Blue Scar (May 1, 1949)
Released on May 1, 1949: In a small South Wales coal mining town a young coal miner competes with and Englishman for the love of a beautiful Welsh girl.
Produced by William MacQuitty
Directed by Jill Craigie
Written by Jill Craigie
The Actors: Emrys Jones (Tom Thomas), Gwynneth Vaughan (Olwen Williams), Rachel Thomas (Gwynneth Williams), Anthony Pendrell (Alfred Collins), Prysor Williams (Ted Williams), Madoline Thomas (Granny), Jack James (Dai Morgan), Kenneth Griffith (Thomas Williams), Pauline Bentley (Phyllis), Ernest Berk (Leon Kavichinoff), Dan Bevan (doctor), Patsy Drake (Peggy), Winston Edwards (Owen Williams), Pearl Evans (Veronica), Prudence Hyman (Moira Thalberg), Dilys Jones (Glenis Thomas-Evans), David Keir (waiter), Francis Lunt (Mr. Sharp), Julian Somers (Vincent Gosling), Michael Stankiewicz (Polish miner), Anthony Verney (Mack)
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Bless This House . . . Coming and Going
My grandfather and his brother were farmers near Canfield, Ohio with apple orchards, peach trees, chickens, pigs, and a truck farm (vegetables for market). . . . But in the winter when everything was quiet and nothing was growing they did not sit in the comfort of the farm house. . . . They dug a hole in the side of a frozen hill with shovels and pick-axes and pulled coal out of the earth to use in heating the house, with the extra being sold to the neighbors.
Papa was a preacher and he had three different churches during my time at home, and my teen years were spent in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the two ways to make good money were to be a dairy farmer or a coal miner. The father of my best friend in high school owned a coal mine dug deep into the Allegheny Mountains, but most of the coal was gotten by strip mining. Huge earth moving equipment would literally remove layers of a mountain, hauling away the coal and filling in the valleys with the dirt and stone that surrounded the coal. Yes, I understand that today coal has a bad name when talking about the environment, but for many years it was the fuel that built our nations and put food on the table of many a family. It is wonderful that new, cleaner ways of fueling homes and industry are emerging, but coal is part of the history of civilization that should not be forgotten.
In this adventure from Wales we return to the middle of the last century in a motion picture time-capsule and will get an amazing look at the mining of coal in South Wales and the lives of the people in a large Welsh family whose lives depend on coal. I would start telling you about the actors in the movie, but with apologies to the wonderful Welsh folk, I must say that the names are difficult for this old Yank to keep straight. I can tell you that we will be visiting the Williams family in the small coal-mining town of Abergwynfi. The Williams family has a daughter Olwen who is not only beautiful, but talented. She gets a scholarship to Cardiff, and has dreams of becoming a famous singer. . . . But part of her is afraid of the challenges to building a great career and she thinks being a simple music teacher back home might be more practical. Olwen has a boyfriend Tom, who is a coal miner with a brain. Olwen tells him that he should get education and get out of the coal business, but Tom is insulted and demands to know why she doesn’t think coal miners are as good as anyone else. The third main character is an Englishman who is an industrial psychologist who, because of his nation of birth and because he is so educated, is the natural enemy of good Welsh folk. . . . . Oh . . . . . This Englishman will also fall in love with Olwen and become the love-triangle part of the story. But while the story is built around the frame of a romantic story, it is much more. I found myself engrossed with the lives of the people surrounding the three main characters, and the job of mining coal in South Wales. What an amazing visit with the good families of Wales in their everyday lives from the last century. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Anthony Pendrell, Emrys Jones and Anthony Verney
Dilys Jones and Emrys Jones
Dilys Jones and Kenneth Griffith
Gwynneth Vaughan and Anthony Pendrell
Prysor Williams and Rachel Thomas
Rachel Thomas, Anthony Pendrell and Gwynneth Vaughan