‘How Green Was My Valley’ Mysteries Revealed, Movie is Not a Porn

Posted in Epic Film Quest! on February 12th, 2013 by Nick

how-green-was-my-valley-8Before our viewing of the 1941 Best Picture winner How Green Was My Valley, my lady mentioned that it sounded like the title of a porno. Although the movie turned out to be your run-of-the-mill 1940′s film (bummer, man), I stopped to think about the many possibilities: In the movie’s bizarro porn version, would the miners get laid every time they returned home from work, covered in soot and ash? Would there be lots of shower scenes to make up for their gross grime? Or maybe some of their ladies met them below the surface for some underground lovin’. Did porn even exist in the 40′s!? A guy has to wonder.

I think we singlehandedly mocked and destroyed one of the most beloved movies of all time. And I’m talking, like, in the history of modern day cinema.

Oh, well.

I didn’t love this entry of the Quest, but I didn’t hate it either. This is one of those that sort of felt like a mere check off a list. It’s really fun to write about stuff I absolutely lose my mind over or things I loathe more than pickles, but when the result is somewhere in the middle I’m rather mum. I think my preconceptions got the best of me on this one – I was expecting more and wasn’t significantly moved with regard to the miners’ struggles, families, unions, etc. The socio-economic snapshot of poor coal miners wasn’t completely lost on me, I just didn’t fully connect with it. I don’t fault the film for this, though. It just didn’t happen. Can’t love everything.

From a modern day viewpoint, it’s unbelievable that this one beat out Citizen Kane for the title. But according to Wikipedia (it MUST be true if it’s on Wikipedia!), people were boycotting Kane. Since the film was based on William Randolph Hearst’s actions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he naturally was a huge sissy about it and wanted people to claim libel against Orson Welles. He even tried to get the film banned. Trying to ban a future classic – way to go Hearst! There’s more to this story but I got super bored while reading about it.

What was this post about? Right. How Green Was My Valley is not about the sexual adventures of a bunch of Zoolander-esque coal miners. Instead, it’s about their struggles in society, both at work and at home, and about a little boy who gets beat up all the time and tells their stories and stuff. It was a good enough movie that didn’t really grab me the way I had hoped.

Grade: C+

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