Mrs. Miniver (1942)

 


 

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The Minivers, an English “middle-class” family experience life in the first months of World War II. While dodging bombs, the Miniver\’s 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 <[email protected]>

This is the story of an English middle class family through the first years of World War II. Clem Miniver is a successful architect and his beautiful wife Kay is the anchor that keeps the family together. With two young children at home, Kay keeps busy in the quaint English village they call home. She is well-liked by everyone and the local station master has even named his new rose after her. When their son Vincent, Vin to everyone, comes home from Oxford for the summer he is immediately attracted to Carol Beldon, granddaughter of Lady Beldon. Their idyllic life is shattered in September 1939 when England is forced to declare war on Germany. Soon Vin is in the RAF and everyone has to put up with the hardship of war including blackouts and air raids. Mrs. Miniver has to deal with an escaped German flyer who makes his way to her home while husband Clem helps evacuate the trapped British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. Vin and Carol are married but their time together is to be short. Throughout it all, everyone displays strength of character in the face of tragedy and destruction.

Written by
garykmcd

Genre: Drama,Romance,War

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
   
Release Date: 1 December 1942 (Sweden)
Country: USA
Director: William Wyler
Cast:
  • Greer Garson
  • Walter Pidgeon
  • Teresa Wright
  • Dame May Whitty
  • Reginald Owen
  • Henry Travers
  • Richard Ney
  • Henry Wilcoxon
  • Christopher Severn
  • Brenda Forbes
  • Clare Sandars
  • Marie De Becker
  • Helmut Dantine
  • John Abbott
  • Connie Leon


32 Responses to Mrs. Miniver (1942)

  1. wowcharlie3
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    What happened to her?

  2. hunterofserenity-2
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    At the beginning of this movie, it was said this family was middle class. I don’t know what England considers middle class, but I would say the family was very much upper class.

    They had a son at Oxford, two children in private elementary school, a maid, a cook, nice house and the ability to buy whatever they wanted.

    This family was certainly more than middle class.

  3. ucctgg
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    Where did the Miniver’s maids and cooks go during the bombing?

  4. ladylavende
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    Both Wyler classics about ordinary people dealing with the extraordinary effects of war. Which do you prefer? I’m going with The Best Years of Our Lives. I loved Mrs. Miniver, and I think both films are excellent, but I just prefer the latter. What about you?

    No, not the bore worms! http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=8093247

  5. simplemines
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    Just reading through some of these posts, it’s astonishing how little people know about World War 2. Everyone acts NOW as if it were some kind of horror that a film like Mrs. Miniver would take the side of showing England as a place that it would be in American interests to defend.

    In 1942, not only did anyone know if "our side" would win, but in fact, it seemed for very much of the war as if Hitler would win! Are any of the naysayers about "Mrs. Miniver" even aware of that?

    I also see diddling references to "propaganda." Well, if propagandizing is a crime, Hollywood should be on Death Row, part. for movies that nowadays seem incapable of telling a story without introducing either pro-leftist sentiment or characturizing any non-leftist belief as being ridiculous. How about just telling a story and keeping your politics to yourself?

    I keep wondering what’s with the strangely over-the-top complaints against "Mrs. Miniver," complaints that seem to have so little to do with the movie, and so much to do with the obsessions of the complainers.

    It truly makes no sense, although I do have some ideas as to what the issue is. I won’t go into that here.

    Of course I think "Mrs. Miniver" is a remarkable film, one I can see tons of times and never get weary (a remarkable thing for me, as I don’t like watching the same movie over and over.)

    It’s just so absurd to judge a movie like this by one’s personal CONTEMPORARY standards. It’s so sad that so many lack the imagination to put themselves AT THE TIME this movie was made before passing judgment on it.

    IMHO, the movie holds up remarkably well. Its sentiments are timeless. And if you don’t get it, just move along. There’s so much here that if you miss it, you need more education than you can get on an internet message board!

  6. miriamwebster
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    Greer Garson was only 11 years older than Richard Ney, who played her son. . .and unfortunately (thanks to glamorous lighting, makeup and costuming that only accentuated her relative youthfulness), she looked it. Was impossible–or at least unnecessarily difficult–to believe she was actually the mother of a grown son.

    UPDATE: Yes, I am well aware that Hollywood movies are full of instances where actual ages of performers playing mother/son, etc. were chronologically off kilter–but in most cases, there APPEARED to be a big enough age gap that it was convincing. Not the case here, in my estimation–Garson looked like she was maybe 10-15 years older than son tops.

  7. netshopper-2
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    Was anyone else surprised when Clem slaps his wife on the fanny while she is making his bed? That seemed out of place to me with all the "darlings" uttered in the dialogue and sweet family dynamic. The slap seemed to be a man dominating his wife after learning of her incident with the German soldier, not something playful. Garson puts her hand on the spot as if it hurt her when the maid walks in.

