Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1941. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Screenplay by Philip Dunne, based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn. Cinematography by Arthur C. Miller. Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. Music by Alfred Newman. Production Design by Richard Day, Nathan Juran. Costume Design by Gwen Wakeling. Film Editing by James B. Clark. Academy Awards 1941.
Wonderful Oscar-winner undeservedly beat Citizen Kane for the best picture prize of its year but is still an excellent family film decades down the road. Based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, it tells the episodic tale of a Welsh mining family at the turn of the century surviving the many setbacks that they come upon in their lives—from personal love troubles to professional strikes. Sara Allgood stands out as the tough-as-nails matriarch of the clan, while Roddy McDowall is the film’s main focal point as the young pip who witnesses everything his family must endure. Lovingly directed by John Ford, it’s nothing compared to Ford’s similar The Grapes of Wrath made just a year before, nor is it comparable to his marvelous The Quiet Man ten years later, but it’s a wonderful film.