How Green Is Your Valley.

Part of my addiction problem is an obsession with old movies. Film Noir will capture me almost every time. If it’s got dames & gumshoes I’m in for the duration. Turner Movie Classics is making this an even worse problem: now I’m doing the classics.

I recently spent 4 hours watching Gone With The Wind. Not my cup of tea based on the people who’d told me all about what a wonderful movie I had been missing. Meh. But I was wrong. Really wrong: it rocked.

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Now that wasn’t bad enough – it opened my eyes to the fact that I’d been dismissing a lot of movies based on other’s wimpy fondness for them. Call it blinders, stupidity, gall, or just arrogance. Your choice. I admit freely that my viewing was lacking.

It should come as no surprise then that my DVR captured How Green Was My Valley when it aired recently. The plot didn’t sound all that great on first glance but I gave it a shot.

Wow. I was blown away by the cast for starters. If a great character actor was missing I can’t name them. All of my favorites from an entire generation of actors were in this film. Roddy McDowell, Maureen O’Hara, Walter Pidgeon… and all those faces you know but can’t name as the rest of the cast.

If there was a more beautiful woman on earth during her era Maureen O’Hara didn’t know about it: she exudes sexy charm, fresh faced beauty, and a grace that abounds in every scene. The woman could act to boot. I’ve never seen her in anything where I didn’t want to watch for another two hours. If you want to be transfixed by her beauty and skill, watch The Quiet Man. Funny, piercing, serious, and sad all in one movie.

The movie’s plot is simple: the lives of a family of Welsh coal miners at the turn of the century. The trials and challenges were daunting, but their love and loyalty to each other brought them through it all. The simple story and basic decency of humanity were the focus rather than the despair and depravity that were the opposite side of that coin.

You will find, if you watch the TCM version of the movie, that the story is just a small part of the novel by Richard Llwellyn. I’m going to read it when I get some time next year. (Yes, I have to plan my reading that far in advance. Seems that writing takes up some of the time reading used to in my life.)

I’d give the movie 5 stars out of 5. Well worth a view and not just for Maureen O’Hara. But then again, she is worth it all by herself. Here’s the trailer just for a taste:

How green is your valley? Are you loyal and loving to your friends and family in the face of adversity?

Comments

How Green Is Your Valley. — 4 Comments

  1. I love old movies too. I was home this past Sunday from church, because I have a lovely cold. While my husband went on to worship service, I sat and watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Wow, I guess I have watched that movie 10 times and suddenly I had some real “in your face” moments. I am going to blog about it this week on my blog http://livinwhatyouregiven60.wordpress.com Hope you will take a peak. Blessings.

    • Just F.Y.I. to the readers, Laura is another Christian author I have met on the web. She’s right – that’s one movie that changes every time you watch it. (Yeah, I know, don’t end a sentence with “it.” (Did it again…))

      My suspicion is that as we age and see more of life we appreciate how much we as a society have changed.

  2. Thank you for this post, Joe. You might be surprised to know that I will take HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and/or THE QUIET MAN above GONE WITH THE WIND any and every time. I’ve seen Gone with . . . 5 times and have liked it less each time. I’ve seen How Green 3 times and Quiet Man 2 times and have grown more fond of them with each viewing. To me GONE is stilted — story and acting — against the other two. I always wondered why GONE garnered so many accolades!

    And then there’s GRAPES OF WRATH! A movie that rewrote the book for political benefit . . . great acting and great story (in the book) which if left as it was would have been a story of stories, but alas the film was destined to tell what the powers that be wanted it to say I suppose that’s with all film simply because film does engender belief and following beyond its cash value.

    As was the jester of the ancients, so is the film of the modernists . . .