Archive for How Green is My Valley

Donald Crisp’s Invisible Dog

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2021 by dcairns

(Now with FIXED SOUND)

Fiona immediately felt, on seeing the above scene from THE DAWN PATROL (1938), that I should excerpt it for Shadowplay. And, obviously, I agreed.

When did Donald Crisp go from the scary guy in BROKEN BLOSSOMS (and the scary portrait in THE NAVIGATOR) to the lovely cuddly guy in THE DAWN PATROL and GREYFRIARS BOBBY? Maybe it was when he started pretending to be Scottish. This obscuring Celtic veil got Crisp a few jobs — the above-mentioned pooch film, it’s alternate-universe version CHALLENGE TO LASSIE (what if Greyfriars Bobby was a collie?) and arguably HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY (since in Hollywood terms, Scottish and Irish = Welsh) and MARY OF SCOTLAND and THE LITTLE MINISTER. But it’s not certain he couldn’t have grabbed those roles anyway just by his facility for doing a not-terrible Scottish accent (he’s one of the few actors trying to sound Welsh in HGIMV).

Anyway, this scene is adorable, as good as James Mason chasing his last pea round the plate in MURDER BY DECREE.

I ought to have more to say about this film soon, because we absolutely loved it. It’s much more Hawksian than the Hawks version.

“Sun’s coming up, like a big bald head…”

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by dcairns

Image from QUIET, PLEASE: MURDER! (possibly the most heavily-punctuated title of any 1940s Hollywood film).


Bosley Crowther’s review of the film questions why the village from HOW GREEN IS MY VALLEY is situated in the art room of a public library. He suggests that the fact that both films were 20th Century Fox productions may have something to do with it. Thanks to Peter for pointing this one out. In other shots we can see more clearly the long slope of the town’s main street, which offers such striking perspectives in Ford’s film.