  8. IreneEDevine
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    After the broadcast by Lord Haw Haw, one of the men at the bar says, "He’s all wind and whitewash, like a blinking rook!"

    … What does he mean exactly? Slang-wise, I mean.

    LEND AN EAR, I implore you, this comes from my heart: I’ll always adore you, til death do us part.

  9. Tracertagger
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    While I find this classic movie great. There is one thing that I found curious in the movie. How long does a rose stay in bloom in England? When the station agent showed Mrs. Miniver and named the rose for here,it was before the war had started. During that time before the award ceremony near the end, The son had joined the Air Forces and completed Flight training, the Dunkirk rescue had taken place, and the Bombing of Britain seems to have been going on for some time.

  10. mr-chris-newman
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    They don’t sound like Spitfires and I doubt the UK Government would have too many spares to lend Hollywood so I guess their American ones with English marking added. Anyone have any more info about this?

  11. countrygirltori
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    SPOILERS!!!

    I cry everytime Mrs. Beldon stands up by herself at church and then Clem joins her in singing. I also get a little teary when they show that empty seat next to the choir boys.

    This ending is flawless and I remember the first time I watched it and I couldn’t stop crying for a half hour. I guess these kind of movies about war really get me going.

  12. allentbone
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    **********************SPOILER ALERT**************************

    Doesn’t make sense. I’ve got the Blitzkrieg going on above me, I think I’ll just stop and ride it out. A frustrating scene. You would think if you didn’t know what spot was safe you would just drive that much faster to try and get to your shelter. I’d feel a little guilty in the church scene at the end.

  13. Welch57
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    Oh, yes, the cat in Mrs. Miniver. I had a book once called ‘Cats in the Movies’ and it profiled the cat in Mrs. Miniver. Her real name name was Beth, and she was born in Los Angeles in 1938. She belonged to a lady called Mrs. Friary and had a contract with MGM. Beth can be glimpsed in Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Human Comedy (1943), National Velvet (1944), and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945). Margaret O’Brien was photographed with her on the set of the latter and, allegedly, has a ‘signed’ copy of the photo (Beth’s paw print). She passed away in 1947 (Beth, not Margaret O’Brien!). In the 1980s Greer Garson was approached to support a campaign for Beth to have a star bearing her name on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, but the Oscar-winning leading lady of Mrs. Miniver declined.

  14. cars1977
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    … Horace!? He was featured quite prominently in the beginning. Perhaps a deleted scene that the collector’s version may someday have. eh?

    I didn’t miss a detail they disclosed about his fate did I?

  15. timandsally
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    My wife and I watched this movie the other day and I saw what I think is a goof…

    When she tells her husband about the German, she tells him that she took the German pilot’s gun and gave it to the police. Her husband then repeats what she says, but he goofs it all up. Since I had the movie on my DVR, I watched that part again to be sure of what I thought I saw. Sure enough… It was so funny watching him completely botch the line! It had to be a goof. Anyone else notice this one?

  16. ububub
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    Vin goes upstairs to get his bag to go back to the aerodrome leaving his mother and fiance sitting in silence. The point of view is of the backs of the two women looking up the stairs. You can see from their body language that they are devastated at the possibility of his not returning. Then when they hear the sound of the door opening and knowing he would be coming down the stairs, they both steel themselves in an almost imperceptive way so he won’t pick up on their worry – all from the back. Willie Wyler did a good job there.

  17. CinemaBuff84
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    This is the second time I’m seeing the film the first time I was much younger. SPOILER WARNING: At the end of the film why does Mrs. Miniver only have one of her younger children at the church with her. Didn’t they have a young boy and girl? Why was there only one young child? It’s not mentioned if the child died or anything. If I missed something let me know.

  18. ghetarr2001
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    Just saw this movie for the first time, I recently saw The Best Years of Our Lives, and since it was just so frickin amazing I had to rent this too. Anyways, long story short this movie was great, I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

    I’m wondering, what you think of the fact that even though it was nominated as one of 400, the speech at the end did NOT make the top 100 AFI list. Now, say what you want about those lists, and how many omissions they make,(Inherit the Wind anyone, not a top 10 courtroom drama?) but for the most part AFI does a good job of making sure the "essentials" are on the lists. I don’t understand how, "Love means never having to say you’re sorry" is #13 all time. What a horrible job by AFI of picking a mindless quote (Love Story) over one that inspired the country, and was beloved by FDR! Is there any quote more inspiring than this, considering the context? Is there any reason why this didn’t make their list? And is "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" really THAT much better of a "war quote" that it ranks in their top 20, yet this quote can’t even crack the top 100?

