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    How Green Was My Valley
    20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 114 mins . PG . PAL


    The story is based around the Morgan family, and is a narrative told by Huw Morgan as he remembers his past youth as he is leaving this valley. The Morgan family is a very close-nit family, and the narrative tells the audience of the changes to the valley from within the Morgan family. The good times of coal mining can be seen, but these times end when the mine owners reduce the wages, leading to a long strike. Eventually the strike ends, but not everyone gets their jobs back, with the jobless being forced to leave this valley. Physically the town is deteriorating with a huge black cloud forming over the valley, with now the bad effects of mining out-weighing the good times.

    The story may not appeal to all, but after watching it you are able to see the quality of the film, and the great drama that unfolds within the valley. The village life is superbly captured on film, and the cinematography is beautiful. It may not be a “watch daily” title, but definitely worth grabbing out every once in a while.


    The video is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. For a film of its age, the transfer looks great, with an amazing sharpness and clarity for the most part of the film. Being a black and white film, the blacks are solid black and the whites are bright white, with the shades and tones of shadows being rendered brilliantly. There is very little grain, with few unnoticeable film artifacts. There are no MPEG artifacts at all, which you would come to expect from Fox. The layer change occurs at 63:47 and is in a black fade out between scenes and does not disrupt the film. The restoration this film has been given is noticeable on this disc, compared with some of the other discs from Fox in the Classics range.

    While the audio was restored as well, it isn’t as brilliant as the video transfer, but is still superb for its age. Dialogue is easily understood, and as you would expect with a film of its age it does distort and crackle a small amount. But still, again, for its age it is great. Being an English 2.0 mono soundtrack there is no surround or subwoofer usage.

    The extras are stock standard menus, a 12-photo gallery and 4 trailers for How Green Was My Valley, An Affair To Remember, Gentleman’s Agreement and All About Eve. The trailers are very grainy and packed with film artifacts. Generally not anything here to get excited about, but what can really be done with a film of this age. It’s a bit late now to make a behind-the-scenes documentary…

    Overall the transfer is great for a film of its time with limited extras, as one would expect. The story is one of the great dramas, and should be in your collection if you are a fan. But this disc is even worth a hire, just to see the restoration of the transfer and what can be done to older films.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Green? That’s the new Alex Lloyd song, there’s no green here, only a superb black and white transfer from a classic film."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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