Mrs. Miniver
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Mrs. Miniver

4.5 7
Director: William Wyler, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright

Cast: William Wyler, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright

     
 

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As Academy Award-winning films go, Mrs. Miniver has not weathered the years all that well. This prettified, idealized view of the upper-class British home front during World War II sometimes seems over-calculated and contrived when seen today. In particular, Greer Garson's Oscar-winning performance in the title role often comes off

Overview

As Academy Award-winning films go, Mrs. Miniver has not weathered the years all that well. This prettified, idealized view of the upper-class British home front during World War II sometimes seems over-calculated and contrived when seen today. In particular, Greer Garson's Oscar-winning performance in the title role often comes off as artificial, especially when she nobly tends her rose garden while her stalwart husband (Walter Pidgeon) participates in the evacuation at Dunkirk. However, even if the film has lost a good portion of its ability to move and inspire audiences, it is easy to see why it was so popular in 1942-and why Winston Churchill was moved to comment that its propaganda value was worth a dozen battleships. Everyone in the audience-even English audiences, closer to the events depicted in the film than American filmgoers-liked to believe that he or she was capable of behaving with as much grace under pressure as the Miniver family. The film's setpieces-the Minivers huddling in their bomb shelter during a Luftwaffe attack, Mrs. Miniver confronting a downed Nazi paratrooper in her kitchen, an annual flower show being staged despite the exigencies of bombing raids, cleric Henry Wilcoxon's climactic call to arms from the pulpit of his ruined church-are masterfully staged and acted, allowing one to ever so briefly forget that this is, after all, slick propagandizing. In addition to Best Picture and Best Actress, Mrs. Miniver garnered Oscars for best supporting actress (Teresa Wright), best director (William Wyler), best script (Arthur Wimperis, George Froschel, James Hilton, Claudine West), best cinematography (Joseph Ruttenberg) and best producer (Sidney Franklin). Sidebar: Richard Ney, who plays Greer Garson's son, later married the actress-and still later became a successful Wall Street financier. Mrs. Miniver was followed by a 1951 sequel, The Miniver Story, but without the wartime setting the bloom was off the rose.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Mrs. Miniver was a World War II propaganda film that, early in the war, helped build and sustain public support for the United States' involvement in Europe. Parts of it may now seem forced and artificial, particularly Greer Garson's Oscar-winning performance. Garson's Oscar win and lengthy acceptance speech became a long-running joke in Hollywood -- for example, the claims that she stayed at the podium for 45 minutes or more. (Her actual acceptance remarks took around 5 minutes, still the longest-ever Oscar acceptance speech.) The film contains the sort of elements that you would expect it to contain. Garson is the strong-willed British homemaker who refuses to allow Nazi bombs to ruin her roses. She is noble and brave and self-sacrificing and all those things that a government asks its people to be in times of war. The film is constructed so smoothly that it's easy to overlook its craft. Hollywood did its part for the war effort and honored Mrs. Miniver with six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (William Wyler). As soon as WWII was over, Wyler would direct The Best Years of Our Lives, the era's most insightful movie about the hardships that war brings to families.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2013
UPC:
0883929264032
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Time:
2:13:00
Sales rank:
26,845

