Oscar History

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Visual Index ~ How Green Was My Valley 

In five seasons we've never done a Best Picture winner for Hit Me With Your Best Shot . But not intentionally. So, here's the first. I asked all willing participants to watch the chosen film - in this case John Ford's 1941 film How Green Was My Valley -  and choose what they think of as the Best Shot. (Next week we're looking at another major Oscar player Zorba the Greek to kick off June's "year of the month" which will be devoted to 1964 so please join us... especially if, like me, you've never seen it. Let's fill those gaps in our Oscar viewing, together!)

How Green Was My Valley is marvelous to look at. Though its reputation has been dulled by beating Citizen Kane to Best Picture that year it's easy to see why it won Best Cinematography for Arthur C Miller (not the playwright) among its 5 Oscars. 

"How Green Was My Valley" Best Shot(s)
click on the photo for the corresponding article at these 8 fine blogs

Doing their very best impression of 19th Century British landscape paintings. And yet, the future sneaks in...
-Antagony & Ecstasy


Ford later revisited a similar provincial landscape in "The Quiet Man" with vivid Technicolor results, but the black-and-white cinematography here is just as lush...
-Film Actually

The beauty of the early scenes makes the ravages of time seem all the more cruel... 
-We Recycle Movies 

I just looked at these images and couldn’t imagine them being photographed any other way…
-Coco Hits NY 

Pretty scenery? Check. Religion, singing, and coal mining all have something to do with this moment? Check...
-Allison Tooey 

- The Film Experience 

Capitalism vs. religion, new ways vs. old ways. These are the main tensions of the history of industrialization...
- The Entertainment Junkie 

An uphill battle against the smoke and ash that threaten to cover her town...
-Lam Chop Chop 

If you haven't yet seen it, do these shows make you want to?

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Reader Comments (7)

This film has beautiful black and white photography and there are dozens of best shots...............but the wedding veil............blowing up in the wind, stays with you forever!.

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie19

I also participated, and tried to send my submission in early, but I guess it got lost. Anyway, you can find my entry at my journal, under the heading "Valley of Ashes."

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterallisontooey

corrected. i've added yours and another. thank you.

they're all such beautiful shots!

May 28, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

My choice for best shot is after the ill advised wedding when Angharad is exiting the church and the wind catches her veil sending it skyward. I suppose I could try and be all scholarly and say it represents her hopes of a future with the preacher flying away but really the image is just so striking that it's the one I always think of first whenever I think of the film.

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Yes I agree. The wedding veil has to be the most iconic image from the film. If also think it's funny that this was shot at Malibu Creek State Park near Los Angeles which was also where the TV show "MASH" was shot (also "Planet of the Apes").

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff D.

This whole movie is beautifully shot. I like all of these choices, and can think of several more good selections even though it's been years since I've seen it.

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercash

I'm honestly shocked that you haven't done 'Citizen Kane' yet.

May 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterConMan

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