Mrs. Miniver, 1942

Mrs. Miniver was a popular war film which starred Greer Garson in the title role with Walter Pigeon as her husband Clem Miniver. The story is about a woman who remains hopeful and strong through trying times as WWII comes close to home.

Mrs. Miniver, gathers her family around her in a bomb shelter while her oldest son performs his duties as a pilot in the RAF. Her husband is called away to use his personal boat in defense of his country, but she bravely carries on for days without him.

When a German plane goes down and the pilot is missing from the wreckage, the village wonders what could’ve become of him. Mrs. Miniver finds him hidden in the bushes and handles the situation with courageous strength and compassion.

The movie also covers one of my favorite topics: beautiful roses. In the village, their local gardening competition allows some of the characters to show that they truly care about others. The rose competition in the midst of air raids shows that they tried to continue in the usual traditions in their daily lives while the war raged on.

I enjoyed the emotional story directed by William Wyler and how well it was acted. Mrs. Miniver won 6 Academy Awards including: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Greer Garson, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Teresa Wright, Best Cinematography in Black and White for Joseph Ruttenberg, Best Director for William Wyler, Best Picture, and Best Writing in a Screenplay for George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis.

Greer Garson caught up with Bette Davis to tie the record of most consecutive Academy Award nominations. Garson’s awards ranged from 1941 through 1945. Another of her records is in the category of longest acceptance speech. The delivery of her Thank You for the 1942 Oscar she won for playing Mrs. Miniver lasted well over five minutes.

Also nominated for an Oscar was Henry Travers who played Mr. Ballard, one of the competing rose growers. I remembered him because of his role as the angel Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life. He was Mr. Ballard in 1942 and Clarence in 1946.

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