MRS. MINIVER (1942) B/W 134m dir: William Wyler
w/Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Henry Travers, Reginald Owen, Miles Mander, Henry Wilcoxon, Richard Ney, Christopher Severn, Clare Sandars, Helmut Dantine
From The Movie Guide: "Frightfully nice, it's like war at teatime. MRS. MINIVER tells of the British people's will to survive the German bombing raids and fight to the end for their own human dignity. Director William Wyler achieves his goal by concentrating on the inhabitants of the country village of Belham, especially the middle-class Miniver family --- lovely Kay Miniver (Greer Garson), gallant husband Clem (Walter Pidgeon), brave eldest son Vin (Richard Ney) and adorable younger children Toby and Judy (Christopher Severn and Clare Sandars). As the country slips into war, Vin falls in love with noble Carol (Teresa Wright), the teenage daughter of crotchety village matriarch Lady Beldon (Dame May Whitty). As romance grows and the village prepares for its annual flower-growing competition. German bombs begin to decimate the once-peaceful countryside ....
"When Winston Churchill saw the film, he maintained that MRS. MINIVER would prove more valuable than the combined efforts of six divisions. At Oscar time, ... Garson gave the longest (5 1/2 minute) speech in in Oscar history; never mind she didn't deserve the award. Ponder her as an actress: totally ordinary, though lovely. Just when you've settled into that opinion, she does something brilliant. Resigned to being wrong, you watch as she settles back into self-satisfied mediocrity. Did that. Quite right. Lovely."
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "It is impossible to praise too highly William Wyler's direction, which hits only one or two false notes throughout the lengthy presentation. His is clearly the understanding heart to whom these are not actors, but people living genuine joy and sorrow and fear and doubt."
MRS. MINIVER won six Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Actress (Garson), Supporting Actress (Wright), Screenplay (George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, Arthur Wimperis), and Cinematography (Joseph Ruttenberg). It was also nominated for Best Actor (Pidgeon), Supporting Actor (Travers), Supporting Actress (Whitty), Editing (Harold F. Kress), Sound (Douglas Shearer), and Visual Effects (A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe, Shearer).