"Onward Christian Soldiers"
The 1942 Best Picture Oscar winner, MRS. MINIVER, is a classic example of MGM doing its duty in wartime. Ending with “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and a call to buy war bonds, it’s the story of the horrors of war impacting a middle class English family.
The movie opens just prior to World War II. It quickly establishes that Mr. and Mrs. Miniver are a happily married couple with a son, Van, in Oxford and two much younger children at home.
Arriving at the train station following a shopping trip, Mrs. Miniver is informed by the station master, Mr. Ballard, that he’s named a rose after her and plans to enter it in the local flower contest. She is honored. Carol Beldon, granddaughter of Lady Beldon, comes to ask Mrs. Miniver if she can talk Mr. Ballard out of entering his rose so that her grandmother can win, as she always has. Van gets into a debate with Carol about English class privilege, but winds up falling in love.
When the war starts, Van enlists as a pilot and marries Carol. Mr. Miniver is called to sail his small boat to Dunkirk to help rescue English troops. Meanwhile, Mrs. Miniver comes across a downed German pilot who seeks food and a coat at gunpoint.
The Miniver home is severely damaged by German bombs. Mrs. Miniver comforts the children in the local bomb shelter. Life on the homefront is much different than it was just months earlier, before the war. Several scenes are in church, there’s Bible reading, and the movie makes the case that Christians have a duty to oppose evil.
MRS. MINIVER won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Greer Garson’s magnificent performance. It deserves the awards and acclaim it received.
One of the great things about MRS. MINIVER is how it graciously opposes class snobbery without demonizing those who are learning a lesson. What’s blatantly obvious is Hollywood’s willingness in 1942 to present English Christians as noble in their willingness to fight Nazi tyranny as an act of faith in God. On the other hand, the movie resists the temptation to make its one German character into a heinous monster. He comes across more as a frightened young man for most of his screen time and only gives brief emotional comments about more Germans coming by the thousands.
(CCC, BBB, V, A, D, M) A strong Christian, biblical worldview; no foul language; some war home front violence with bombing, strafing and a death; no sex; no nudity; some alcohol use; some smoking; and, some class snobbery but rebuked and corrected.
MRS. MINIVER is a classic Oscar winning movie about World War II in England. It opens just prior to World War II. Mr. and Mrs. Miniver have a son, Van, in Oxford and two younger children at home. The train station master informs Mrs. Miniver he’s named a rose after her. He plans to enter it in a local contest. This creates a conflict with Lady Beldon and her granddaughter, Carol. Van gets into a debate with Carol about English class privilege, but winds up falling in love. The war starts. Van enlists as a pilot and marries Carol. Meanwhile, Mr. Miniver sails his small boat to rescue English troops at Dunkirk. Also, Mrs. Miniver finds a downed German pilot. Eventually, the family faces tragedy and destruction.
MRS. MINIVER won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Greer Garson’s magnificent performance. It deserves the awards and acclaim it received. Best of all, MRS. MINIVER presents English Christians as noble in their willingness to fight Nazi tyranny as an act of faith in God. Few modern movies make Christians look this noble.