7.8/10
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138 user 88 critic

How Green Was My Valley (1941)

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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.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Welsh

Release Date:

9 April 1942 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

¡Qué verde era mi valle! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,000,000, 31 January 1943
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Microphonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sara Allgood was the only actor who gave John Ford any trouble. At one point, she complained that a scene they were about to shoot wouldn't play. Ford called writer Philip Dunne to the set and relayed her opinion to him. Having worked with Ford before, Dunne knew what to do. He ripped the scene out of the script and said, "Now it plays!" Then Ford turned to Allgood and said, "The sonofabitching writer won't do anything to help us, so we'll have to shoot it the way he wrote it." See more »

Goofs

When Huw comes home after being beaten by his teacher, there is no blood or marks on his back. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Gruffydd: I know why you have come - I have seen it in your faces Sunday after Sunday as I've stood here before you. Fear has brought you here. Horrible, superstitious fear. Fear of divine retribution a bolt of fire from the skies. The vengeance of the Lord and the justice of God. But you have forgotten the love of Jesus. You disregard His sacrifice. Death, fear, flames, horror and black clothes. Hold your meeting then, but know if you do this in the name of God and in the house of God, you blaspheme ...
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Alternate Versions

Original stereophonic soundtrack recovered and restored for later video and cable TV release. See more »


Soundtracks

Peter O'Pea
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish folk song sung by Donald Crisp
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Welch valley
31 August 2004 | by jotix100See all my reviews

John Ford was a director with a vision bigger than life, as demonstrated by his films. Richard Lewellyn's novel must have been one source of inspiration for bringing to life this story about a small town in Wales. The director had the good fortune to have Arthur Miller as his cinematographer for this tale about the stark conditions about the miners' lives. The small town comes alive by the vivid account one sees on the screen. At times, what we are witnessing before our eyes, remind us of the work of great photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White, whose pictures for the old Life magazine parallel Mr. Miller's stark photography in the film.

Mr. Ford uses songs in most of his films. In this movie as well as in The Quiet Man, this device enhances what we are watching. The songs are diversions for the stark reality in the miners' lives. Their every day misery is somehow eased when they sing with clear voices ancient folk melodies they, and their forefathers, have always known.

The Morgan family is at the center of the story. We hear the narration from Huw, the youngest member of this family. All the men work in the mine; they are all disillusioned by the working conditions and meager wages that they give without hesitation to the matriarch when they are paid. They appear content at the beginning of the film, but we watch them gradually abandon their village in search of a better life; who can blame them?

The cast assembled by Mr. Ford is first rate. Donald Crisp, as the patriarch of the Morgan family outdoes himself in this film. Walter Pidgeon as the local church pastor is excellent. The young and radiant beauty of Maureen O'Hara was so powerful, we can't stop watching her for a moment when she is on screen. Roddy McDowall as the youngest child of the clan in his first appearance is also a magnetic presence that holds the viewer's attention all the time.

The rest of the actors do incredible ensemble work to support the principals. Anna Lee, John Loder, Barry Fitzgerald, Anne Todd make us believe they are the characters they are playing.

Ultimately this is a John Ford's triumph. He is the force that welds everything together and in spite of all the bad things that happen to the family and the town, he seems to be telling us there still is hope and life will continue.


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