In John Ford's HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY, Huw Morgan, now a middle-aged man leaving the mining town of Cwm Rhondda, recalls the events that most impressed themselves upon his younger self (Roddy McDowall). His first memories are of the marriage of his brother, Ivor (Patric Knowles), and the burgeoning romance of his sister, Angharad (Maureen O'Hara), and the new preacher, Mr. Gruffydd (Walter Pidgeon). Still too young to work in the local coal mine like his father, Gwilym (Donald Crisp), and his five older brothers, he senses the seriousness of an imminent strike by the rift it creates between his father and the other boys when three of them move out of the family abode. During the tensions of the strike, Huw saves his mother (Sara Allgood) from drowning and in so doing loses the use of his legs. As Gruffydd aids in Huw's recovery, insisting on a positive attitude, he suggests that it is only the first of many trials the boy will have to face.
Richard Llewellyn's nostalgic novel, with its Fordian themes of family and community, could hardly have found a better director. While the acting and writing are excellent, this is truly Ford's film, one in which his brilliantly chosen groupings and compositions are the most expressive elements. Possibly the most moving film of Ford's career, HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY received five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Academy Awards Best Black-and-White Interior Decoration 1941
Academy Awards Best Picture 1941
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor 1941 Donald Crisp Actor/Director
Academy Awards Best Cinematography 1941 Arthur Miller Oscar Winning Director of Photography, '20s-'50s
Academy Awards Best Director 1941 John Ford American Director, THE SEARCHERS (1956)