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How Green Was My Valley

Screening on Film
Recently Restored
Directed by John Ford.
With Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp.
US, 1941, 35mm, black & white, 118 min.
Print source: UCLA

It would be no exaggeration to call Ford’s multiple-Oscar winning saga of a struggling Welsh mining family one of the most emotionally resonant and genuinely moving films of the studio era. Like The Grapes of Wrath the year before, How Green Was My Valley is a triumph of expressive realism that gives emotional depth and dignity to those suffering social injustice, rendering vivid and authentic the difficult lives and plain pleasures of the coal miners and their families. In his first starring role, child actor Roddy MacDowell poignantly captures the awkward, fragile innocence of youth in his portrayal of a wide-eyed, precocious romantic pulled abruptly into adulthood. Originally assigned to William Wyler, Ford was—incredibly—only appointed at the very last minute to what would become one of his best-known works. 

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Classic Ford.
A John Ford Retrospective, Part I

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John Ford:
A Major Retrospective

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