Parents' Guide to

How Green Was My Valley

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Sentimental classic still tugs at the heartstrings.

Movie NR 1941 118 minutes
How Green Was My Valley Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

How Green Was My Valley – Glows In The Dark

Anyone with a trained eye for perfect visual poetry will be left near breathless by numerous scenes within this classic John Ford drama. Director of photography Arthur Miller (Gentleman’s Agreement ‘47) works so astonishingly well with Ford that you will be left wondering who called what shot. I can just picture them sitting in the rushes viewing room, shedding tears of pure joy while seeing the fruits of their labour for the first time. The superb casting and script go hand in hand and are equally impressive as this polished story unfolds. For some of the more cynical modern critics and viewers, not used to this filmmaker’s style, it could be seen as a sentimentalised vision of life in a Welsh mining village of the era (and well it might be) - but it’s so well produced that honest or sensitive viewers won’t be without a warm glow in their hearts during many stirring scenes. The picture unfolds its story in a classic manner, without faltering or adding any unnecessary padding. If looking for stylish vintage movie making with epic momentum that doesn’t out-stay its welcome, you won’t go too wrong with a walk through this valley. Great production design and storytelling, with a marvellous narration by the great (black banned) actor, director, Irving Pichel (but substituted in original British release prints) It could perhaps be a little manipulative but undeniably one of the all-time film greats. The Twentieth Century Fox DVD re-mastering offers terrific images but the disc I had is slightly out of lip-sync (with the brown/green cover) so look for a later re-issue version.
age 10+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Legendary director John Ford's quiet, loving study of character, family, and community is a moving portrait of a place in time and the people who lived it. Ford's been widely reported as saying that How Green Was My Valley was his favorite film, and it's easy to see why. Wonderful performances from the large cast of colorful characters, a hauntingly beautiful landscape artfully photographed in black and white, and a moving, sentimental story with just the right touch of bittersweet make it a great family choice.

As wonderful as it is, it's not likely to attract or hold the interest of the younger kids. The slow, quiet pace, lots of singing (in Welsh), and adult issues like hardship, unionizing, loveless marriage, and religious hypocrisy will go over their heads. Tweens and up will enjoy seeing the story through young Huw (sounds like "Hugh") Morgan's eyes. Don't be surprised if you, and they, need to reach for a tissue a time or two as the bonds of family, faith, and community are tested and proven strong.

Movie Details

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