| Awards | Article | Bibliography |
Downloads | Links | Image Credits | MRS. MINIVER
One of MGM's most
popular and successful leading ladies of the 1940s, English-born Greer
Garson received her first Best Actress nomination in 1939, an incredible
five nominations in a row between 1941 and 1945, and a seventh before her
career was through. She also acted in six Best Picture-nominated films.
But even more important than all her honors, Garson's films are a joy to
watch. Although at times the material she had to work with was not
up to par, and audiences seemed unable to accept her in
low-brow roles after the noble women that made her famous, Garson never gives a bad
performance -- ever. Each of her characters is marked with a
sincerity which never betrays to the audience that Garson is just acting, and many-a mediocre script was rescued by her extensive talents.
A poster from her film debut, the Best Picture-nominated
GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1939) for which Garson received the first of her seven
Academy Award nominations. (Her co-star, Robert Donat, won for Best Actor
that year.) Although not appearing until forty-five minutes into this story
of a shy Latin professor at an English boys school, Garson steals the
heart of the picture as she brings a touch of romance into Mr.
Chipping's lonely life. And in testament to the power of her
performance in such a small role, Garson received her Oscar nomination
in the Best Actress category, rather than the Best Supporting Actress
category, as would have been more appropriate for a role of this size.
Encouraged about Garson's prospects,
quickly cast her opposite Robert Taylor (left) and Lew Ayres in the
half-baked romantic comedy REMEMBER? (1939) about a husband and wife who are given a
memory-erasing medication when their marriage goes on the
rocks. The poor writing and direction as well as the slapstick antics (such as the mud
puddle at left) did not sit well with critics or audiences, and the film
Eager to reestablish Garson's respectability and
reputation, MGM next cast her as
Elizabeth Bennett opposite Laurence
Olivier's Fitzwilliam Darcy in the studio's prestigious 1940 adaptation of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Though not a
huge box-office success, the critical reviews of the film were favorable
and Garson and Olivier's
open-mouthed kiss created quite a sensation. Today, although Garson and
Olivier's performances still stand up, the film's short-comings are
amplified by a script which attempts to condense all the novel's
characters and episodes into a two-hour screenplay.
Go to the next page.
Page 1 |
Page 2 | Page 3
| Page 4 | Page 5 |