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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  17 June 1947 (Argentina)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 34,395 users  
Reviews: 232 user | 91 critic

Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

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Writers:

(screen play), (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)
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Top 250 #196 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Al Stephenson (as Frederic March)
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Roman Bohnen ...
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Minna Gombell ...
Walter Baldwin ...
Steve Cochran ...
Cliff
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

veteran | pity | love | marriage | banker | See All (302) »

Taglines:

The Most Honored Picture of All Time (1954 widescreen reissue) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Glory for Me  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,100,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$23,650,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harold Russell's character was originally written as a war veteran suffering from combat trauma. This was changed to a physical disability when Russell joined the cast. See more »

Goofs

The scene at Butch's, when Al introduces his wife and daughter to Fred and Homer, he refers to Dana Andrews as Homer and Harold Russell as Fred. This was intended as a consequence of Al being drunk. See more »

Quotes

Al Stephenson: I think that, uh, little story has considerable significance; but I've, uh, I've forgotten what it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"and introducing Cathy O'Donnell" See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Sexual Revolution (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Chopsticks
(1877) (uncredited)
Music by Euphemia Allen
Played on piano by Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Russell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The ravages of war don't end on the battlefield.
25 April 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watch this movie every time it plays on TV. A simply brilliant film. Three men return home from war and try to return to civilian life with great difficulty. All three led opposite lives during the war (Executive Banker became an army corporal, a soda jerk became an Air Force Captain and the High School Football hero loses both his arms in battle)and now each must reconstruct his life and connect with a new reality. The homes they return to, with grown children and independent, working women along with a depressed economy, only add to the strife. It's the scenes just off camera and the unspoken dialog which resonates the most loudly, however. The awkward intimacy of Frederich March and Myrna Loy and his struggle to return to his place as leader (both at home and at work) are heartbreaking.

Dana Andrews is riveting as the handsome, decorated Captain who struggles to keep his life together without the uniform.

The film is filled with honest characters and each is portrayed by a gifted actor.

This film, however, took on a whole other level after seeing, "Saving Private Ryan." The reality and magnitude of what these men lived through for love and country......and obviously it didn't end on the battlefield.

This is an essential for any collection.


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