4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The ups and downs of Life in the Valleys!,
This review is from: How Green Was My Valley [DVD]  (DVD)
"How Green Was My Valley"(41) is almost a companion piece to Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" made a year earlier. They both wrestle with the big themes of social injustice and family bonds. They are also both based on famous novels. How Green is based on a famous novel by Richard Llewellyn, who strangely enough was an Englishman. This film chronicles the lives of the Morgan family in the South Wales coalfield at a time of great social and economic upheaval. We follow the loves and many hardships as their fortunes fluctuate. Again we see the close family bonds that John Ford the director was so concerned with throughout his long career in Hollywood. Walter Pidgeon and that Ford female stalwart Maureen O'Hara star with the youngest family member played by a young Roddy McDowell providing the narration.
The film was interestingly made in Hollywood due to WW2, which does give it a rather false look. The Welsh accents are a strange Hollywood Welsh, like nothing I have heard in the Valleys. Funny that the same happy band of actors from Ford's stock company took those very same accents to Ireland for "The Quiet Man" eleven years later. This was actually filmed on location and you can see the difference! "How Green Was My Valley" is probably a little over sentimental for my tastes which is why I cannot give it 5 stars. It is also not as fine a film as Ford's classic "The Grapes of Wrath" which I have given 5 stars. It is however a very good film and well worth watching.