of the greatest movies of all time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into The Valley, Feb. 21 2003
This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
John Ford's 1941 film How Green Was My Valley tells the story of a Welsh mining family, the Morgans, through the eyes of the youngest member of the family, ten-year old Huw (Roddy McDowell). Mr. & Mrs. Morgan (Donald Crisp & Sara Allgood) have seven children and struggle to keep their family afloat. Mr. Morgan is a miner, but he refuses to join a newly formed union and join in on their strike. This creates tensions within the family and violence erupts. Through it all the family survives, but their hometown and culture begin to decline. Mr. Ford poignantly portrays the fading of childhood innocence and the good side and down side of life in a small town. The film is still relevant today as Mr. Ford shows how technology dehumanizes society as machinery that is more efficient and cost-effective starts to replace many of the mine's best workers and renders them unneeded and forces them into unemployment. The film beat out what is considered the greatest movie of time, Citizen Kane, to win the 1941 Academy Award for Best Picture and Mr. Ford beat Orson Welles to win his second consecutive Best Director Award (and the third of his total of four). The film won three other Oscars including Best Supporting Actor for Mr. Crisp. The film was to be shot in color on location in Wales, but due to the escalation of World War II, filming was moved to California and shot in black & white to help create the dreariness of South Wales. This worked out brilliantly as the lack of color helps create more a bleaker mood and Arthur C. Miller was rewarded with an Oscar for Best Cinematography.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Hollywood Classic Of The First Order, July 12 2004
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Green Was My V. (VHS Tape)
"Timeless",is perhaps the best word to use in describing producer Darryl F. Zanuck's beautifully assembled tribute to the Welsh Coal Mining Family that became a well deserved winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture in 1941. I never fail to be totally moved by this quite simple story of love, devotion to one's family, and pulling together in times of adversity. Those are indeed timeless themes just as applicable nowadays as they were when Richard Llewellyn first wrote his acclaimed novel. Among the many things that make this film a viewing experience to treasure is to see 13 year old Roddy McDowall, give a subtle, beautifully wrought performance way beyond his young years as youngest son Huw Morgan through whose eyes the story unfolds. The film indeed has something for everyone from a fine literate script, low key believable performances and one of the finest outdoor sets from Hollywood's heyday where an entire Welsh village was constructed on a hillside in California. The film is rightly still regarded as one of Hollywood's greatest achievements in storytelling and has a rare sensitivity about it despite the often harsh themes explored during its running time.
"How Green Was My Valley", unfolds through the thoughts of sixty year old Huw Morgan and we are taken back to the time of his childhood in the small Welsh village that is dominated by the Coal Mine that is the chief source of survival for most of the men in the town. Huw is the much younger son of no nonsense "salt of the earth", parents Gwilym and Beth Morgan (Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood), who have raised their brood of five sons and one daughter to be honest, non complaining, God fearing pillars of the community. Integrity of the soul and a belief in the basic good of mankind are the mottos by which the Morgan's live their everyday lives. The film traces the various happy and tragic occasions that colour the families life in the valley from the marriage of oldest son Ivor (Patric Knowles)to sweet Bronwyn (Anna Lee), to the tragedy and divisions caused to the community by a crippling strike that turns friend against friend and in the Morgan's case, Father against son. We also witness young Huw's adjusting to going to a school outside the valley were he must contend with bullies and a sadistic teacher, on his journey to eventual manhood. All the characters encounter either physical or emotional heartbreak along the way as we see Ivor killed in a mining accident widowing Bronwyn with a young child, many of the Morgan boys being forced to seek work else where as the mine retrenches more of its workers, and Huw and Mrs. Morgan almost dying after falling into a freezing river. We witness the budding romance of daughter Angharad(Maureen O'Hara ), with the local minister Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon), being destroyed when Angharad is forced into a loveless marriage with the son of the mine owner. The story ends on the final sad note with the death of Morgan family head Gwilym in another mining accident. All is not gloom in this story however as it never is entirely in real life and along the way there are many joyous celebrations of the human spirit and of people supporting others in need. Mr. Gruffydd's devotion to young Huw inspires him to overcome his accident in the river and to walk again which in turn inspires Mrs. Morgan in her recovery as well. Town hypocrisy and gossip are also tackled when vivous rumours about Angharad's affection for Gruffydd despite being married, raises the preacher's indignation to the level where he turns it back on the "un christian", individuals spreading the gossip during a church service.
In "How Green Was My Valley", we constantly see the human spirit rise above adversity to go on and face the next challenge. John Ford directed this film with an eye for detail, sentiment and human emotion without sacrificing the strong themes present here. He does a masterful job with the individual performances he gets from the actors who deliver some of the best work many of them ever did. Donald Crisp as the stern but loving head of the family richly deserved his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that year and Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara as the illfated lovers are nothing short of brilliant with every emotion expressed by the two being of a sincerity and believability that comes from assured playing and strong direction. Character actors Anna Lee, Barry Fitzgerald and especially Sara Allgood are also superlative in their work and are immortalised in these roles forever for their fine work. Roddy McDowall is of course the very heart and soul of "How Green Was My Valley", and rarely has a child's part been so centrally placed as the "emotional crossroads", of a story as here. McDowall displays a maturity in his playing that never fails to amaze me and he brings to life the sensitive youngest son of the Morgans who loves his home and family, like no other could. Twentieth Century Fox paid great attention to detail to make this film one of their biggest productions for 1941. The recreation of Welsh mining life is done with great attention to detail right down to the use of the famous Welsh Singers to provide the voices for the men singing on their way home from another day in the mines. The recreation of the Welsh Village also still stands as one of the outstanding achievements of Hollywood technical know how in it's heyday.
For a journey to a simpler and seemingly more sincere time then John Ford's classic "How Green Was My Valley", is unsurpassed entertainemnt of the old Hollywwod school. The phrase, "they dont make them like this anymore", could most definately be applied to this classic. It will bring tears, laughter, and inspiration as no modern film possibly could and this is what makes viewing this film such a special experience. Treat yourself to a viewing of it soon, you wont regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD MOVIE, May 31 2014
By 
Albert Mc Kenzie "CAPER" (CAPE BRETON N.S. CANADA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Green Was My Valley (DVD)
THE MOVIE WAS EXCELLENT GOOD ACTORS AND ACTRESS STORY LINE WAS OF INTEREST COLOUR VERY GOOD EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE WAS WORTH THE WATCH
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How Green Was My Valley
How Green Was My Valley by John Ford (DVD - 2004)
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