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>
After first-choice Norma Shearer rejected the title role (as she refused to play a mother), Greer Garson was cast. Although she didn't want the part either she was contractually bound to take it, and won the Academy Award for her performance. See more »
Early in the movie, right after Mrs. Miniver gets off the bus and is rushing up the sidewalk, the camera's shadow falls across her face. See more »
At the time it was a sensation and one of great influence, which obviously hit home with many American families, with the reality of the War still of course very much alive. The ending is not the expected happy one, but is instead rather thought provoking, stirring and influential. Reality, or part reality is after all always better than the typical MGM musical. Today it is not possible for it to retain the power it held during the period, but one of the reasons it is still a good movie because it is great wholesome family entertainment.
The Minivers are a family with great fortune who are well over the average income earning line to be considered just a middle class family. This is obvious with the picturesque house designed by Mr Miniver the architect. Some of the scenes have now become more noticeably studio bound now, which was something I did not notice before because it was one of the first old classic movies I did watched, but it hardly matters, as it still remains one of my favourite movies.
Greer Garson, in another of her charming English rose roles, gives a superb performance, as the devoted and loving wife. Walter Pidgeon is also great in his role, the second of his teamings with Garson. The great supporting cast includes Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Richard Ney, Reginald Owen and Henry Travers. Henry Travers' as Mr Ballard, station master and a keen rose grower is in particular a memorable performer.
Elements of the film have been well combined with drama, romance, light humour, and finally, tragedy. It may have been given the Hollywood and typical glossy MGM treatment, but it hasn't forgotten either humanity or the sacrifices associated with war time problems.
Showered with accolades and awards at the time, the movie won Oscars for Greer Garson, Teresa Wright, screenplay, William Wyler and Best Picture of 1942. Walter Pidgeon lost to the dynamic performance of James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Henry Travers, and Dame May Whitty also netted nominations.
An agreeable screenplay and the direction of veteran William Wyler make this a forgotten treat. Few films have been as effective as this, and although its message may not ring as clear now as it did then, it has to be saluted for the war time morale it brought to movie goers around the world.
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