The story concentrates on the social re-adjustment of three World War II servicemen, each from a different station of society. Al Stephenson returns to an influential banking position, but finds it hard to reconcile his loyalties to ex-servicemen with new commercial realities. Fred Derry is an ordinary working man who finds it difficult to hold down a job or pick up the threads of his marriage. Having had both hands burnt off during the war, Homer Parrish is unsure that his fiancée's feelings are still those of love and not those of pity. Each of the veterans faces a crisis upon his arrival, and each crisis is a microcosm of the experiences of many American warriors who found an alien world awaiting them when they came marching home. Written by
During the wedding scene at the end, Harold Russell fluffed his lines during his vows. Rather than calling cut and ordering a re-take, William Wyler liked how natural it sounded and this was the take used. See more »
When Homer is talking to the obnoxious customer at the soda counter, Fred serves water at the customer's right hand, but in another shot, it's at his left hand side. See more »
Say, uh, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?
I know what it is. How did I get these hooks and how do they work? That's what everybody says when they start off, "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" Well, I'll tell ya. I got sick and tired of that old pair of hands I had. You know, an awful lot of trouble washing them and manicuring my nails. So I traded them in for a pair of these latest models. They work by radar. Look.
[He takes a scoop of his ice cream sundae with a spoon]
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I saw the movie again recently. I always love it. It's touching, has great music, scope and complexity. The film is alive in its human details. But what especially stood out to me this time was how amazing Dana Andrew's performance is. His wife has cheated on him, he's suffering post-war trauma, and can't find a job--but he's still charming and funny. Even though his opinion of himself is pretty low, he keeps going ahead. I love how self-denigrating the character is, how he suspects he's pretty worthless, while his parents, friends and Peggy (but not his wife) see him as extraordinary. And Andrews does it all while being understated and real. Yeah, Dana!
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