Compelling story of the trials and tribulations of a Welsh mining family, from the youthful perspective of the youngest child (played by a 13-year-old McDowall). Spans 50 years, from the turn of the century, when coal mining was a difficult but fair-paying way of life, and ends, after unionization, strikes, deaths, and child abuse, with the demise of a town and its culture. Considered by many to be director Ford's finest work. When WWII prevented shooting on location, producer Zanuck built a facsimile Welsh valley in California (although Ford, born Sean Aloysius O'Fearna, was said to have been thinking of his story as taking place in Ireland rather than Wales). Based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 118 minutes.
Oscars 1941: B&W Cinematog., Director (Ford), Picture, Support. Actor (Crisp), Natl. Film Reg. 1990;; N.Y. Film Critics 1941: Director (Ford).
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