"Proud Valley" was Paul Robeson's favourite of his films, where he felt - finally - his character was portrayed in a sympathetic light, as a rounded human being, not a caricature.
The film, as you might expect for a piece of popular entertainment from so long ago, is a little over-sentimental and "stagey" at times, but for me this adds to its charm. What is unarguably gripping and timeless is Robeson's spine-tingling singing and mighty presence, and the extraordinary scenes underground. This is no sanitised view of mining. If it wasn't shot in situ, then the sets should have won an oscar. You can almost smell the damp coal and the air think with sweat, dust - and gas. The authenticity of the relationship Robeson had with South Wales miners also shines though, and makes for many genuinely moving moments.
A important piece of social history, a warm portrait of Robeson, a gritty tribute to miners, and an emotional testament to human solidarity and courage. Unforgettable.