How Green Was My Valley (1941)

 How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Director: John Ford

Writers: Philip Dunne, based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn

Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowell, John Loder, Sara Allgood 

This film traces the changes that befall the Morgan family and the Welsh mining community where they live as the pressures of capitalism and industrialization put an end to a gentle way of life. 

The narrator prefaces the story by acknowledging the tendency of memory to amplify our primary impressions of the past, thereby setting the stage for some of the rampant sentimentality to follow. 

John Ford's film is melodrama rather than a deeply insightful look into the human condition, but it is affecting, nevertheless. 

The film provides some much needed balance by treating such issues as unionization, environmental deterioration, and the corrupting effect of poverty and unemployment on the human soul. 

There are many fine performances, including Roddy McDowell when he was just a little chimp.


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