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Blu-ray Review How Green Was My Valley Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    Ancestral family on both sides came from Wales and I have traveled there. I live in the south US. I grew up in Jackson MS during the 60's. THE HELP is no more a historical film than HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY or other films picturing the south in the past or in the present. I just don't don't see a point in not enjoying a film because you feel it does not portray an area or era acuratly. A film can move me to laughter or tears due to the story, filming, acting or all three. But I just take film as entertainment and understand cinema liberties. I also think the conversation in another thread about whether Rogers and Hammerstein approved of spousal abuse due to CAROUSEL is also over the top and believe those scenes were used to push the story along. I respect your thoughts but I dont subribe to the underlying foundation.
     
  2. bigshot

    bigshot Well-Known Member

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    Stereotypes didn't do that. Bigotry did. Everyone uses stereotypes every day... Soccer Moms, Teabaggers, Wall Street Types, Religious Fanatics, Terrorists... Humans categorize people. Nothing wrong with it. It's a communication shortcut. Some people use the word as a pejorative... but only when other people do it, not themselves.
     
  3. bigshot

    bigshot Well-Known Member

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    Why would they want to be just like other people? I personally embrace and celebrate my culture. I don't want to be just like everyone else.
     
  4. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    This is a movie made in the U.S. about life in Wales. There's no way it's going to have 100% documentary-like accuracy. It's escapist melodrama, which was huge in that era in filmmaking. By the same token several British films depicting American life often fell on stereotypes (the gangster and slang-laced fast talker most commonly) but that doesn't keep them from being entertaining or good movies. The attempts at emulating American accents are half the fun. This is one of those movies I absolutely adore. Definitely one of John Ford's best.
     
  5. RobHam

    RobHam Well-Known Member

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    I actually can't believe what I've read here. This is film based on a book written in 1939. John Ford made this movie in 1941 and it won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Film. It belongs as part of John Ford's best work alongside The Searchers and The Grapes of Wrath - both of which are also based on popular and award winning novels, but neither of which would claim to be completely historically accurate accounts of their respective periods in history. I lived in Ireland for a couple of years, and went in expecting The Quiet Man (another Ford top 10 movie) to be regarded as racially derogatory. Instead the Irish had embraced this whimsy as part of their culture, and The Quiet Man was quoted back to me (as a foreigner) on regular occasions. Over many, many years, I have found the the Welsh to be the most easily offended race I have ever encountered. Despite this, anyone, and I mean anyone, offended by this wonderful film needs help. Switch the lights off, sit back, and experience how a movie director at the peak of his powers can manipulate your emotions with visual poetry. And yes the Video Quality of this BD fully deserves the 4.5/5
     
  6. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Well-Known Member

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    What a great post...well written, intelligent, non-condescending. I agree with your well thought out points 100%.
     
  7. andrew markworthy

    andrew markworthy Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear oh dear oh dear. (1) I'm not Welsh, nor do I state anywhere that I am Welsh, merely that I live there and have for a number of years. I said that people in Wales get very tired of the stereotyping. So do I, having lived here. Believe me, it takes place all the time. Does that constitute being 'the most easily offended race' ? - well, it depends how many cultures you've met and I personally wouldn't engage in potentially racist comments of this sort. What I said in my original post is that the film is regarded as patronising and ludicrously sentimental. We aren't 'offended' by it as much as we roll our eyes heavenwards at how wide of the mark a lot of the film is. (2) You make a false analogy:
    Neither The Searchers not The Grapes of Wrath is historically accurate, but they are great films because of the tales of the individuals in them, and in both cases the distortion of the truth is still within the bounds of possibility. The snag with HGWMV is the Welsh life portrayed is totally central to the film and it is too gross a distortion for a lot of people.If you can disregard this or are ignorant of the background, then you can enjoy the film, and fine. (3) Another point you make:
    Perhaps they were being polite to you. I'm part Irish, have a number of Irish friends, and I can tell you they loathe that film for its twee whimsy and papering over the very real problems that Ireland faced at the time. All you need are some dancing leprechauns and you'd have a full Oirish tourist board commercial. (4) And yet another point you make:
    So what? The King's Speech won an Oscar and that was drivel. Ditto Shakespeare in Love. Maybe these films were up against weak competition, but HGWMV will always be infamous for winning at the expense of Citizen Kane. Can you *honestly* say that HGWMV is better than Citizen Kane? Thought not. And that proves that winning an Oscar is not a clinching proof of quality. As I said in my first post,
    All I was doing was pointing out that the film is not as widely admired as the fanboy posts on here seemed to imply. I wasn't trying to derail the discussion, just put in a brief qualifier. I'm sorry I posted the original comment now because it wasn't meant to derail the discussion away from the film into an 'is it or isn't it nice about Wales?' discussion. If we are not careful, we are going to get into potentially racist/political comments and I do not want this so I'm making no more comments on this thread. For those who want to discuss the movie and like it, then good for you - I have no beef at all with people liking it. I was only ever saying that it's not ... Oh you get the idea.
     
