A little while ago I decided I should watch some 1940s films to get a feel for 40s fashions and see if it inspired me. I grew up watching lots of old films and as such, I don’t find them as slow or stilted as I have heard them described by many. Having a look at lists of most popular 40s films I saw the name Mrs Miniver cropping up lots. This brought back memories of watching this one Wintry afternoon as a child. I did watch a lot of war films as a child! My Dad, being a child of the 50s, must have been brought up on them I think, and he shared them with us. I liked Miniver when I first saw it and I must say, I enjoyed this time around too.
It is not without its twee moments, surely, but I find these endearing. Dr P and I still quote over dramatic moments from Brief Encounter which we watched multiple times last summer preceding a visit to Carnforth Railway station where parts of it were filmed.
It was nice to see a familiar face in the form of Henry Travers who you may recognise from his role as Clarence, the bumbling guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life.
The film centre around The Miniver family. Pre-war, Mrs Miniver has little to think of except flamboyant hats and trips to town, which she recovers from afterwards, lying on her bed with stockinged feet and chatting on the telephone. When the war hits the family is effected in many ways and this is what we focus on. Mrs Miniver’s son sees active service, her husband helps the Home Guard and she herself has a close encounter with a German.
There’s a lot of jolly-hockey-sticks nonsense but on the whole the films shows the hardship and loss that must have been all so common a tale during the war. I even had a few teary moments, especially the final scene, when the community gather in a bombed out Church to worship together.
I didn’t pick up many fashion tips, but I came away with a bit of a crush on Mrs M. She always knows what to do. And she has a cracking line in hats…
it is with a massive case of hat envy I say:
its only vintage but I like it!