The Valley of Decision
The Valley of Decision.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byTay Garnett
Screenplay bySonya Levien
John Meehan
Based onThe Valley of Decision
1942 novel
by Marcia Davenport
Produced byEdwin H. Knopf
StarringGreer Garson
Gregory Peck
Donald Crisp
Lionel Barrymore
Preston Foster
Marsha Hunt
Gladys Cooper
Reginald Owen
Dan Duryea
Jessica Tandy
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg
Edited byBlanche Sewell
Music byHerbert Stothart
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn Mayer
Release date
  • May 3, 1945 (1945-05-03)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$8,096,000[1][2]

The Valley of Decision is a 1945 film directed by Tay Garnett, based on Marcia Davenport's 1942 novel of the same name. Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1870s, it stars Greer Garson and Gregory Peck. It tells the story of a young Irish house maid who falls in love with the son of her employer, a local steel mill owner. The romance between Paul and Mary is endangered when Mary's family and friends, all steel mill workers, go on strike against Paul's father.


The movie stars Greer Garson as Mary Rafferty, Gregory Peck as Paul Scott, Donald Crisp, Lionel Barrymore, Preston Foster, Marsha Hunt, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Owen, Dan Duryea and Jessica Tandy.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Greer Garson) and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. This was Garson's sixth nomination and her fifth consecutive, a record for most consecutive Best Actress nominations that still stands (tied with Bette Davis).

The movie was adapted by Sonya Levien and John Meehan from the novel (1943) by Marcia Davenport. The film was directed by Tay Garnett.

Besides being a romance, the film has messages about social issues surrounding Pittsburgh at the time. Early in the film, the steel industry is being bought up by big names, but the Scott family refuses to sell their mill. Paul, the only son who cares about the steel mill and the workers, gives a very stirring speech.

Later in the film, there are rumors that the union is calling for violence and Will Scott Jr. wants to bring in strike-breakers. The scene ends as rocks are thrown through the window and hit Paul. In the next scene, Mary goes to talk to her family and confirms that the union was not responsible for the rock-throwing. Mary, Paul, William Scott Sr., Mary's father (years ago injured in the mill) and the union leader try to come to an agreement, but Will Scott Jr. may have taken steps that could ruin all agreements and commitments.

The railroad station is misspelled as Alleghany City.



Bosley Crowther wrote, "the early phases of the picture are rather studiously on the "cute" side" and "the middle phases are also somewhat artificially contrived...but the final phase...does have authority and depth;"[3]

TV Guide said it is "huge (and) sprawling ... the realism of the sets is a tribute to the art directors and set decorators...three out of five stars."[4] The film was a massive hit, earning $4,566,000 in the U.S. and Canada and $3,530,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $3,480,000.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Domestic take see "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley (May 4, 1945). "The Screen in Review; 'The Valley of Decision,' With Greer Carson and Gregory Peck, Makes Its Appearance at the Radio City Music Hall ..." – via
  4. ^ "The Valley Of Decision | TV Guide".
  5. ^ Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 365