How Green Was My Valley

Wednesday, June 7 at 7:30 PM — The Auditorium at NEIU — 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Tickets: $10 at the door

June 7 - How Green Was My Valley

Directed by John Ford • 1941
“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.” So begins How Green Was My Valley, a private reverie realized on a grand scale, with a 19th-century Welsh mining town rebuilt in exacting detail by studio craftspeople in the Santa Monica Mountains. Based on Richard Llewellyn’s best-selling novel, How Green Was My Valley recounts the adolescence of Huw, a boy torn between loyalty to his family and the promise of a life beyond the coal mines. The film had the good fortune to cast twelve-year-old (and future FBI poster boy for the dangers of 16mm film collecting) Roddy McDowall as Huw, a performance so good that it led producer Darryl Zanuck and screenwriter Philip Dunne to significantly reshape the final product around him. Ably supported by Donald Crisp, Maureen O’Hara, Sara Allgood, Walter Pidgeon, and Anna Lee, How Green Was My Valley plays today like a greener valley of another sort: a bygone, expansive work of popular entertainment (and the rare, wholly deserving Best Picture Oscar winner!) that immerses its audience in the byways of another culture through a profusion of poetic details. Did John Ford and cinematographer Arthur Miller plan to capture Maureen O’Hara’s wedding veil billowing ominously above her head, or simply recognize and surrender to great cinema thrust upon them?  (KW)
118 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA

Preceded by: “Busybody Bear” (Dick Lundy, 1952) – 7 min – 35mm

NEXT UP: Wild Things on Monday, June 12 at the Music Box Theatre