Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Every Valley (1957)

Review in Monthly Film Bulletin - January 1958
This is an attempt to show the effect of modern means of transport on a small Welsh valley community, once entirely occupied by mining, now given the opportunity of varied occupations and studies in the nearby town. The message is never pressed hard, rather implied by the intelligent and sympathetic assembly of pictures of people about their daily business and recreation, by the modest, well-written, well-read commentary and by the alternately witty and touching juxtaposition of choruses from Handel's 'Messiah', performed by the local choral society. (The sequence in which people busy themselves with their evening pastimes - sewing circles, night schools and billiards - while the choir sings "We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray" is especially charming). The opening, with shots of the old mining village and its rows of houses, and of disused machinery lying in the valley is remarkably evocative.
This is apparently one of British Transport Films' more modest productions. Nevertheless it represents a very interesting departure from their more familiar type of production.

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