Sunday, May 30, 2004

On the box
Mrs Miniver

OMG, LOL! Not the best movie I've seen. Multiple Oscars?! Fix! This was propaganda to rally American enthusiasm for a war that wasn't theirs, eliciting sympathy for England. Greer Garson was gorgeous, the special effects tops for the time (1942) and some scenes moving (such as the family in the bomb shelter during an air raid) but you'd think US and British intelligence could have done better. Like having actors for the main characters who actually could sound English! The one playing the husband wasn't even trying - maybe that's where Kevin Costner got his voice for 'Robin Hood'. Maybe not doing that was deliberate so Americans could understand or identify with them more, but if so that seems condescending.

The Minivers' house looks more like what the local squire might live in, at least twice the size of any English house I've stayed in, including ones from that period.

Other favourite scenes of course are of the village church, which spikes will see has a hanging sanctuary lamp and an altar with the 'big six' candlesticks. The scene at the end with the chancel blown away probably was modelled on Coventry Cathedral, burnt to a shell in 1940 (Churchill let it happen to stir anti-German feelings*), with the wooden bracing forming a huge cross in front of the outdoors behind it.

*There may have been a military-intelligence reason as well - the British didn't want the Germans to know they could read the Germans' plans in advance.

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