Movie Mirrors Index

Mrs. Miniver

(1942 b 134')

En: 8 Ed: 8

Adapted from Jan Struther's novel, a British family survives German air raids while their son marries and joins the RAF.

In early summer 1939 Kay Miniver (Greer Garson) buys a hat and on the train sees the Vicar (Henry Wilcoxon) and Lady Beldon (May Whitty). Mr. Ballard (Henry Travers) shows Kay a rose he named Mrs. Miniver. Clem Miniver (Walter Pidgeon) buys a car. Vin Miniver (Richard Ney) comes home from Oxford. Carol Beldon (Teresa Wright) asks Mrs. Miniver to let her grandmother win the rose contest. Vin criticizes class, and Carol withdraws her request. Vin apologizes to Carol and dances with her. At church the Vicar announces that war was declared. Maid Gladys (Brenda Forbes) cries as Horace (Rhys Williams) goes off to fight. Vin kisses Carol and offers to help Lady Beldon with the blackout. Air-raid warden Foley (Reginald Owen) helps Clem cover a window. Royal Air Force pilot Vin comes home on leave and finds Carol there. At dinner Carol agrees to marry Vin, who is called to the airport. Kay and Clem hear Vin's plane.

At 2 a.m. Clem is called to bring his boat and join others rescuing troops from Dunkirk. Kay tells Mr. Ballard it has been five days. She finds a wounded German pilot, who threatens her with a pistol and demands food and a coat before he collapses. She takes the gun and calls the police to bring a doctor. The flyer says they will bomb cities as they did Rotterdam. Police take him away. Clem comes home tired and goes to bed. Kay hears Vin's plane. Ten hours later Clem wakes and learns that Kay captured the German pilot. Lady Beldon comes and tells Kay that Carol is too young at 18, but Kay persuades her the marriage is good.

During a barrage Kay and Clem talk in the shelter; as it gets worse, they hug their children. Vin and Carol return from their honeymoon. The house is damaged. Carol and Kay realize that Vin may be killed. At the flower show Lady Beldon learns she won, but Kay suggests she let Mr. Ballard win. Lady Beldon announces that Mr. Ballard won the silver cup for the Mrs. Miniver. Foley says enemy planes are coming, and Lady Beldon invites people into her cellar. Kay and Carol drive Vin to the airfield. Kay stops the car as planes attack. She and Carol see a plane crash, and Kay learns that Carol was hit. Kay calls an ambulance, but all are out. Carol dies, and Kay cries. At the devastated church the Vicar reads from Psalm 91 and asks why civilians are killed; he says it is a war of the people. They sing "Onward Christian Soldiers."

This domestic drama portrays how the war was affecting an English family and brought support for the British plight with a bred rose as a symbol of their culture. Yet the empathy of the audience can also be stirred to prevent the catastrophe of such wars.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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