  19. Colkitto
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    The change of music at the end was in my view a bad mistake. If they’d gone to the credits with everybody still singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers", they’d have maintained the emotional impact of the funeral scene; moving into "Land of Hope and Glory" in an attempt to stir patriotic feeling (which the sermon and the hymn had already managed pretty effectively) kills the moment. I went from being a bit choked up to laughing out loud.

    I suppose the fact that I find "Land of Hope and Glory" ridiculously overblown anyway didn’t help. But does anybody else think they should have stuck with the hymn?

    ____________________________

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonourable war" ~ John Adams

  20. rick-220
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    If I’m correct one of the main purposes of this movie was to give the American audience a new perspective on the British, one in which they were to be convinced that England (and Europe) was actually worth going to war for.

    Many Americans considered Great Britain to be an outdated aristocratic feodal society and felt a certain resentment to the ruling classes (true?).

    In changing this image I can’t help but feel that the rose competition has a huge symbolic contribution, in that it represents the fight between the ruling classes (Lady Byron), and the ‘lower’ working classes (the stationmaster). After years of domination by Lady Byron this time the competition is won by the postmaster. And he wins it by entering a … red rose. To complete the picture, the prize is given (litteraly!) by Lady Byron, by which she concedes that her ‘reign’ has ended and the wall between the separate classes has been torn down.

    Any thoughts on this appreciated.

    voting history: http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=629013

  21. BogartHanksPresleyDelon
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    Does any agree?? In this film it was kinda hard to take your eyes off him…

  22. suckerdwsp316
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    What list is Mrs. Miniver voted the greatest ever? I’m assuming some kind of list made in the 40s. Does it still exist?

  23. jcurrie58
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    I just cannot understand how this film won so many Oscars, unless it was because it reflected the spirit of the times. I watched it on TV the other day, and there are so many things wrong with it. For instance, the family never seemed bothered by rationing, which was at its height in 1942. Then, the scene in the air raid shelter – whilst the bombs are reigning down on the village, the cat is happily washing itself. Believe you me, that cat would be hiding under the bed to avoid the noise. Then, after the flower show, why is it so dark when Mrs Miniver and her daughter in law are driving home? In summer daylight lasts until after 9 p.m. And where exactly was Teresa Wright hurt? Granted because of censorship in 1942 gory wounds could not be shown, but it’s a complete mystery to me how she was wounded. And how were the family able to run a car at the time? Unless Mr Miniver was in a government job, petrol was severely rationed. A complete phoney from beginning to end, not to mention Greer Garson’s self-satisfied performance. The least deserving of Oscar winners.

  24. Hellblazer2003
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    I love it when classic Hollywood films don’t even pretend to double the city their story is set in or ask their actors to use an English accents.

    I never really thought of the setting of Mrs. Miniver as London. The opening shout out at me 1939 Times Square, NY and NOT 1939 London. Still this does not detract from Greer Garson’s great performance as the noble, loving Miniver matriarch and the consistently great Theresa Wright.

  25. david-d6
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    does anyone know where this film was recorded? – england or hollywood?

    In the opening street scene, everything looks more american than english, and there seem to be a few too many unconvincing english accents

  26. sportin_jenny
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    The young man who played her son and Greer Garson dated while they were making the movie. I noticed his face would light up when he smiled at his "mother" not so much at his girlfriend…

  27. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  28. artmania90
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    so i’m watching the movie now, not done, but got to the part where the little kid’s like "I’M GOING THROUGH A PHASE! i’m going through a phase!" just thought that kid looked like a demon.

    sorry, but his eyes were sunk in and large, and his teeth looked like they were pointy. not sure if it was a he or a she. sorry, but that’s what i thought…

  29. thames-5
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    With all of the older movies coming out on special editions such as To kill a Mockingbird and Double indemnity, do you think there will ever be a 2 or 3 disc special edition of Mrs Miniver, they could include the few features that are on the single disc dvd, but maybe they could include more features, such as the 1960 tv movie or even the sequel, and maybe some features on the actors in the movie, and the author of the original book, one thing that would be good would be Greer Garsons entire oscar speech, if the film still exists. I feel that it deserves a really good DVD release becaue it is a marvelous film and I consider it to be right up there with Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of OZ which already have 4 and 3 disc sets respectively

    Any thought on what features could be included?

    Ooh… I’m being ha-RASSed!

    -Frank Spencer

  30. HoneyBunny_181
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    I watched this late last night on TV but since it was on so late i fell asleep half way through last thing i saw Clem was leaving on his boat with all the other men when i woke up Mrs. Miniver was in her kitchen with a german. anyone can fill in the blanks and tell me what happens at the end? it would be extremely helpful as i doubt it will play again anytime soon.

  31. Anonymous
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    This message has been deleted by the poster

  32. veryl_y
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    What kind of car did Clem buy?

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