reminded me a bit of a cross between the grapes of wrath and the godfather. it’s a film about a family living in a valley in wales, but i suppose it’s really more about the valley and the town, than the singular family. it shows the transformation of the town and the family unit and it does so with varying degrees of success. i think the major flaw of the film is that the characters weren’t as vibrant as they were in grapes of wrath or the godfather. the father figure and roddy mcdowall’s character were compelling, but not as engaging to me as michael corleone or tom joad. i also felt that this film was a bit on the sprawling side, and not in the good way like godfather. grapes of wrath was a more focused picture and benefited from that focus. godfather was a sprawling epic, but everything that the story touched was fascinating; this wasn’t so true with this film.
those slights aside, how green was my valley is a touching story about a world in a state of flux. the scene that really brought it home for me was when young mcdowall took out a map to show his mother the locations of her sons/his brothers. having left the coal mines of the valley to seek other sources of employment the sons become scattered around the globe. mcdowall illustrates this on the map and draws a star connecting all the dots of the sons in an effort to cheer up his mother, but this attempt only further illustrates how fragmented the family has become because of the economic situation of the valley.
strong film on the whole. had some slow parts and i wish the characters were a little more developed.Watched on TV