Frightfully nice, it's like war at teatime. MRS. MINIVER tells of the British people's will to survive the German bombing raids and fight to the end for their own human dignity. Director William Wyler achieves his goal by concentrating on the inhabitants of the country village of Belham,
especially the middle-class Miniver family--lovely Kay Miniver (Greer Garson), gallant husband Clem (Walter Pidgeon), brave eldest son Vin (Richard Ney) and adorable younger children Toby and Judy (Christopher Severn and Clare Sandars). As the country slips into war, Vin falls in love with noble
Carol (Teresa Wright), the teenage daughter of crotchety village matriarch Lady Beldon (Dame May Whitty). As romance grows and the village prepares for its annual flower-growing competition, German bombs begin to decimate the once-peaceful countryside and a downed German aviator seeks refuge with
the Minivers. Villagers die, the Miniver home is bombed, and the church is reduced to rubble, but the people's spirit is strengthened when the vicar (Henry Wilcoxon) delivers a powerful speech, and the flower show goes on.
When Winston Churchill saw the film, he maintained that MRS. MINIVER would prove more valuable than the combined efforts of six divisions. At Oscar time, this heavy-handed film was named Best Picture; statuettes were also given to Garson, Wyler, Wright, cinematographer Ruttenberg and the
screenwriters. Garson gave the longest (5 1/2 minute) speech in Oscar history; never mind she didn't deserve the award. Ponder her as an actress: totally ordinary, though lovely. Just when you've settled into that opinion, she does something brilliant. Resigned to being wrong, you watch as she
settles back into self-satisfied mediocrity. Did that. Quite right. Lovely.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Frightfully nice, it's like war at teatime. MRS. MINIVER tells of the British people's will to survive the German bombing raids and fight to the end for their own human dignity. Director William Wyler achieves his goal by concentrating on the inhabitants o… (more)