Emotionally majestic and spiritually moving, this is one of John Ford's undisputed masterpieces, a film that neither fades nor fails after repeated viewings.
The mining area in South Wales and its hard-working miners and their families are seen through the eyes of Huw (Roddy McDowall), the youngest of six children in a family headed by a stern father (Donald Crisp) and loving mother (Sara Allgood). Set at the turn of the century and told in flashback,
the film shows an unspoiled valley, full of love and warmth, wherein the trials and hardships of the community are told through a series of moving vignettes.
Everything about this film is touching; master director John Ford builds one simple scene upon another with very little plot, using incidents in the life of one family to tell the general tale, demonstrating changes and recording milestones. Beautifully assisted by cameraman Arthur Miller, Ford
received strong support from studio chief Darryl Zanuck, who personally produced the film. The superlative cast is a Who's Who of Hollywood's Irish community, with a noble assist from Welsh singers.
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