The Valley of Decision (1945)

111 or 118 mins | Romance | June 1945

Director:

Tay Garnett

Producer:

Edwin H. Knopf

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

Blanche Sewell

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to a Feb 1943 HR news item, M-G-M paid $75,000 for the rights to Marcia Davenport's novel. A 21 Feb 1945 HR news item notes that George Cukor took over direction of added scenes from Tay Garnett when Garnett became ill. A pre-production news item in HR notes that John Hodiak was originally slated for the part played by Gregory Peck. The initial HR production chart for the film lists Hume Cronyn in the cast, but he did not appear in the released film. According to modern sources, Cronyn was originally cast in the part of "Ted Scott," but was later replaced by Marshall Thompson because Cronyn appeared too short when standing beside Peck in the film. Early HR production charts list Sara Allgood, Mary Philips and Edith Leach in the cast, and HR news items include Alec Craig, Dorothy Russell and Robert and Richard Ganieri in the cast. Allgood, Philips and Craig were not in the released film, and the appearance of Leach and Robert and Richard Ganieri has not been confirmed. Actor Dean Stockwell made his motion picture debut in the film. Greer Garson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Herbert Stothart was nominated for Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. The film received Photoplay 's Best Picture award. On 20 Mar 1960, the CBS network aired a television version of The Valley of Decision, directed by Tom Donovan and starring Nancy Wickwier and Lloyd ... More Less

According to a Feb 1943 HR news item, M-G-M paid $75,000 for the rights to Marcia Davenport's novel. A 21 Feb 1945 HR news item notes that George Cukor took over direction of added scenes from Tay Garnett when Garnett became ill. A pre-production news item in HR notes that John Hodiak was originally slated for the part played by Gregory Peck. The initial HR production chart for the film lists Hume Cronyn in the cast, but he did not appear in the released film. According to modern sources, Cronyn was originally cast in the part of "Ted Scott," but was later replaced by Marshall Thompson because Cronyn appeared too short when standing beside Peck in the film. Early HR production charts list Sara Allgood, Mary Philips and Edith Leach in the cast, and HR news items include Alec Craig, Dorothy Russell and Robert and Richard Ganieri in the cast. Allgood, Philips and Craig were not in the released film, and the appearance of Leach and Robert and Richard Ganieri has not been confirmed. Actor Dean Stockwell made his motion picture debut in the film. Greer Garson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Herbert Stothart was nominated for Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. The film received Photoplay 's Best Picture award. On 20 Mar 1960, the CBS network aired a television version of The Valley of Decision, directed by Tom Donovan and starring Nancy Wickwier and Lloyd Bridges. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Apr 1945.
---
Daily Variety
10 Apr 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Apr 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 44
p. 15, 16
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 44
p. 31.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 45
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 45
pp. 3-4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 45
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 46
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Dec 44
p. 2230.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Apr 44
p. 2401.
New York Times
4 Mar 45
p. 23.
Variety
11 Apr 45
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Fill-in dir of added scenes
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte paintings, cam
Miniatures
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Hair styles created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Valley of Decision by Marcia Davenport (New York, 1942).
SONGS
"Molly Baun," traditional Irish ballad.
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 3 May 1945
Production Date:
19 September--early December 1944
added scenes began 16 January 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 April 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13232
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
111 or 118
Length(in feet):
10,520
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10665
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1873, Irish immigrant Mary Rafferty lives with her wheelchair-bound father Pat and her widowed sister, Kate Shannon, in a small shack in an area of Pittsburgh known as "The Flats." One day, Mary tells her father that she has accepted a job as a live-in maid at the home of steel mill owner William Scott. Patrick, who lost his legs in an accident at Scott's mill and is embittered toward the family, angrily disapproves of Mary's decision. Soon after starting her job, Mary endears herself to William's wife Clarissa, his daughter Constance, and his three sons, Ted, William, Jr., and Paul. Mary falls instantly in love with Paul, who has just returned home from London and has big plans to modernize the furnace at the Scott mill. A romance soon flourishes between Paul and Mary, much to the consternation of Louise Kane, a cunning snob who is determined to marry Paul for his money. One year passes, and Paul proposes to Mary, but Mary rejects the idea because it would be improper for her, a servant, to marry her master's son. Constance, meanwhile, secretly marries Giles, the Earl of Moulton. After announcing the marriage to her parents, Constance asks her mother for permission to take Mary with them to England. Clarissa consents to the arrangement, and Mary leaves Pittsburgh without bidding farewell to Paul. Two years pass, and when William learns that Paul is in love with Mary, he recalls Mary to Pittsburgh and gives his blessing to their marriage. Paul and Mary resume their romance, but Mary's happiness is soon dampened by the discovery that her father has been ... +


In 1873, Irish immigrant Mary Rafferty lives with her wheelchair-bound father Pat and her widowed sister, Kate Shannon, in a small shack in an area of Pittsburgh known as "The Flats." One day, Mary tells her father that she has accepted a job as a live-in maid at the home of steel mill owner William Scott. Patrick, who lost his legs in an accident at Scott's mill and is embittered toward the family, angrily disapproves of Mary's decision. Soon after starting her job, Mary endears herself to William's wife Clarissa, his daughter Constance, and his three sons, Ted, William, Jr., and Paul. Mary falls instantly in love with Paul, who has just returned home from London and has big plans to modernize the furnace at the Scott mill. A romance soon flourishes between Paul and Mary, much to the consternation of Louise Kane, a cunning snob who is determined to marry Paul for his money. One year passes, and Paul proposes to Mary, but Mary rejects the idea because it would be improper for her, a servant, to marry her master's son. Constance, meanwhile, secretly marries Giles, the Earl of Moulton. After announcing the marriage to her parents, Constance asks her mother for permission to take Mary with them to England. Clarissa consents to the arrangement, and Mary leaves Pittsburgh without bidding farewell to Paul. Two years pass, and when William learns that Paul is in love with Mary, he recalls Mary to Pittsburgh and gives his blessing to their marriage. Paul and Mary resume their romance, but Mary's happiness is soon dampened by the discovery that her father has been leading a crippling and violent strike against William's mill. When she overhears William's plan to send in strikebreakers, Mary negotiates a temporary truce and arranges a meeting between the strikers and William. Ted is sent by his father to meet the arriving strikebreakers at the train station and send them home, but he gets drunk and fails to deliver his father's message. As a result, the strikebreakers arrive at the meeting, and a bloody riot ensues. Patrick and William are killed in the fight, and their deaths fill Mary with so much grief that she concludes that she and Paul can never marry. The passage of ten years finds Paul in a loveless marriage with Louise, and the father of a young boy. One day, the aged and ailing Clarissa sends for Mary, her truest friend, and tells her that she is willing her share of the mill to her. Following Clarissa's death, Ted, William, Jr. and Constance decide to sell the Scott mill, despite Paul's impassioned pleas to keep it in the family. Paul nearly loses the family mill until Mary sides with him and persuades Constance to change her allegiances. Paul then leaves Louise, who has only shown an interest in his money, and goes to Mary. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.