Mrs. Miniver (1942)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: An excessively sentimental piece of propaganda, Mrs. Miniver nonetheless succeeds, due largely to Greer Garson's powerful performance.


Movie Info

As Academy Award-winning films go, Mrs. Miniver has not weathered the years all that well. This prettified, idealized view of the upper-class British home front during World War II sometimes seems over-calculated and contrived when seen today. In particular, Greer Garson's Oscar-winning performance in the title role often comes off as artificial, especially when she nobly tends her rose garden while her stalwart husband (Walter Pidgeon) participates in the evacuation at Dunkirk. However, even if … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Arthur Wimperis, James Hilton, Claudine West, George Froeschel
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2004
Runtime:
MGM Home Entertainment

Cast


as Kay Miniver

as Clem Miniver

as Carol Beldon Miniver

as Lady Beldon

as Vin Miniver

as Mr. Ballard

as Judy Miniver

as Toby Miniver

as Gladys, the Housemai...

as Horace Perkins

as Ada, The Cook

as German Flier

as Miniver Guest

as Miss Spriggins

as George, the Innkeepe...

as Fred, the Porter

as Simpson, The Maid

as Conductor

as Woman with Dog

as Old Man

as Lady Passenger

as Saleslady

as Mrs. Huggins

as William

as Dancing Partner

as Halliday

as Haldon's Butler

as Judy Miniver

as Barman

as Dentist

as Sir Henry

as Carruthers

as Man in Store

as Man in Store

as Man in Store

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Glee Club Member

as Contestant

as Contestant

as Contestant

as Mr. Verger

as Contestant

as German Agent

as Townsman

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Man in Tavern

as Mr. Verger

as Workman

as Policeman

as Policeman
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Mrs. Miniver

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7)

Under Sidney Franklin's watchful supervision and William Wyler's masterly direction the story has become the most stirring, heart-clutching picture of our times.

Full Review… | February 17, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

That almost impossible feat, a great war picture that photographs the inner meaning, instead of the outward realism of World War II.

Full Review… | February 17, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A poignant story of the joys and sorrows, the humor and pathos of middle-class family life in wartime England.

Full Review… | January 28, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

The most famous and perhaps most effective propaganda film of World War II.

Full Review… | December 12, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Classic soap opera in which good old British understatement has a field day, everybody is frightfully nice, and sentimentality is wrapped up in yards of tasteful gloss.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Certainly it is the finest film yet made about the present war, and a most exalting tribute to the British, who have taken it gallantly.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mrs. Miniver

½

mmmm, propaganda....

brooklynspo
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

A middle-class family endures World War II.
Essentially propaganda, Mrs. Miniver exalts the bravery of common people in extraordinary circumstances. Of course, "common" in this uniquely British sense involves a life of luxury, and while the class issues of British society are treated tangentially, the most pressing aspect of the film is how the characters rise to their circumstances. Mrs. Miniver's courage when confronted by a marooned German soldier, Mr. Miniver's excursion on a fishing boat, and their son's flying missions are all examples of common bravery. Most of these scenes are subtle and individually compelling, but the film amounts to a simple extolling of the everyday, and as a result it becomes locked in its political message.
One scene that bothered me from a feminist perspective involves Mr. Miniver smacking his wife on the bottom after he finds out she is responsible for the marooned German's capture. The patriarchal necessity that the man be the locus of courage was yet another reminder that this film is confined to its era.
Overall, while there is some good acting, war propaganda can only go so far.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

It really hasn't aged all that well, but this is nonetheless a decently well made and well-intentioned World War II drama. What sets it apart from contemporary films about WWII is that it came out during the war, and was thus focusing on current events, specifically the impact of the war on the homefront, which, in the case of the film, happnes to primarily focuses on the war's effect on the Miniver household, mainly the title character- a nice lady from Britain's upper crust.

I liked the choices they made in terms of setting and how it focuses less on the soldiers and more on those who did their part to support the war effort off the battlefield. Being that it is a Hollywood production that apparently got great acclaim from Churchill, the film tends to stick out as being a very idealized and sanitized melodramatic propaganda piece.

There are soem really moving scenes though, and, like I said, the film is well intentioned, but as a result of all I've just said, the film is extremely biased and seems rather quaint and safe by today's standards. Aside from this, the film takes a while to really get going, it's rather uneven, and there's a fair amount of screentime where the title character isn't even the focus or present in the events.

It's not a waste though. The perforamnces are decent, the subject matter interesting (even if the execution could use some work), and, as I said, there are some really moving sequences that are quite well done, especially the bomb shelter sequence.

All in all, a noble film, but nothing really all that great. I can see why it was popular and acclaimed upon its release, but this is one of the many cases where the decision to give it the BEST PICTURE award hasn't stood the test of time. You should still perhaps give it a watch, but if you want a propaganda piece that is something of a masterpiece (and please don't take this recommendation out of context), see Triumph of the Will instead.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Mrs. Miniver Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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