As war buffets the British countryside, the upper-middle-class Miniver family, headed by lovely Kay (Garson) and her gracious husband, Clem (Pidgeon), strive to maintain a normal life, even planning for a local flower competition. Meanwhile, their eldest son Vin (Ney) romances village beauty Carol (Wright), despite their less-than-ideal circumstances. Even though the air war begins to take a toll on their village, and German bombs rain down upon their home, nothing dampens the spirit of this dignified family.
Distinguished by superb acting from Garson, Pidgeon, and Best Supporting Actress Wright, Wyler's glossy, multiple-Oscar-winning homage to the nobility and fortitude of average Britons still feels like a robust, if occasionally over-sentimental, rallying cry. In fact, the film was such an exemplary morale booster that Winston Churchill declared that it was worth six armored divisions. Though his point is now moot, "Miniver" does lavish us with glorious set pieces, like Garson's kitchen confrontation with a downed German paratrooper, and Henry Wilcoxon's rousing patriotic speech from a church pulpit, all of it gorgeously photographed by Oscar winner Joseph Ruttenberg. When it comes to grace under fire, there's no one like "Mrs. Miniver."