Valley Of Song Film Review
A little seen 1953 British effort from director Gilbert Gunn, Valley of Song (based on the play Choir Practice by Cliff Gordon) finally finds its way to DVD. But has it been worth the wait?
Let’s get the first warning out of the way, as the title suggests there will be singing and quite a lot of it. If that puts you off then turn away now but to do so would be to miss a genuinely charming, heartfelt and, at times, romantic comedy.
The crux of the film centres on a dispute with the new choirmaster that gets seriously out of hand and causes a feud between everyone in the village. The youngest members of the two families involved are hopelessly in love but can’t get married as the Lloyds and Davies aren’t on speaking terms.
What follows are some light-hearted fisticuffs and some entertaining arguments between characters, these scenes combined with seemingly random outbursts of song keep the film nipping along at a decent enough pace. It’s in all jest though and Valley of Song keeps the audience amused for pretty much all of its meagre 71 minute running time.
The performances are solid throughout and it’s worth keeping an eye out for some early performances from a couple of pretty big names – but that’s for you to spot! It’s John Fraser (Cliff Lloyd) and Maureen Swanson (Olwen Davies) as the young couple in love who give the film its heart. Although that’s not to take anything away from the supporting cast, all of whom are a joy to watch.
There are those who will dismiss this out of hand as old-fashioned or even twee and to an extent they may be right but that doesn’t harm the film at all. Whilst Valley of Song may not be a classic, it certainly deserves more recognition than it has so far received. Give it a go on DVD and you are unlikely to be disappointed.