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Mrs. Miniver
Mrs Miniver
Actors: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen
Director: William Wyler
Genres: Drama, Military & War
NR     2008     2hr 14min

Winner of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, this memorable spirit-lifter about an idealized England that tends its prize-winning roses while confronting the terror of war struck a patriotic chord with American au...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen
Director: William Wyler
Creators: Arthur Wimperis, Claudine West, George Froeschel, James Hilton, Jan Struther, Paul Osborn, R.C. Sherriff
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Military & War
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/08/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 14min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

THE MOVIE THAT SAVED THE MORALE OF WARTIME AUDIENCES!
Sean Orlosky | Yorktown, IN United States | 01/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The most important picture of World War II was an intensely moving drama about a middle class British family and its strong matriarch standing up against the tragedies and terrors of the onset of World War II. The movie was "Mrs. Miniver"."Mrs. Miniver" remains today one of the most powerful and compelling films ever made about the hardships of war even with the lack of a single battle scene. Like "Gone With the Wind", "Mrs. Miniver"'s greatness lies in its revealing look of the individuals affected by a war. Making the film an even greater emotional experience is the fact that this film was made just at the time it revolves around, during the onset of WWII, when the outcome of the war was still uncertain and the future of the world was hanging in the balance. In the title role of the film, Greer Garson is radiant, willful, warm and determined in the role of Kay Miniver, a British housewife who must keep her head on the homefront with her two young children while her husband (Walter Pidgeon) and son (Richard Ney) defend their country at the onset of World War II. Through her faith, her intelligence, and her love, Kay manages to hold her family together even as England collapses under the powerful effects of an unstoppable war. The picture's ending on a strong note of hope is that lingering optimisim which was the hope of audiences during WWII... that one day, there would be peace.Garson won an Academy Award for her brilliant portrayal, and rightly so, for she invests her scenes with a genuine determination and will: In one scene, she holds a German soldier at bay with a gun in her kitchen as her children sleep upstairs. In another scene, she reads "Alice in Wonderland" to her children in a bomb shelter as bombs begin to fall over them. In still another scene, Garson drives with her daughter-in-law (Teresa Wright, whose charming portrayal earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) through a countryside engaged in sky battle. William Wyler's brilliant direction sears through the film and its cast, earning him an Oscar for Best Director, and for the film itself, Best Picture of 1942. Still powerful after half a century, "Mrs. Miniver" is a brilliant testament to the soldiers who lost their lives on the battleground- and on the homefront- in defense of their country. Wartime audiences were given a great boost of morale in this movie, and that morale shines through in this indescribably great film classic."
Mrs. Miniver
Denise Carter | Garland, TX United States | 12/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is such a disappointment to not be able to obtain the DVD edition of Mrs. Miniver yet. This is a film I shared with my granddaughter several years ago and is a warm memory for her.It was my pleasure and honor to meet Greer Garson at the end of her life at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. It was her birthday and our department was responsible for the setting up of the room and the refreshments. I was to uncork the champagne. At 5:30pm, Mrs. Fogelson (her married name) was wheeled into the room, absolutely radiant at the age of 92, wearing a brocade gown that matched the beauty of her green eyes. The celebration was short, in keeping with her frail condition, but she was such a grand lady, just like her presentation of Mrs. Miniver. Frail, yet regal. Queenlike, yet personable.After her party, I took flowers to her room. She had already been tucked back into bed, but still so pretty, though tired. I went to her bed and she held out her hand to me. She held my hand with both of hers, and I felt as though I was the most important person she had ever met.Evertime I watch the movie, Mrs. Miniver, I am transported back to that day by her bed after her birthday. She lived only two more years, but everyone remembered her with such love and respect. I treasure having been given the very last glossy of her portfolio.Rest in peace, beloved Mrs. Miniver."
