Film: Mrs. Miniver
Mrs. Miniver is a 1942 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, directed by William Wyler and starring Greer Garson and Teresa Wright. The film follows the Miniver family, upper-class English living in a village outside London. The Minivers have a typical family's typical issues, such as their eldest son Vin wanting to marry Carol (Wright), granddaughter of Lady Beldon—but Britain's declaration of war soon gives them bigger things to worry about. Vin joins the RAF, mother Kay (Garson) mans the home front, and father Clem (Walter Pidgeon) takes the family sailboat out one night at the end of May 1940 to a place called Dunkirk.The film was considered a powerful weapon in the World War II propaganda campaign against the German Reich, as well as an outstanding artistic achievement, being nominated for twelve Academy Awards and winning six, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress for Teresa Wright, and Best Cinematography.
This film provides examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: Carol says, near the end, that she accepts that Vincent might be killed in the war, and that she intends to enjoy the rest of the time she gets to spend with him—she'll have the rest of her life to mourn. And then, when Mrs. Miniver is trying to drive Carol home that night, and parks to watch the aeronautical action, some plane strafes the Minivers' car. Mrs. Miniver is okay (she didn't realize the car had actually been shot); Carol ... isn't.
- Author Filibuster: At the end of the film
- Bloodless Carnage: We see two people who were shot close up. We do not see either of them bleeding.
- Cast Incest: Greer Garson married Richard Ney, who was her on-screen son.
- California Doubling: Since real location shooting would mean filming in the middle of a war zone.
- Curse Cut Short: When Mr. Ballard dares to challenge Lady Beldon at the rose contest, one of his friends says that Beldon should have stuck to the railway (he's a conductor). An irritated Mr. Ballard says "and the railway can go to—" and a church bell rings.
- Dangerous Deserter: He isn't a deserter, he's a German pilot who got shot down over England. But in every other respect, the pilot that holds Mrs. Miniver hostage in her kitchen while demanding food and milk is this.
- English Rose: Carol and Kay, Carol more so due to being younger and of good birth. Both are also connected to the symbolism via the rose contest.
- Fake Brit: At least half the cast, due to the California Doubling. It seems most real Brits were kind of busy at the time...
- Genteel Interbellum Setting: This film is about the transition between Christie time and World War II.
- Grande Dame: Lady Beldon
- Hollywood Night: Lampshaded; Mr. Miniver turns off the lights so he can open the windows and notes that it's bright as day out there. Yes, Hollywood Night can occur in black&white films.
- Ironic Echo: There is a church scene near the beginning of the film and a church scene at the end. The same hymn in both. But the church looks very different...
- Kill the Cutie: Subverted Trope with Vincent, Double Subversion with Carol.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: The Miniver family has a huge black and white cat. Their youngest child Toby is particularly attached to the sweet animal.
- Law of Conservation of Normality: Even during World War II, during periods of bombing, there will still be roses and flower shows. And just because a building has been bombed out doesn't mean you have to stop using it.
- No Ending: The war was still going when this was filmed.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Vincent. In the book he had just started at Eton, making him a 14-15-year old high school freshman far too young to join the RAF.
- Pretty in Mink: Several fur coats and fur muffs are worn.
- Second-Hand Storytelling: There are several plot-important battles, but the only one we get to see is the last one.
- Sequel: The Miniver Story (1950), which follows the Minivers after the war.
- Twist Ending: Two guesses...