Al Stephenson
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Quotes for
Al Stephenson (Character)
from The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Al Stephenson: I've seen nothing, I should have stayed at home and found out what was really going on.

Peggy Stephenson: I've made up my mind.
Al Stephenson: Good girl.
Milly Stephenson: To do what?
Peggy Stephenson: I'm going to break that marriage up! I can't stand it seeing Fred tied to a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him. Oh, it's horrible for him. It's humiliating and it's killing his spirit. Somebody's got to help him.

Fred Derry: You gotta hand it to the Navy; they sure trained that kid how to use those hooks.
Al Stephenson: They couldn't train him to put his arms around his girl, or to stroke her hair.

Milly Stephenson: What do you think of the children?
Al Stephenson: Children? I don't recognize 'em. They've grown so old.
Milly Stephenson: I tried to stop them, to keep them just as they were when you left, but they got away from me.

Al Stephenson: You know, I had a dream. I dreamt I was home. I've had that same dream hundreds of times before. This time, I wanted to find out if it's really true. Am I really home?

Milly Stephenson: You're crazy.
Al Stephenson: No. Too sane for my own good.

Al Stephenson: We don't need to worry about that child. She can take care of herself.
Milly Stephenson: That's what she thinks.

[Al is speaking to the banquet]
Al Stephenson: I'm glad to see you've all pulled through so well. As Mr. Milton so perfectly expressed it: our country stands today... where it stands today... wherever that is. I'm sure you'll all agree with me if I said that now is the time for all of us to stop all this nonsense, face facts, get down to brass tacks, forget about the war and go fishing. But I'm not gonna say it. I'm just going to sum the whole thing up in one word.
[Milly coughs loudly to caution him - worrying that he will tell off the boss]
Al Stephenson: My wife doesn't think I'd better sum it up in that one word. I want to tell you all that the reason for my success as a Sergeant is due primarily to my previous training in the Cornbelt Loan and Trust Company. The knowledge I acquired in the good ol' bank I applied to my problems in the infantry. For instance, one day in Okinawa, a Major comes up to me and he says, "Stephenson, you see that hill?" "Yes sir, I see it." "All right," he said. "You and your platoon will attack said hill and take it." So I said to the Major, "but that operation involves considerable risk. We haven't sufficient collateral." "I'm aware of that," said the Major, "but the fact remains that there's the hill and you are the guys who are going to take it." So I said to him, "I'm sorry, Major... no collateral, no hill." So we didn't take the hill and we lost the war. I think that little story has considerable significance, but I've forgotten what it is. And now in conclusion, I'd like to tell you a humorous anecdote. I know several humorous anecdotes, but I can't think of any way to clean them up, so I'll only say this much. I love the Cornbelt Loan and Trust Company. There are some who say that the old bank is suffering from hardening of the arteries and of the heart. I refuse to listen to such radical talk. I say that our bank is alive, it's generous, it's human, and we're going to have such a line of customers seeking and GETTING small loans that people will think we're gambling with the depositors' money. And we will be. We will be gambling on the future of this country. I thank you.

Fred Derry: How long since you been home?
Al Stephenson: Oh, a couple-a centuries.

[Al and Fred have arrived at Al's fancy apartment building]
Fred Derry: Some barracks you got here. Hey, what are you? A retired bootlegger?
Al Stephenson: Nothing as dignified as that. I'm a banker.

[Al is explaining to the bank president why he made the loan to Mr. Novak]
Al Stephenson: 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.

Milly Stephenson: You'll probably have to make a speech.
Al Stephenson: It's my plan to meet that situation by getting plastered.