  8. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    Ugly thing to say. First of all, Welsh is a "race"? Isn't just a nationality? Secondly, that is no better an ill conceived thing to say than to describe all African Americans as "uppity", all Irishmen as "drunken fighters", or all Jews as "greedy".
     
  9. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, it's a great movie, just enjoy it! I hope by this time next year there's a few more John Ford films on Blu-ray. And anyone interested in John Ford should read Joseph McBride's big thick biography, "Searching For John Ford - A Life". A flawed person & not a good family man, but a great film-maker.
     
  10. Guest

    Do the last series of shots represent heaven?
     
  11. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Well-Known Member

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    does the Blu Ray have all the special features of the dvd? The Grapes Of Wrath Blu Ray didn't
     
  12. RobHam

    RobHam Well-Known Member

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    I was going to let it be, but there are a number of issues outstanding from posts above: The Welsh are a Celtic Race rather than a Nationality - complete with their own culture and language. An understanding of the divided history of the United Kingdom and the resultant Union of the Crowns in 1707 perhaps helps dispel the myth that all Brits are of Anglo-Saxon descent. To understand the Welsh, it also helps if you play rugby. Movies and the stories that begat them are not history - they are entertainment. We should rejoice in the ones that are well made, not moan about historical inaccuracies. Orson Welles stated repeadly that he taught himself film-making by watching all of John Ford's movies to date first before embarking on Citizen Kane as a first time film-maker. In my opinion Kane owes as much to Toland's photography as it does to Welles' direction. The vendetta against Kane by Hearst is allegedly because "Rosebud" was Hearst's name for Marion Davies's clitoris. If this is true, then Welles was being deliberately provocative by using it, and he must have known he was placing his film in danger (maybe the arrogance of youth). The question of whether Citizen Kane deserved the Academy Award for Best Picture instead on HGWMV is an interesting one and goes beyond mastery of the medium and into the realms of historical significance. Presented as they were in 1941, I think the correct film won. Ignoring the North of Ireland (and all the problems that derive from this), Ireland is a severely culturally divided country between metropolitan and rural. As with most modern countries, in Ireland city folks despise country folks and vice-versa. The Ireland of The Quiet Man may not exist (or ever have existed), but to many in Ireland outside cosmopolitan Dublin, it represents the best work of a Hollywood film director of Irish parentage who had made good then "came back home".
     
  13. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Well-Known Member

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    You are giving Toland way to much credit,sure hes great,but its Welles who went on to make a lot of fantastic looking films with other cameraman ,and its not just a great DP,Its Welles eye ,much like Ford, " Toland's photography" seems like a unfair way of saying it ,Its Welles Photography in the sense that it is a lot more than lighting,And the great unique framing is pure Welles,which can be seen in all his films,Nothing wrong with Toland
     
  14. Escapay

    Escapay Well-Known Member

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    It is missing a still gallery.
     
  15. bigshot

    bigshot Well-Known Member

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    Most people who get offended do it because they enjoy the feeling of righteous indignation. I much prefer the feeling of whimsey.
     
  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    I'm big into righteous whimsy!
     
  17. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Rob, in your zeal to give much of the credit for Kane to Toland, you neglected to sing the praises of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. HM had worked for Hearst, and if the Davies anatomy story is true, it would have likely been provided by Mankiewicz. It is even possible that only Mankiewicz knew the double meaing of Rosebud (if the story is even true at all. I don't really think it is).
     
  18. Richard M S

    Richard M S Well-Known Member

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    Dave Kehr's column in today's NY Times (2-10-13) reviews HGWMV and then tackles the HGWMV vs Kane debate; he says the Academy showed "genuine wisdom" in picking HGWMV over Kane. It was a fascinating read after perusing this thread. I was not much older than Roddy McDowell was in the film when I first saw this movie on tv, so I am totally excited about seeing this again as an adult in what appears to be a near-perfect blu-ray presentation of this film, now over 70 years old.
     
  19. Richard M S

    Richard M S Well-Known Member

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    I should add seeing a great performance by Maureen O'Hara, as other have mentioned, is like icing on the cake.
     
  20. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] wish they did this here
     

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