The Best Years of Our Lives

The Best Years of Our Lives

DVD - 2012
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Recounts the problems faced by three returning veterans after WWII as they attempt to pick up the threads of their lives.

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p
pjnorth
Jun 25, 2016

This movie stands out from other films of the era concerning WWII, in that it isn't a "happily ever after" view through rose-colored glasses. The three servicemen at the center of the movie all have issues re-entering their civilian lives. The performances of all the cast were memorable, and the bonus is Hoagy Carmichael playing the piano.
I have read a number of comments from others that Harold Russell lost his hands in combat. Not so. He was handling a grenade with a faulty fuse during training, when it exploded. His performance was excellent, on a par with the professional actors around him.
I first saw this movie in the 1980s, and wondered how I had missed it prior to then. Having grown up on WWII movies, my own experiences returning from Vietnam were unlike those portrayed in other movies of the 40s and 50s. This film was a revelation to me.

a
akirakato
Mar 21, 2016

This is a 1946 love story directed by William Wyler.
Although three veterans are having their own deep-seated problems, it is an emotionally engaging drama with a heartwarming end.

v
voisjoe1_0
Feb 21, 2016

Three servicemen have a rough time adjusting to civilian when WWII is ended. One of them, Homer, played by Harold Russell, comes home without any hands. I was surprised to find that Russell was an actual serviceman who had lost his hands in the war. The makers of the film were criticized for using an actual wounded warrior as being some kind of exploitation (or was he just a reminder of how we fail to toss away the wounded warriors when they are no longer useful in war?). The film won 7 Oscars and Roger Ebert lists this as a Great Movie. The film is somewhat marred by the fact that every 50 minutes an African-American pops up among the White crowds for several seconds to remind White America that Blacks are just throwaway subhumans.

j
jaketaz777
Feb 02, 2016

when you have Wisdom added to knowledge then you realize those best years are right now at your calling.Great movie

b
beantown01
Dec 30, 2015

12/30/15: I'm renting it for the 5th time. This movie is excellent. Very well acted, poignant and does translate well through the years, as any very well scripted and told human drama will. It won best picture and clearly is well deserved. Watch it.

BookReviewer2015 Mar 29, 2015

A very poignant drama featuring some of Golden Cinema's best actors!

e
erinsnest
Oct 27, 2014

Loved this movie. Couldn't pause it and go to bed....now it's 2 am. Oh well, it was worth it. Wonder if I can find the book somewhere?.....Just looked, nope.....not even in used books on the indigo site....wow, first time that's ever happened! Oh...just tried Google and found that the movie was made from a long poem called -Glory to Me.- There is two copies available, one is $114.98 and the other is.....$300.20! Guess I won't be getting those any time soon!

o
Old_Toto
Jul 27, 2014

Although old_toto has seen this movie many times, each time is with more personal knowledge and experience, making the movie even better. Several male relatives and a female family-friend nurse returning from the WWII Pacific Theater suffered from incredible nightmares. Old_toto was warned not to get near them when they were sleeping out of concern for his safety when Grandma caught him watching them sleep. One relative was in a Veterans Hospital for two years before being released as an outpatient for several years more. Depression prevailed in spite of the fact that our family did everything possible to help them. Jobs, housing, alcohol abuse, divorce and all the other factors shown in this movie are presented as it really was. Additionally, this film boldly educated the general public regarding "minding our own business" as we all wanted to overwhelm our Veterans with our misguided curiosity, and unsolicited nurturing along with a universal feeling of helplessness regarding our desire to help make them "whole" again. Who can see a suffering being and not feel pity? The studio took a chance with presenting such story lines as "the hooks" which made widespread appearances in the late 1940s throughout America. Lines of people circled the theaters everywhere as word-of-mouth spread about this movie. It was and is a good national catharsis as old_toto witnessed many movie goers weeping throughout much of the movie but afterwards were feeling "better" for having seen it.

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garycornell
Jul 25, 2014

Great movie with a wonderful cast of Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Fredric March, and Teresa Wright. The script is a story of 3 returning veterans after World War II. Their lives are changed after war and they and their families must adjust. It is an inspiring story of what has been called "The Greatest Generation". Here we find out why they are honored with such titles. This is a not to be missed movie. I would pick it as one of the Top 10 Movies Ever Made!

brendancarlson May 16, 2014

This just might be the best WWII era melodrama Hollywood ever released.

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m
Monolith
Mar 10, 2013

Butch Engle (to a frustrated Homer Parrish): "...Give 'em time, kid -- they'll catch on. You know your folks'll get used to you, and you'll get used to them. Then everything'll settle down nicely. Unless we have another war. Then none of us have to worry because we'll all be blown to bits the first day. So cheer up, huh?"

m
Monolith
Mar 10, 2013

Al Stephenson (justifying a bank loan he approved to a customer with no collateral to his boss): "...You see, Mr. Milton, in the Army I've had to be with men when they were stripped of everything in the way of property except what they carried around with them and inside them. I saw them being tested. Now some of them stood up to it, and some didn't. But you got so you could tell which ones you could count on. I tell you this man Novak is okay. His 'collateral' is in his hands, in his heart and his guts. It's in his right as a citizen."

m
Monolith
Mar 10, 2013

Homer Parrish (showing Wilma how he prepares for bed by removing his prosthetics and wiggling into his pajama top): "...I'm lucky. I have my elbows. Some of the boys don't. But I can't button them up." Wilma Cameron: "I'll do that, Homer." Homer Parrish: "This is when I know I'm helpless. My hands are down there on the bed. I can't put them on again without calling to somebody for help. I can't smoke a cigarette or read a book. If that door should blow shut, I can't open it and get out of this room. I'm as dependent as a baby that doesn't know how to get anything except to cry for it. Well, now you know, Wilma. Now you have an idea of what it is. I guess you don't know what to say. It's alright. Go on home. Go away like your family said." Wilma Cameron: "I know what to say, Homer. I love you and I'm never going to leave you... never." (smooch)

m
Monolith
Mar 10, 2013

Marie Derry: "...What do you think I was doing all those years?" Fred Derry: "I don't know, babe, but I can guess." Marie Derry: "Go ahead. Guess your head off. I could do some guessing myself. What were you up to in London and Paris and all those places? I've given you every chance to make something of yourself. I gave up my own job when you asked me. I gave up the best years of my life, and what have you done? You flopped! Couldn't even hold that job at the drugstore. So I'm going back to work for myself and that means I'm gonna live for myself too. And in case you don't understand English, I'm gonna get a divorce. What have you got to say to that?" Fred Derry: "Don't keep Cliff waiting."

m
Monolith
Mar 10, 2013

Fred Derry: "You know what it'll be, don't you, Peggy? It may take us years to get anywhere. We'll have no money, no decent place to live. We'll have to work, get kicked around." (smooch)

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phantomas
Aug 15, 2013

phantomas thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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