Special Features

1942 Academy Awarss newsreel; Vintage cartoon Blitz Wolf; Two world war II-era shorts: Mr. Blabbermouth! and For the Common Defense; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Greer Garson Mrs. Kay Miniver
Walter Pidgeon Clem Miniver
Teresa Wright Carol Beldon
May Whitty Lady Beldon
Reginald Owen Foley
Henry Travers Mr. Ballard
Henry Wilcoxon Vicar
Richard Ney Vin Miniver
Tom Conway Man
Christopher Severn Toby Miniver
Brenda Forbes Gladys, the Housemaid
Frank Atkinson Actor
Frank Baker Actor
Louise M. Bates Miniver Guest
Guy Bellis Barman
Ted Billings Actor
Walter Byron Actor
Leonard Carey Haldon's Butler
Aileen Carlyle Actor
Herbert Clifton Actor
Edward Cooper Waiter
Sidney D'Albrook Men in Store
David Dunbar Actor
Billy Engle Townsman
Herbert Evans Actor
Leslie Francis Doctor
Colin Kenny Policeman
Henry King Actor
Eric Lonsdale Marston
Stanley Mann Workman
Eula Morgan Actor
Ottola Nesmith Saleslady
Gil Perkins Actor
John Power Men in Tavern
Clare Sanders Judy Miniver
Leslie Sketchley Actor
Vernon Steele Actor
David Thursby Farmer
Leslie Vincent Dancing Partner
Tudor Williams Glee Club Member
Marek Windheim Actor
Florence Wix Woman with Dog
St. Luke's Choristers Chorus
Art Berry Actor
Harold Howard Judge
John Abbott Fred, the Porter
Harry Allen William
Charles Bennett Milkman
Billy Bevan Conductor
John Burton Halliday
Colin Campbell Bickles
David Clyde Carruthers
Alec Craig Joe
Helmut Dantine German Flyer
Marie de Becker Ada, The Cook
Mary Field Miss Spriggins
Douglas Gordon Porter
Bobby Hale Old Man
Forrester Harvey Mr. Huggins, Conductor
Charles Irwin Mac
Peter Lawford Pilot
Connie Leon Simpson, The Maid
Thomas Lockyear Mr. Verger
Miles Mander German Agent
Aubrey Mather The Innkeeper
Clara Reid Mrs. Huggins
Paul Scardon Nobby
Gerald Oliver Smith Car Dealer
Ben Webster Ginger
Rhys Williams Horace Perkins
Arthur Wimperis Sir Henry
Ian Wolfe Dentist

Technical Credits
William Wyler Director
Sidney Franklin Producer
George Froeschel Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
James Hilton Screenwriter
Robert Kalloch Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold Kress Editor
Urie McCleary Art Director
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Claudine West Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Arthur Wimperis Screenwriter

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Mrs. Miniver 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Mrs. Miniver' is one of those non-factual, war time propaganda tear jerkers that has proven itself to be enduring and immensely entertaining. Upon its release, Winston Churchill declared the film more influential in getting America involved in WWII than a fleet of destroyers. The plot concerns Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson) the atypical English housewife quietly enduring the hardships of war and capturing a downed Nazi pilot in her begonias in the process. It sounds hoaky but actually the story is incredibly stirring. Walter Pigeon, Garson¿s frequent costar, is cast as her tender husband, Clem. Richard Ney plays her slightly opinionated son, Vin who rises to the occasion and becomes a flyer for the RAF. Aside: Ney and Garson were carrying on an affair during the filming that eventually resulted in a disastrous marriage and a quicky divorce. Oh well, at least the relationships in the film are perfect. Of merit is Teresa Wright¿s outstanding performance as Carol, Vin's doomed fiancee. Previously issued versions of this film were near perfect so it's really no surprise to discover that this DVD carries on in the same tradition. Quite simply: the picture is outstanding. Blacks are deep and solid. The gray scale is beautiful and well balanced. There is hardly a scratch or a bit of grit or grain to distract. The soundtrack is equally impressive in MONO but very, very nicely balanced. A bit of a disappointment comes from the fact that no one at Warner Brothers had the foresight to do a ¿making of¿ featurette. All we get is a couple of short subjects and a stills gallery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Classic film if you're into old movies. They don't make movies like these old ones anymore
Guest More than 1 year ago
I disagree that this film has not weathered well. Certainly it's prettified and idealized England, but that's typical MGM treatment--MGM made big, glossy, sentimental movies with attractive stars behaving nobly. That's why fans of the Golden Era love MGM movies! This is a wonderful, inspiring story with exceptional acting throughout. Propaganda, yes, but not that far from the truth. Read historical accounts of the behavior of the British during the Blitz. Mrs. Miniver portrays their courage splendidly. A great movie. Highly recommended.
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