* AwardSnub: Some still persist in calling it "that [[SoOkayItsAverage mediocre]] film that stole the award from ''Film/CitizenKane'' and ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon''.
** That's not all. Other nominees that year (1941) included ''SergeantYork'', ''TheLittleFoxes'', ''{{Suspicion}}'', and ''Film/HereComesMrJordan''. It seemed to have been a pretty good year for movies...
** Supporters will argue that ''How Green Was My Valley'' is just as great a film as say, ''The Little Foxes'' (itself an underrated film) and better than the others, and was the most deserving title in the year of that competition aside from ''Kane'', which was too controversial at the time to actually win.
** Some TakeAThirdOption and dismiss the Oscars on the whole as a farce, and that it didn't matter if ''Kane'' or this film won, what matters is that both are [[TrueArt great films]].
* NeverLiveItDown: The movie's real merits have been obscured by the fact that most people remember it as "the movie that won over ''Film/CitizenKane''."
** Some irony is to be had in the fact that OrsonWelles basically considered John Ford the best director ever. While Welles was probably perfectly understanding of Ford winning over him (Ford's ''TheGrapesOfWrath'' was widely regarded as the best American movie for many years, until critics started giving ''Kane'' that merit), try justifying that to modern audiences.
** ''How Green Was My Valley'' was highly innovative, its use of first person narration and the relation of that to the screen events went on to influence ''TheMagnificentAmbersons''.
*** The "ComingOfAgeStory narrated by the protagonist as an adult" format reached it's logical conclusion in ''Series/GrowingUpFisher'' where the ''story'' takes place in ThePresentDay with the narrator speaking from some unknown point in the future.
* VindicatedByHistory: The HateDumb that this movie has received over the years has toned down a lot in more recent times. While only a few people believe that it deserved to win, it now isn't uncommon to hear people call this a great movie.
** The American critic, Andrew Sarris, called it the "best film to ever win an Oscar", he was a huge Ford fan(and a Kane fan as well).