After the end of World War II, three American veterans from different military branches and different social backgrounds return home to try and reacclimatise themselves back into society, but the world back home isn’t quite how they remembered it.Continue reading
In pre-World War 2 England, the Miniver family live a happy life. Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson) spends her days going to town and spending their money on frivolities, and feels guilty about buying an expensive new hat-type thing that I would never describe as being a hat, but her worries at what her architect husband (Walter Pidgeon) will say disappear when it is revealed that he has bought a fancy new car. They have two young children – Toby and Judy (Christopher Severn and Clare Sandars), and a 19-year old son Vincent (Richard Ney) who has just returned from Oxford and caught the eye of Carol (Teresa Wright) the granddaughter of the village aristocracy, the haughty Mrs. Beldon (Dame May Whitty), who disapproves of lowly station master Mr. Ballard (Henry Travers) entering his new rose to compete against hers in the upcoming village flower show. All these problems are thrown to the wind, however, when war breaks out, and everyone finds themselves affected.
One stormy night, a traveller finds himself sheltering at Wuthering Heights, a rundown, morbid old house that we later learn used to be a home of joy and laughter. Warming himself by the fire, he is told by a servant the tragic story of Heathcliff and Cathy, which will apparently make him believe that ghosts can walk the Earth. Heathcliff, as a boy, was orphaned and then adopted from the streets by Mr. Earnshaw, who already had two children, Hindley and Cathy. The latter took a shining to the new boy, playing with him whenever possible and forging a firm bond, but her older brother saw this newcomer as nothing more than a stableboy, which is the position Heathcliff was reduced to when Mr. Earnshaw passed away and the property became Hindley’s by right. By this time, the adult Heathcliff and Cathy (Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon) are obvisouly in love with one another, but their positions in society prevent them from doing anything about it. When their wealthy neighbour Linton (David Niven) falls for Cathy too, Heathcliff runs away, but seeing as this is a romance movie you know he’ll be coming back, and that it probably won’t work out all that well for everyone involved.
Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a Jewish prince in Jerusalem. He lives with his mother (Martha Scott) and sister Tirzah (Cathy O’Donnell), and has a good relationship with his slaves, including Simonides (Sam Jaffe) and his daughter Esther (Haya Harareet), whom it is obvious from the start will have some kind of romantic relationship with Ben, because she’s pretty. A childhood friend of Ben’s, Messala (Stephen Boyd) has returned home to be the new commander of the town, and wants Ben’s help to get the rebelling Jewish faction in line. Ben-Hur chooses his faith and his people’s freedom over his former friendship, so he and Messala become enemies. When Tirzah accidentally knocks some loose roof tiles and injures Judea’s new governor, she, Ben-Hur and their mother are locked up. Ben works on the slave ships, whilst his family are imprisoned in the dungeons. He then devotes his life to finding his way back to free his family, and enact his vengeance upon Messala.