🎥 Mrs Miniver – 1947
The Story …
Kay Miniver lives a comfortable life in Belham, a fictional village outside London. Her devoted husband, Clem, is a successful architect. They have three children: the youngsters Toby and Judy, and an older son, Vin, a student at Oxford University.
As World War II looms, Vin returns from college and meets Carol Beldon, granddaughter of Lady Beldon from nearby Beldon Hall. Despite initial disagreements—mainly contrasting Vin’s idealistic attitude to class differences with Carol’s practical altruism—they fall in love.
As the war comes closer to home, Vin feels he must “do his bit”, and enlists in the Royal Air Force, qualifying as a fighter pilot. He is posted to a base near to his parents’ home and can signal his safe return from operations to his parents by “blipping” his engine briefly (rapidly open and closing the throttle, which results in short, sharp roars of sound) as he flies over the house.
Vin proposes to Carol in front of his family at home, after his younger brother prods him to give a less romantic, but more honest, proposal than he had envisioned.
Together with other boat owners, Clem volunteers to take his motorboat, the Starling, to assist in the Dunkirk evacuation. Early one morning, Kay, unable to sleep as Clem is still away, wanders down to the landing stage. She is startled to discover a wounded German pilot hiding in her garden, and he takes her to the house at gunpoint.
She feeds him, calmly disarms him when he collapses, and calls the police. Soon after, Clem returns home, exhausted, from Dunkirk.
Lady Beldon visits Kay to try and convince her to talk Vin out of marrying Carol on account of her granddaughter’s comparative youth at age eighteen and short engagement. Kay reminds her that she, too, had been young —sixteen, in fact — when she married her late husband. Lady Beldon concedes defeat, realizing the futility of trying to stop the marriage. Carol marries Vin, becoming another Mrs. Miniver.
She knows Vin is likely to be killed in action but proceeds with the relationship anyway. During an air raid, Kay and her family take refuge in their Anderson shelter in the garden and attempt to keep their minds off the bombing by reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
They barely survive as a bomb destroys part of the house. Vin and Carol return from their honeymoon in Scotland, and see the damage to the house but Kay has arranged Vin’s room for them.
At the annual village flower show, Lady Beldon disregards the judges’ decision that her rose is the winner. Instead, she announces that the rose entered by the local stationmaster, Mr. Ballard, named the “Mrs. Miniver”, as the winner, with her own Beldon Rose taking second prize.
As air raid sirens sound and the villagers take refuge in the cellars of Beldon Hall, Kay and Carol drive Vin to join his squadron. On their journey home, they see a German plane lose a dogfight and crash.
Realizing Carol has been wounded by machine-gun fire from the plane, Kay takes her back to the house, where she dies.
The villagers assemble at the bomb-damaged church where their vicar affirms their determination in a sermon:
We in this quiet corner of England have suffered the loss of friends very dear to us, some close to this church. George West, choirboy. James Ballard, stationmaster and bellringer, and the proud winner only an hour before his death of the Beldon Cup for his beautiful Miniver Rose.
And our hearts go out in sympathy to the two families who share the cruel loss of a young girl who was married at this altar only two weeks ago. The homes of many of us have been destroyed, and the lives of young and old have been taken. There’s scarcely a household that hasn’t been struck to the heart. And why? Surely, you must have asked yourselves this question? Why, in all conscience, should these be the ones to suffer?
Children, old people, a young girl at the height of her loveliness? Why these? Are these our soldiers? Are these our fighters? Why should they be sacrificed?
I shall tell you why. Because this is not only a war of soldiers in uniform. It is the war of the people, of all the people. And it must be fought not only on the battlefield, but in the cities and in the villages, in the factories and on the farms, in the home and in the heart of every man, woman, and child who loves freedom.
Well, we have buried our dead, but we shall not forget them. Instead, they will inspire us with an unbreakable determination to free ourselves, and those who come after us, from the tyranny and terror that threaten to strike us down.
This is the People’s War. It is our war. We are the fighters. Fight it, then! Fight it with all that is in us!
And may God defend the right.
The solitary Lady Beldon stands alone in her family’s church pew. Vin moves to stand alongside her, united in shared grief, as the members of the congregation sing “Onward, Christian Soldiers”.
Meanwhile, visible through the holes in the roof, RAF fighters in “V for Victory” formations depart to face the enemy.
- Directed by William Wyler
- Screenplay by Arthur Wimperis, George Froeschel, James Hilton and Claudine West
- Based on Mrs. Miniver 1939 book (from newspaper column Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther
- Produced by Sidney Franklin
- Cinematography : Joseph Ruttenberg
- Edited by Harold F. Kress
- Music by Herbert Stothart, Daniele Amfitheatrof
- Production Company : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Distributed by Loew’s Inc.
- Release Dates : June 4, 1942
- Greer Garson as Kay Miniver
- Walter Pidgeon as Clem Miniver
- Teresa Wright as Carol Beldon
- Dame May Whitty as Lady Beldon
- Reginald Owen as Foley
- Henry Travers as Mr. Ballard
- Richard Ney as Vin Miniver
- Henry Wilcoxon as the Vicar
- Christopher Severn as Toby Miniver
- Brenda Forbes as Gladys (Housemaid)
- Clare Sandars as Judy Miniver
- Marie De Becker as Ada
- Helmut Dantine as German flyer
- John Abbott as Fred
- Connie Leon as Simpson
- Rhys Williams as Horace
- Peter Lawford as a pilot
- Charles Bennett as milkman
- Harry Allen as William
- Billy Bevan as bus conductor
- Eula Morgan as Glee club member
Film Information Source :
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