How Green Was My Valley (1941) "It's got beautiful cinematography, John Ford as the director, and a three-hankie plot about a Welsh mining Âvillage. Those are the pluses. The minuses: Âmismatched accents and the still-outrageous fact that it beat Citizen Kane." "Golddiggers of 1940" would have beat "Citizen Kane" because Hearst had so decided. Not HGWNV's fault. However, it's not my favorite Ford. It was prepped for William Wyler and I can't help wondering what he would have made of it. My reaction to it in the old "Book v. Movie" thread: Next: "How Green Was My Valley" novel (1939) by Richard Llewellyn v. movie of the same name directed by John Ford (1941). "Read the novel after I saw the film. The film is good, but the novel represents several problems in adaptation. It's a very long, complex family novel, with numerous characters and incidents. The other problem: the novel, told in the first person, is extraordinarily poetic in style and content. It tells the story of a large Welsh family of miners at the end of the century. Llewellyn himself wasn't Welsh (though his grandfather was) and Welsh people have used this to indicate this book is inauthentic. Nationalism is a curious thing. It's a great book, and be damned to them. The movie has good things: the cinematography (which is black & white); Maureen O'Hara and Anna Lee as Angharad and Bronwen; and some of the incidents. It has some of the book in it, but a good many things are missing. The movie has bad things, too: most notably Walter Pigeon, cruelly miscast as the Rev. Mr. Gruffydd. In the book, there is an incident where a small girl is raped and murdered. Mr. Gruffydd rallies the villagers, hunts down the guilty man, and when satisfied that he's guilty, turns him over to the father and brother of the murdered child (they kill him). You never get the impression that the lightweight Pigeon would ever be capable of that kind of tough-mindedness. The other problem is that John Ford Irishizes the Welsh. The family is loud, proud and sentimental, instead of the reserved, tough and pained family of Llewellyn's book. Not all Celts are alike, and he doesn't get these ones right. The script sentimentalizes the story as it goes. Unfortunately. The neutral things: Roddy McDowell (he never changes, though he should be in his early 20's when the book ends), and the rest of the male cast (Donald Crisp is at least 20 years too old for the part of Huw's father) The movie seems good until you read the book, and then it seems mediocre at best. The stoic power of Huw's description of his father's death in the book doesn't come across in the movie, nor does his mother's bitter and shocking reaction. The book, by a mile."