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Greer Garson delivers an Academy Award-winning performance as a British wife and mother whose courage and grace hold her family together through the terror of the World War II German Blitz--Mrs. Miniver. In this film lauded by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which eloquently captures the hopes of England and America at a time defeat by Nazi Germany seems imminent, Mrs. Kay Miniver (Garson) refuses to allow the war to destroy her family even as she huddles with her children through bombing raids, faces enemy paratroopers and fears for her husband's life as he fights in a string of crushing defeats.]]>
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Wyler was delivered a fabulous script from screenwriters Arthur Wimpers, George Froeschell, James Hilton, and Claudine West. Greer Garson's restrained performance as Jan Struther's heroine won her Best Actress honors but the entire cast is equally good, Teresa Wright especially so as the bright and cheery young woman who would marry the Miniver's son and show them all the way.
Wyler paints a lovely picture of day-to-day life in 1939 for the Miniver family and the small village where they live. Greer Garson is the nice Mrs. Miniver. An early scene when the kind porter Mr. Ballard (Henry Travers) reveals to her that he has named the beautiful red rose he intends to enter in the yearly floral contest after her, sets the feelings and mood of the entire film. The story of the white rose turning red from tears yet made more beautiful was not lost on audiences on both sides of the pond. If ever a film gave the world a resolve to stand up to evil, this quiet and touching film certainly did.
Wyler shows the poignancy of young men going off to war as the Miniver's young son, Vin, home from college and full of ideals, joins the R.A.F. There is one terribly moving scene as Garson listens with all her being as the planes fly over, waiting for Vin's signal that he is one of those returning.Read more ›
Previously issued versions of this film were near perfect so it's really no surprise to discover that this DVD carries on in the same tradition. Quite simply: the picture is outstanding. Blacks are deep and solid. The gray scale is beautiful and well balanced. There is hardly a scratch or a bit of grit or grain to distract. The soundtrack is equally impressive in MONO but very, very nicely balanced. A bit of a disappointment comes from the fact that no one at Warner Brothers had the foresight to do a ?making of? featurette. All we get is a couple of short subjects and a stills gallery.
No movie that I have seen about WWII tells a better story of how the English endured so much hardship and personal loss for so many years. This could easily have been a very depressing movie but it has many lighter and uplifting moments that balance out the sorrow and make you feel good at the end of the movie. If you bought this just because of the award nominations it received you should consider yourself pretty smart. If you buy it because of the good reviews from people here at Amazon you are intelligent. If you bought it because you only buy the best movies, and this is a great movie with a boat load of extras, well there aren't words to describe how gifted you are.
If you enjoy movies that take a more personal look at the impact of war on families you will like this movie. Far from being boring as some family movies drag when they get into far to many personal details. This movie has plenty of action with the Battle of Dunkirk, German bombings and strafings, and a enemy parachutist on the loose. Mrs. Miniver reminds me a little of a tough woman like Maureen O'Hara in the John Wayne movies. Her strength is a little more sophisticated but nonetheless you know it is there. She is the kind of woman you know can weather the storm and you are happy to have her with you. The DVD includes Greer Garson academy award footage, photos, and a couple wartime shorts. The movie itself makes it a great buy, but with these bonuses it's a steal.
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