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A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
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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 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>
The Vicar's final rousing speech was printed in magazines like "Time" and "Look". President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered that it be broadcast on the Voice of America, and copies of it were dropped over Europe as propaganda. This speech has come to be known as The Wilcoxon Speech, in tribute to actor Henry Wilcoxon's stirring delivery of it. See more »
The "double decker" bus seen in the opening sequence is not a British bus at all, nor was it actually a double decked bus. An American bus was used, with a false upper deck grafted on to it. The American-style passenger door can be seen on the right-hand side in the bus's first appearance; a real London Transport bus would have had its door on the left-hand side. See more »
[to Lady Beldon who has just entered the railway compartment he is already sharing with Mrs. Miniver]
Good evening, Lady Beldon.
Good evening, vicar. Oh, oh, shopping's absolutely impossible nowadays! You can't get near the counter and when you do, they haven't got it and you pay twice as much for it.
What a wonderful description!
[to her servant]
Sit down, Simmons, and don't snip!
[to the vicar]
My dear man, I spent the whole afternoon being pushed around by middle-class females buying ...
[...] See more »
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 »
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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