Do you really think How Green Was My Valley is better than Citizen Kane?
I thought Valley was a decent film (Grapes of Wrath was way better) but not close to Ford’s best….it’s really notable for the breakout adolescent performance by Roddy McDowall.
That being said, Kane is one of the canonical films EVER.
This is not to say that Kane is a bad movie. I like it a lot. Valley, like most of Ford’s work, is not flashy. When I first saw it, I didn’t think much of it either. Subsequent viewings, however, have won me over. For once, the Academy was right!
And Welles probably would’ve agreed with me.
I appreciate your willingness to buck convention and stick by your favorites.
Oh I definately agree that How Green Was My Valley is better than Kane! So facinating that Kane is a film by a young man looking forward, and Valley is a film by an older man looking back. I didn’t mean that Valley wasn’t a masterpiece (I pointed out that he has a career full of masterpieces) but I just find that his post-War work is much more direct and resonant. Valley is definately a better film than Grapes, which lacks the great formal and emotional complexity of the former.
Have you read Tag Gallagher’s book on John Ford, Nathan? There is an excellent section on Valley there, as well as all of other films.
And I’ll take Ambersons, Touch of Evil or Chimes at Midnight (his best IMO) any day over Kane.
I wish we had the original cut of Ambersons to study…..I liked Touch of Evil better than Kane as well. I never saw Chimes at Midnight.
I really think Kane’s mastery lies in it’s innovative (at the time) use of deep focus photography and cutting edge camera work. Welles’ use of mise en scene was unprecedented at the time…the way he showed the dissolution of a marriage in about a 2 minute shot of the Kanes sitting at a table and being placed further and further apart in each successive scene and the dialogue dwindling as well. It’s a watershed moment in film history.
How Green Was My Valley has a deeper emotional core than Kane and it draws us in to the picture more….in Kane we are curious bystanders…in Valley we are invested….
@Neil – I have read portions of that book. It’s not the sort of thing one sits down to read straight through, but as I revisit certain titles, I’ll check out Gallagher’s bit on that particular movie.
Oh, Miasma, you are a funny one.
“How little you know, Santino.”
I don’t know anything about the film itself but I can’t think of a sillier title than “How Green Was My Valley”.
i found it terribly sentimental but then i don’t like the quiet man either
i suppose i need to watch more of ford’s films but the only one i love so far is liberty valance :P
i remember from ‘moguls & movie stars’ that ford became a director because he could yell the loudest on set
You make me sad, Santino.
You don’t care enough for Ford. I don’t care enough for Roeg. Now we are even.
Roeg and Ford should have a duel.
I don’t care for old movies. There really aren’t any good movies prior to 1967.
balderdash ^ and i think u mean duel
“There really aren’t any good movies prior to 1967.”
So, you want this guy:
to fight this guy?
I can’t see the first pic of Roeg
A fine decade for UK/US, my choice would be Powell-Pressburger.
Citizen Kane is far greater than How Green was my Valley, a film i don’t care for much. It may present Wales sympathetically but personally i would Wales a bit more recognisably Welsh and a bit less Irish-American. The pits are gone, the choirs have aged, where once men were chiselled and hard now we have the imported American/wasteful Capitalism obesity problem. The valleys though are greener.
@ Santino: why is How Green was my Valley a silly title?
The film came soon after The Proud Valley, with that great noble-hearted friend of Wales, Paul Robeson. The image of Wales as land of song and coal has persisted.
i was surprised to find dark coal mining valleys in Asturias, Spain.
The Rhondda Valley:
near where the 2nd pic was taken the unsuspecting motorist who gets out to buy an ice cream and admire the view risks being mugged by gangs of voracious sheep which appear from nowhere- i barely got away with my clothes and life
Not that I’m agreeing with Santino, but How Green Was My Valley does seem a little Hallmark Hall of Fame
how about Frank Capra?? he’s the one i’m coming to when I feel sad, Meet John Doe, Arsenic and Old Lace, State of the Union, It’s a Wonderful Life, though I havent seen any of his 40s documentary.
Raul Walsh, no doubt!
I can’t find a youtube clip of The Proud Valley, so this Robeson clip will have to do for now.
David Bordwell is the best writer in English on films imo, and he picked How Green was my Valley among his 10 favourites for a Sight and Sound poll.
Kenji, there are other equally good writers on films; Tag Gallagher, Gilbert Adair and Ray Carney for example.
I love Adair’s book Flickers (my little Russian Ark review was a tribute to him really) and regret he left The Independent, having fallen in love with Zhang Ziyi and been bashed for his not-too-complimentary review of Billy Elliot. Carney, at least the relatively little i’ve read, doesn’t appeal so much. He has quite a following, but my reservations are more a difference of viewpoint and valuation
Can’t work out my favourite yet but a special mention to Carol Reed for his 1947-1949 purple patch:
Odd Man Out (1947)
The Fallen Idol (1948)
The Third Man (1949)
Off the top of my head I can’t think of a director who made three films as good as these, back to back. Brilliant work…
“I don’t care for old movies. There really aren’t any good movies prior to 1967.”
Quote of the evening!
Uli, have you seen How Green Was My Valley?
And Tag Gallagher FTW! I’ll check out Bordwell, haven’t read anything by him yet (I don’t think..)