Best Picture Review: “Mrs. Miniver” (1942)

Mrs. Miniver, 1942
Mrs. Miniver, 1942

Saturday afternoon, Lauren and I concluded our viewing of 1942’s Mrs. Miniver, which we started a week ago, but the DVD stopped working after 41 minutes and we had to send it back to Netflix and get a new copy to finish up.

Well, was the week-long wait worth it?  I say yes.  I actually rather enjoyed Mrs. Miniver.  Lauren also liked it and thought it was “very well done.”

Mrs. Miniver was a propoganda film, created to end American isolationism in World War II, and based on the novel from 1937.  The movie revolves around English housewife Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson) who stands tall despite many war hardships that hit home, quite literally!

Mrs. Miniver is also the name of the prize-winning rose in the village flower competition, named by the friendly station agent who admires Mrs. Miniver the woman.  The flower show seemed to serve as a backdrop of the innocent day-to-day activities that were going on while doom loomed overhead.

A romantic subplot featured the Miniver son, Vin, who fell in love with longtime neighbor Carol.  The two marry after just a couple weeks, partially out of fear that Vin will die in the war as a pilot.  Well, as fate would have it, Carol is the one who is killed when she’s struck by a bullet from a German war plane during a massive air raid.

There was quite a bit more to the movie than that, but that’s the quick rundown.

So yeah, in the end, I have nothing bad to say about Mrs. Miniver.  In fact, I may rank it as the best to this point… I’ll have to think about that before making such a bold claim.  I thought it displayed some great acting from both Greer and Teresa Wright, who each collected Oscars for their roles.  It was a solid story, and kept me on the edge of my seat, especially during the big bombing scenes.

One great part of this movie was a bedroom scene.  Mr. and Mrs. Miniver slept in the same room, but different beds.  In a span of one minute, the two shared a cool, smooth cigarette; Mr. Miniver awkwardly spanked Mrs. Miniver’s ass when she bent over; and Mr. Miniver commented candidly on how it’s the woman’s role to stay at home and look after the house while the man goes out and “does things.”  Funny 1940’s stereotypes!

And here’s another odd fact I uncovered after watching the movie: in real life, Greer married her on-screen son, who was 11 years younger than her.

I will soon do an overall ranking of the movies we’ve seen so far.  Perhaps after we watch the next movie on the list, 1944’s “Going My Way,” a musical starring Bing Crosby.  As you remember, we already saw 1943’s “Casablanca.”

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