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How Green Was My Valley

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movieman1957
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby movieman1957 » October 17th, 2011, 9:29 pm

That's a grand essay. Thanks.
Chris

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JackFavell
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby JackFavell » October 18th, 2011, 7:55 am

Alison, I think you stated your thoughts beautifully, in a very well balanced way and without rancor. I understand exactly what you mean, and can see why you feel that way.

MissG, you have blown me away with this pictorial essay... I think you could give Tag Gallagher a run for his money. Beautifully done. That's just how I think of the film, as a remembrance, not as reality. I am giving you a standing O for this post though you can't see me! It was just spectacular.

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 18th, 2011, 12:52 pm

Wow, thank you so much Miss Goddess, you really should take it up as a living, I can tell how much you love the film from your delightful and insightful post. There is so much I do like, the performances, the depiction of family, the imagery, the subtlety of the love between Angharad and Mr Griffith and the narration and viewpoint of Huw etc. Ford's view of the village in Huw's later years is devastating just as his view of his early years carries a charm that would have us transport ourselves back there and I read your words and can understand how you feel about the film and why it obviously so moving for you, I can see how it can move an audience,my view is only slightly different it's just marred by what I see as the depiction of the village. In 1941 would Ford or Zanuck have thought that audiences and critics would be discussing their films in detail many years later, when they were made they were primarily for an American audience, many of whom wouldn't realise that what they were seeing was different from the reality and thought that romanticising the village wouldn't matter, had they realised that many years later there would be a global audience of which one or two were sticklers for history and correctness. Everything else I like, my dissappointment is only that I wanted to completely love it as I love The Quiet Man, a film I loved so much that I planned a whole holiday around it, not that I would ever recommend anyone holiday in the Welsh mining villages, stay in Tenby and go for a visit.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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MissGoddess
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby MissGoddess » October 18th, 2011, 1:06 pm

It's tough to explain, I evidently failed somewhat to convey what I've seen. If you watch again carefully, there is not much romanticizing by Ford as director, since it is the character of Huw he shows is the romantic dreamer, at the cost of his own well being paralleling the same intransigence of the village. It's similar to how "Lisa" in Letter From an Unknown Woman romanticizes her story. But it's not easy to see this from the first viewing, it took me a while to separate the points of view (auteur, narrator, character in flashback...) But most people think Ford romanticized the past, simply, when the close examination of his films often reveals a tug of war with that whole concept. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance uses more clearly defined framing devices to point this out. It's much subtler in HGWMV. Ask most people, they think Ford is sanctioning "print the legend" when the reverse is true.
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby RedRiver » October 18th, 2011, 5:17 pm

If nothing else, a Ford film inspires discussion and perspective. Whatever this movie is, it's the beautiful pictures provided here that make it so.

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby MissGoddess » October 18th, 2011, 9:02 pm

Howdy, Red...I totally agree. Like a painting, a good movie inspires many ways of "seeing". I also enjoy the excercise of trying to put into words what I see, which I don't always do well. The words end up not sounding like "me" half the time!

Thanks, Wendy, Allison, Chris...it's a privilege to be indulged in this kind of conversation. :D
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 19th, 2011, 1:54 pm

Heck, I'm enjoying it too. I did pick up on what you were saying about Huw, I perhaps didn't put it well myself, Huw has romanticised his past and whilst I think Ford used too grand a scale with his houses, I can appreciate how you see it and why you see it that way and why you enjoy it so much. Next time I watch it, I'll hold your perspective in my mind and see how big a difference it makes. It's an awfully good discussion we're having about HGWMV. I have the book on my too read list, once I've read it I'll be able to tell you if it deviates from the book.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby RedRiver » October 19th, 2011, 3:03 pm

It's hard to put images into words. I think that's part of the beauty of the visual arts.

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JackFavell
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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby JackFavell » October 19th, 2011, 3:05 pm

And especially such rich images!

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby MissGoddess » October 19th, 2011, 4:03 pm

I have the book, which is written as a lyrical, almost musical ballad and it's incredible how Ford captures its spirit. The main deviations are the book emphasizes the union conflict more (Zanuck nixed that, after the heat he took on Grapes of Wrath, and directed the screenwriter Dudley Nichols not to enforce a social drama perspective, but instead to keep Huw a young boy and tell it through his perspective. William Wyler, who was the original director assigned to this movie, worked with Nichols for three months on the script with these changes in mind) and the other difference from the book is the frankness of the sexuality (we have Huw growing older in the novel; I won't say more or I'll give away too much to those who have not read it).
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby RedRiver » October 20th, 2011, 11:18 am

I bet Wyler would have done a good job with this movie. He did well with practically everything. But the finished product is so fine, it's hard to wish for more.

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 20th, 2011, 2:45 pm

I got the feeling that Huw grew older when he said about loving Bronwen the moment he saw her, in the movie he doesn't grow enough to realise that love but perhaps in the book. You've sold me on the book the way you describe the prose.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby MissGoddess » October 20th, 2011, 3:36 pm

oh, Allison you won't be disappointed...it's one of the most poetic novels I've ever read...it stayed with me a long time after I closed the last page. Too bad Llewellyn did not write more.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 20th, 2011, 3:52 pm

It is a shame isn't it? Have you read Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, it's a favourite of mine, again it's a mining community, the father goes down the mine but Mum really doesn't want her sons to go down the mine, she sets herself above the father, it was made into a good film with Trevor Howard and Wendy Hiller but the book, it's ten times better.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: How Green Was My Valley

Postby JackFavell » October 20th, 2011, 4:59 pm

I love D.H. Lawrence, I read every one of his books when I was younger. I'll have to go back and reread him, as soon as I get through the Llewellyn book. :D


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