Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mrs. Miniver 1942

     The setting of this film is the first months of WWII in England.  The Minivers are a middle-class family with two young children and an older son.  One of the local gardeners has asked Mrs. Miniver if he can name a rose after her.  He wants to enter the rose in a local gardening competition.  Unfortunately, Lady Beldon usually wins the competition.  Carol, her granddaughter asks the Minivers if they would ask the gardener not to enter the competition.  Since this is an open competition, the gentleman refuses.  Their older son Vincent Miniver falls in love with Carol.  He has the unfortunate task of asking Lady Beldon for Carol’s hand in marriage!!
     I thought this was very good and I can see why it won so many awards. There are scenes of the Minivers in their air raid shelter with their young children.  Their son and daughter are very frightened when the bombs begin hitting very near the shelter.  Their home is badly damaged as well.  There have been several films showing the bombing in London but not as many showing the conditions in the countryside.  Carol Beldon and the Minivers are very worried about Vincent since he is a RAF pilot.  Every mission could be his last. 

134 min, Drama directed by William Wyler with Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen, Henry Travers, Richard Ney, Henry Wilcoxon, Christopher Severen, Brenda Forbes.

Note:  Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 92% critic 85% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, TCM Leonard Maltin 3.5* out of 4*, Amazon DVD 4.8* out of 5* with 255 reviews, Amazon Video 4.7* out of 5* with 284 reviews, ReelViews 3 ½* out of 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 10102 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California.  I was surprised to see this movie was not filmed in the UK?  This is the first movie to receive 5 nominations at the Academy Awards.  Awards were received for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Supporting Actress, Best Writing, Best Cinematography.  Greer Garson married the actor Richard Ney who plays her son Vin.  She was 39 and he was 27 years old, the marriage lasted from 1943 until 1947.  The speech by the Vicar was printed in Time and Look Magazines.    President FDR ordered it be broadcast on the Voice of America and copies were dropped over Europe.  It has become known as the Wilcoxon Speech.  William Wyler stated that he made this film for propaganda reasons.  He was born in Germany but he strongly believed Americans belonged in this war.  He joined the US Army after the  completion of the film and was posted to the Signal Corps.  After his service, he felt the film portrayed war in too softly. 

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