A Few Words About A few words about...™ How Green Was My Valley -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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I might have begun this piece with the words... "It would have been wonderful to see what this brilliant film would have looked like with an image harvested from either the original nitrate negative or a quality fine grain..." But I don't have the need. Somehow, in that mess at Fox, with employees set upon destroying the library, this production -- an important one -- has come through relatively unscathed. I've not asked, so I don't know if somehow in that mid-1970s orgy of nitrate blood-lust, someone made a huge error and made a timed fine grain master, or whether the team at Fox, led by the inestimable Mr. Belston, has taken a merely adequate element, and turned it into something very special. It doesn't matter. What does, is the the new Blu-ray from Fox is as gorgeous as it can get without an original negative. And that's beautiful. Grain structure, gray scale, and (generally) the balance of black and whites, works very nicely toward the creation of a quality product. For those who've not seen it, How Green Was My Valley is a monster of a film. A mini-epic from Mr. Ford, with young Mr. McDowell at the fore. For all of you who only know him from that vampire film, be warned, and prepared to have your hearts broken in the generic and wonderful Ford manner. A extraordinary film. A beautiful Blu-ray from Fox. Image - 4 Audio - 4 Highly Recommended. RAH
 

RobHam

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This is out next week in the UK - I have it on pre-order. Each time I've watched this over the years, I've had tears streaming down my face by the end - tip my hat to Mr Ford, for being able to reduce me to a sobbing wreck each and every time
 

David_B_K

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How Green Was My Valley was one of the very first things I bought on home video, around 1979 or so. Fox was one of the first studios to release films on VHS on the Magnetic Video label. I probably paid at least $49.99 for that tape that was of TV print quality, and now can see it on Blu-ray in a beautiful presentation for less than $10. Don't care for the cover art, though.
 

RobHam

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I've now watched How Green was my Valley and was astonished at the difference between my old DVD and this new transfer to BD - giving it a 4 for image quality is maybe a bit harsh by Mr. Harris. What was John Ford's best film always starts arguments, but (in my opinion) this one sits comfortably in the top 3..
 

Robert Crawford

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Originally Posted by RobHam
I've now watched How Green was my Valley and was astonished at the difference between my old DVD and this new transfer to BD - giving it a 4 for image quality is maybe a bit harsh by Mr. Harris.
What was John Ford's best film always starts arguments, but (in my opinion) this one sits comfortably in the top 3..
Let's remember that a 4 for image quality from RAH is probably more of a 4.5-5 rating from most of us. I can't equate my rating system to RAH due to so many different factors. He did say this was a beautiful BD with a Highly Recommended endorsement.
Crawdaddy
 

RobHam

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Robert Crawford said:
Let's remember that a 4 for image quality from RAH is probably more of a 4.5-5 rating from most of us.  I can't equate my rating system to RAH due to so many different factors.  He did say this was a beautiful BD with a Highly Recommended endorsement. Crawdaddy
Shhhh - Mr Harris makes his scores up. As with most scoring systems - it's a case of justifying the number you first thought of. Before you howl - I'm an ex-scientist who is trained in publishing empirical evidence.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by RobHam
Shhhh - Mr Harris makes his scores up.
As with most scoring systems - it's a case of justifying the number you first thought of.
Before you howl - I'm an ex-scientist who is trained in publishing empirical evidence.
I guess.
But only after viewing frame grabs.
RAH
 

RobHam

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Robert Harris said:
I guess. But only after viewing frame grabs. RAH
...made me laugh. You have a very dry sense of humour, sir.
 

dpippel

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This was a blind buy for me too, and after viewing the film today I can only say that I'm sorry it took me so many years to finally watch it. Great movie! I was particularly taken with the cinematography. Practically every frame is composed with an eye for the painterly, and the Blue-ray looks pretty divine to my eyes for a 4-star production. I'm happy to have How Green Was My Valley in my library.
 

I've never seen it, but ordered the blu-ray yesterday. I need to complete my 1940s Best Picture Winners.
 

Brianruns10

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All the debate over the merit of the film aside, and the rather unfair legacy it has had to bear being "The film that beat Citizen Kane," I must say, without hyperbole, that the the wedding scene, ending with that shot of Mr. Gryffyd standing in the distance in the church cemetery...is the finest example of framing and composition I've ever seen. It breaks my heart every time I see it. Thank GOD John Ford refused to cut in a closeup!
 

dpippel

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In the "Making of" piece on the disc, it's mentioned that DP Arthur Miller pressed Ford for a close-up of Walter Pidgeon in that scene to cover their bases just in case. Apparently when he asked Ford if he was sure he didn't want the close-up as well as the long shot, the director's response was (paraphrased), "Hell no. They'd probably use it."
 
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RobHam

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For anyone interested in the films of John Ford, Bogdanovich's documentary "Directed by John Ford" is recommended viewing: http://www.amazon.com/Directed-John-Ford/dp/B002945DVG/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1359924585&sr=1-1&keywords=directed+by+john+ford
 

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