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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  17 June 1947 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 36,762 users  
Reviews: 234 user | 94 critic

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



(screen play), (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)
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Title: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Top 250 Movies #196 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Stephenson (as Frederic March)
Roman Bohnen ...
Minna Gombell ...
Mrs. Parrish
Walter Baldwin ...
Mr. Parrish


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 (312) »


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


Drama | Romance | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 June 1947 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Glory for Me  »

Box Office


$2,100,000 (estimated)


$23,650,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director William Wyler was furious when he learned that Samuel Goldwyn had sent Harold Russell for acting lessons; he preferred Russell's untrained, natural acting. See more »


When Steve the bartender greets Homer at Butch's, Homer puts out his hand and says, "Go ahead, pal, it won't bite you." However, his lips say, "Go ahead, pal, it won't hurt you." See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"and introducing Cathy O'Donnell" See more »


Referenced in Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Monkeys (1997) See more »


Among My Souvenirs
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Edgar Leslie
Lyrics by Lawrence Wright
Played on piano by Hoagy Carmichael and danced by Fredric March & Myrna Loy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Refreshing To See
13 August 2003 | by (Tulsa, OK) – See all my reviews

Very glad to see that this excellent film gets such high marks from the users of IMDB. The Best Years of Their Lives remains the finest cinematic statement about veterans returning from war that I have come across. Easily the finest performance by the often overlooked Frederick March. In fact the entire cast shines, including music legend Hoagy Carmichael who treats us all with a subtle version of his classic Lazy River. I would recommend this excellent film to anyone who loves movies.

68 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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