Stars: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 172 minutes
Winner of seven Academy Awards, including best picture, director, actor, and screenplay, William Wyler's brilliant drama about domestic life after World War II remains one of the all-time classics of American cinema. Inspired by a pictorial article about returning soldiers in Life magazine, the story focuses on three war veterans (Fredric March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell in unforgettable roles) and their rocky readjustment to civilian life in their Midwestern town of Boone City. Capturing the contradictory moods of America in the mid to late 1940s, this three-hour drama spans a complex range of honest emotions, from joyous celebration and happy reunion to deep-rooted ambivalence and reassessment of personal priorities. A movie milestone when released in 1946, The Best Years of Our Lives still packs a punch with powerful, timeless themes. --Jeff Shannon
I didn't see much of the war... I was stationed in a repair shop below decks. Oh, I was in plenty of battles, but I never saw a Jap or heard a shell coming at me. When we were sunk, all I know is there was a lot of fire and explosions. And I was on the topsides and overboard. And I was burned. When I came to, I was on a cruiser. My hands were off. After that, I had it easy... That's what I said. They took care of me fine. They trained me to use these things. I can dial telephones, I can drive a car, I can even put nickels in the jukebox. I'm all right, but... well, you see, I've got a girl.
She knows what happened to ya, doesn't she?
Sure, they all know. They don't know what these things look like.
You wrote me that when you got home, you and I were going to be married. If you wrote that once, you wrote it a hundred times. Isn't that true?
Yes, but things are different now.
Have you changed your mind?
Have I said anything about changing my mind?
No. That's just it. You haven't said anything about anything... I don't know what to think, Homer. All I know is, I was in love with you when you left and I'm in love with you now. Other things may have changed but that hasn't.
What do you think I was doing all those years?
I don't know, babe, but I can guess.
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?
Don't keep Cliff waiting.
Well, what have you been doing with yourself lately?
Yes, Dad told me he heard you were in some kind of building work.
Well, that's a hopeful way of putting it. I'm really in the junk business - an occupation for which many people feel I'm well-qualified by temperament and training.
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