The Minivers, an English "middle-class" family experience life in the first months of World War II. While dodging bombs, the Minivers' son courts Lady Beldon's granddaughter. A rose is named after Mrs. Miniver and entered in the competition against Lady Beldon's rose.Written by
Michael Rice <TheMikeRic@aol.com>
Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote that Mrs. Miniver (1942) "shows the destiny of a family during the current war, and its refined powerful propagandistic tendency has up to now only been dreamed of. There is not a single angry word spoken against Germany; nevertheless the anti-German tendency is perfectly accomplished." See more »
At the beginning of the movie when Mrs Miniver is rushing through the crowed sidewalks the number and size of boxes she is carrying changes. See more »
I know how comfortable it is to curl up with a nice, fat book full of big words and think you're going to solve all the problems in the universe. But you're not, you know. A bit of action is required every now and then.
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Opening credits prologue: This story of an average English middle-class family begins with the summer of 1939; when the sun shone down on a happy, careless people, who worked and played, reared their children and tended their gardens in that happy, easy-going England that was so soon to be fighting desperately for her way of life and for life itself. See more »
Children of the Heavenly King
[Sung to the tune 'Pleyel's Hymn', which may well have been the most usual tune for this hymn in the United States at that time, but in England it would have been much more usual to sing this hymn to the tune 'Innocents'.] See more »
When a film touches one's own reality it becomes something rather special. For this reason I have long held a deep affection for Wyler's saga of an English family on the home front from the immediate pre-second world period to the darkest days of the blitz. It has become very fashionable to sneer at "Mrs Miniver" as sentimental propaganda long after the events it depicted. Was it really like that? Well - yes and no. The whole was very cleverly orchestrated by a team of four scriptwriters (including James Hilton), Hollywood's most accomplished director (William Wyler), MGM's able in-house composer (Herbert Stothart), one of their best cameramen (Joseph Ruttenburg) and a cast, when not verging on the caricature, giving the nearest semblance to the emotions I can remember living through as a child during those dark days. No one sneered at the time and the film gathered a well deserved collection of Oscars. It was only afterwards that doubts set in and reactions from a new generation became derisory. Looking at it today there are many things that are not quite right but they tend to be minor such as the risibly awful choir at the garden party, the maid snivelling to the point of embarrassment, the phoney look of American style fencing around those English gardens and the endless digs at class which, although part and parcel of how things were, were never quite so overstated. Where the work really comes into its own is in its portrayal of human emotions which was always Wyler's trump card. A film that attempts to enshrine that spirit of togetherness that comes to the fore in times of adversity and the fight against a common evil needed a director able to convey with an almost tactile sense of human passion. William Wyler, who during his great period from "Jezebel" in 1938 to "Carrie" in 1952 depicted the human heart with an intensity that has hardly ever been seen before or since, invested his depiction of the British wartime home front with a sincerity that almost completely deflects the arrows of criticism it has so often received. Ask again if it was really like that and I would cite the air-raid shelter scene some two-thirds of the way through as being in every sense definitive. My mother protected me in just such a way during air-raids in South London during the 1940 blitz as do the Miniver parents their children. I remember the crescendo of destructive sounds as depicted in the film as if only yesterday.
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