the year: 1942
the genre: drama
the cast: Greer Garson (Mrs. Miniver); Walter Pidgeon (Clem Miniver); Teresa Wright (Carol Beldon); Henry Travers (Mr. Ballard); Richard Ney (Vin Miniver)
the plot: This is the story of an English middle class family through the first years of World War II. Clem Miniver is a successful architect and his beautiful wife Kay is the anchor that keeps the family together. With two young children at home, Kay keeps busy in the quaint English village they call home. She is well-liked by everyone and the local station master has even named his new rose after her. When their son Vincent, Vin to everyone, comes home from Oxford for the summer he is immediately attracted to Carol Beldon, granddaughter of Lady Beldon. Their idyllic life is shattered in September 1939 when England is forced to declare war on Germany. Soon Vin is in the RAF and everyone has to put up with the hardship of war including blackouts and air raids. Through it all, everyone displays strength of character in the face of tragedy and destruction.
extra bonus points: if you can name two of the eight movies (not counting this one) which co-starred Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
listen for: "She was a good cook, as good cooks go. And as good cooks go, she went."
did you know: Winston Churchill once said that this film had done more for the war effort than a flotilla of destroyers and the film's subsequent success had a profound effect on American sympathy towards the plight of the British.
also listen for: The vicar's speech near the end. It was reportedly re-written by William Wyler and Henry Wilcoxon the night before it was shot. It was translated into various languages and air-dropped in leaflets over German-occupied territory, was broadcast over the Voice of America, and reprinted in Time and Look magazines at Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's request. This speech has come to be known as The Wilcoxon Speech, in tribute to actor Henry Wilcoxon's stirring delivery of it.