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
William Wyler wanted a completely unglamorous look, requiring all costumes to be bought off the rack and worn by the cast before filming, and making sure all sets were built smaller than life-size. See more »
Although Boone City is clearly some Midwest City, Homer Parrish is the only one on his block, in his family and among the entire cast who has clearly a Boston accent. See more »
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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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.
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