Morale Booster
James L. | 07/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Mrs. Miniver was an important film to come out of Hollywood during WWII. Not only was it a critical and commercial success, it had a great message for the British about continuing the fight. It also give the rest of the world a sense of what it was like for the British living with the constant threat of the Germans. The movie has a lot going for it. It's directed by William Wyler, who once again does an excellent job, balancing sentiment with drama in this story of Mrs. Miniver and her family. Greer Garson gives a warm performance as the model English wife and mother, and Walter Pidgeon is solid as her husband. The supporting cast of Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, and Henry Travers add much to the film. There are a number of scenes that I really enjoyed, including Mrs. Miniver's confrontation with a downed German airman, the Minivers' night in their shelter during an air raid, and the final scene in the Church. Almost sixty years later, it's easy to see the emotional impact this film must have had on audiences."
Mrs. Miniver: For Her War is Personal
Martin Asiner | jersey city, nj United States | 08/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When MRS. MINIVER was released in 1942, England and Germany had been at war for nearly three years and the British armed forces were no lock to win. The United States had been openly aiding England with war materials, but it had been only a few months before that America became directly involved after Pearl Harbor. Hollywood knew that it would take many months before American aid could tip the scales in England's favor, and MRS. MINIVER was filmed to fill this gap by suggesting that our British allies were getting along well enough for us not to worry. The movie was successful beyond Hollywood's wildest expectation, and this success was not measured only in the seven Academy Awards won (best picture, best director (William Wylie), best actress (Greer Garson) among others, the film galvanized Americans to see a war that was still abstract for most and portray it on a personal level.
Greer Garson plays Kay Miniver, the upper middle-class wife of Mr. Miniver (Walter Pidgeon)in the early days of the war. Kay Miniver, though pictured as the stereotypical English woman chock full of optimism, courage, and resourcefullness, is symbolically seen as more American than British. When she hears about the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, the war seems rather a detached affair for her: life goes on for her and her family in a rather unruffled way. Slowly, the war becomes increasingly personal. She must alter her daily habits of consumption. Her son volunteers for the RAF. Her husband sails to Dunkirk to rescue the trapped British Army. Ultimately, she even physically takes part in the war by capturing a downed Luftwaffe pilot. As Kay Miniver morphs from passive supporter to active participant, the audience does too. The subtle psychological switch is accomplished through the believable interaction of the cast, a result that allows their personal lives to evolve in a manner similar to Mrs. Miniver's. Her son (Richard Ney) falls in love with Carol (Theresa Wright), which in turn allows the audience to empathise with Mrs. Miniver over fears for her son when he flies in combat. Carol is a fully fleshed character whose own life later takes on tearful and tragic overtones that serve to remind the audience that the price of freedom can never be paid in abstract coin, but only in the deeply personal coin that counts.
Much of the power of this movie resides in individual scenes that are stark reminders of the nobility of the Allied cause. Characters in MRS. MINIVER tend to lecture each other rather than engage in spontaneous conversation, but these set speeches are not necessarily a bad thing. Their measured tones simply reinforce the message that England is America's ally. There are two scenes of speeches that resonate even today. The first involves a German pilot (Helmut Dantine) who has parachuted onto Mrs. Miniver's garden, where he holds her captive. Even though he has no legitimate chance to escape, he nevertheless takes advantage of the moment to warn her and the audience that the devastation that had fallen on Europe and Britain was but the precursor to a much more lethal destruction soon to follow. Dantine's voice is full of a slightly hysterical smugness that must have grated on the audience of 1942. The second scene is the famous view of the bombed out church that closes the movie. The vicar (Henry Travers) exhorts the congregation in tones and words that amplify the theme that tragic acceptance of personal loss is the brutal necessity to achieve victory. As he speaks, the camera lingers over empty chairs that had contained living parishioners, many of whom were women and choirboys. God is clearly on the Allied side. MRS. MINIVER achieved its purpose of uniting the allies in a holy war against Nazism. Not many 'message' movies retain their intrinsic entertainment value decades after the message has become an historical footnote, but MRS. MINIVER is such a rare film. It makes you care about that message even when you know you are being manipulated."