10 February 2012 | tim-764-291856
The Corn is Green
As an Englishman who lived and worked in Wales for a decade, I was attracted to this period TV movie, showing on cable TV 33 years after it was made. I haven't seen, or heard of the Bette Davis original, from 1947 and now wish I could see it at some point.
Undoubtedly, it is Katherine Hepburn's spirited and strong-willed performance that makes it so watchable and entertaining. Along with the genuine Welsh locations, nicely filmed and assuredly directed by veteran George Cukor (he was 80). The production values are far above of the typical TV movie of its period, with good colour and brightness.
Hepburn herself was 72 and can hardly conceal her impending Parkinsons disease but despite that, we are reminded of her classic performance in The African Queen as a noble stoic and stubborn woman in the face of ignorance and pettiness. As a head teacher, here she's up against the local gentry and squire as well as the villager's in-bred feelings that the local colliery is the only future for its youngsters.
She takes great pride in nurturing one young man and as such pushes him far beyond what both he and the village ever thought he could attain - but one that his teacher knew he would achieve.