Oscar Movies: Mrs. Miniver (1942)

MGM

Made in the tradition of MGM's glossy pictures, this noble film describes a middle-class English family during WWII. A strong moral booster and reaffirmation of the ideals of human suffering and fortitude in times of crisis, it was Hollywood's version of an “ordinary” family.

Oscar Nominations: 12

Picture, produced by Sidney Franklin
Director: William Wyler
Actress: Greer Garson
Actor: Walter Pidgeon
Supporting Actress: Teresa Wright
Supporting Actress: Dame May Whitty
Supporting Actor: Henry Travers
Screenplay: George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis
Cinematography (b/w): Joseph Ruttenberg
Editing: Harold F. Kress
Sound Recording: Douglas Shearer
Special Effects: Arnold Gillespie and Warren Newcombe (photographic); Douglas Shearer (sound)

Oscar Awards: 6

Picture
Director
Screenplay
Actress
Supportig Actress: T. Wright
Cinematography

Oscar Context

Easily one of the worst films to have ever won the Best Picture Oscar. In 1942, Mrs. Miniver competed against The Invaders, Kings Row, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Pied Piper, The Pride of the Yankees, Random Harvest, The Talk of the Town, Wake Island, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Most of these films were patriotic flag-wavers, reflecting the surrounding reality of the U.S. 1941 entry into WWII. Next to “Mrs. Miniver,” the Gary Cooper sports biopic “The Pride of the Yankees,” was the most nominated (11) picture, though it won only one Oscar, for Daniel Mandell's editing.

“Mrs. Miniver” is one of the few films that have garnered nominations in all four acting categories: Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress; in fact, there were two women in the supporting league alone. Teresa Wright joined a small group of Academy actors, have who received lead and supporting nomination in the same year; Wright was also nominated for “Pride of the Yankees.”