Life is hard in a Welsh mining town and no less so for the Morgan family. Seen through the eyes of the family's youngest, Huw, we learn of the family's trials and tribulations. Family patriarch Gwilym and his older sons work in the mines, dangerous and unhealthy as it is. Gwilym has greater hopes for his youngest son, but Huw has his own ideas on how to honor his father. Daughter Angharad is the most beautiful girl in the valley and is very much in love with Mr. Gruffydd, who isn't sure he can provide her the life she deserves. Times are hard and good men find themselves out of work and exploited by unseen mine owners. Written by
Fox technicians turned an 80-acre plot in Brent's Crags, near Malibu, into the Welsh mining village of the story. By that time, the budget had been scaled down to $1.25 million, which didn't allow for any shooting on actual locations. With the start of World War II in Europe, shooting overseas was almost impossible for the Hollywood studios anyway. Darryl F. Zanuck also abandoned his plans to shoot in Technicolor, partly because the Malibu countryside would not match the colours of Wales. See more »
At Angharad's wedding, from inside the church we see Huw waiting outside, wearing a cap. When they cut to the reverse shot outside the church, the cap is gone. See more »
There is no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my valley as it is today, and it is gone, and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the Earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful. Everything I ever learned as a small boy came from my father and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as ...
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This movie tugged at my heart strings like few others. I was thoroughly immersed in the lives of the Morgans and found myself especially drawn to young Huw's trials, tribulations, and triumphs. The scene where he taps his fork twice and sneezes before he is acknowledged by his father was poignant beyond belief. Despite the hardships and tragedies there is also warmth and humor such as when family friends of the Morgans visit the schoolmaster after he had been especially harsh with Huw. The romantic aspect of the film is also well done by its primary principles, Angharad and the pastor. All in all the films does a magnificent job of capturing the lives of a family in a bygone time and place. There is no doubt that this is a great film and the fact that it beat out the likes of Citizen Kane for Best Picture is a testament to that fact. 9/10.
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