IMDb > The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Best Years of Our Lives
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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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The Best Years of Our Lives -- Winning seven Academy Awards®, this drama follows three World War II veterans, Homer, Al and Fred, as they return to small-town America and must come to terms with their experiences.
The Best Years of Our Lives -- Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.


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8.2/10   37,341 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert E. Sherwood (screen play)
MacKinlay Kantor (from a novel by)
View company contact information for The Best Years of Our Lives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 June 1947 (Argentina) See more »
Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Refreshing To See See more (234 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Myrna Loy ... Milly Stephenson

Fredric March ... Al Stephenson (as Frederic March)

Dana Andrews ... Fred Derry

Teresa Wright ... Peggy Stephenson

Virginia Mayo ... Marie Derry

Cathy O'Donnell ... Wilma Cameron

Hoagy Carmichael ... Butch Engle

Harold Russell ... Homer Parrish

Gladys George ... Hortense Derry
Roman Bohnen ... Pat Derry

Ray Collins ... Mr. Milton
Minna Gombell ... Mrs. Parrish
Walter Baldwin ... Mr. Parrish

Steve Cochran ... Cliff

Dorothy Adams ... Mrs. Cameron

Don Beddoe ... Mr. Cameron
Marlene Aames ... Luella Parrish

Charles Halton ... Prew

Ray Teal ... Mr. Mollett
Howland Chamberlain ... Thorpe (as Howland Chamberlin)
Dean White ... Novak
Erskine Sanford ... Bullard

Michael Hall ... Rob Stephenson
Victor Cutler ... Woody Merrill
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Ames ... Jackie (uncredited)
Carol Andrews ... Saleswoman (uncredited)
Mary Arden ... Miss Barbour (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire ... Minister at Wedding (uncredited)
Sidney Clute ... Drugstore Clerk (uncredited)

Joyce Compton ... Hat Check Girl (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man at Bank Dinner (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Customer (uncredited)
Bert Conway ... ATC Sergeant (uncredited)

Clancy Cooper ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Mady Correll ... Announcer (uncredited)
Roy Darmour ... Parking Lot Attendant (uncredited)
Hal K. Dawson ... Man at Airport (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Claire Du Brey ... Mrs. Talburt - Perfume Customer (uncredited)
Tom Dugan ... Doorman (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... Steese - Bank (uncredited)

Blake Edwards ... Corporal at ATC Counter (uncredited)

Billy Engle ... Customer (uncredited)
Ben Erway ... Lou Latham - Bank (uncredited)
Doris June Fesetta ... Camera Girl (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Salvage Foreman (uncredited)

Tennessee Ernie Ford ... Nightclub / Hillbilly Singer (uncredited)
Louise Franklin ... Ladies' Room Attendant (uncredited)
Harry Gillette ... Card Player at Lucia's (uncredited)
Dick Gordon ... Maitre d'Hotel (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Diner Attendant at Lucia's (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Ray Hyke ... Gus - Salvage Worker (uncredited)
John Ince ... Ryan (uncredited)
Teddy Infuhr ... Dexter - Brat in Drugstore (uncredited)
Jackie Jackson ... A Boy (uncredited)
Georgia Kane ... Singer (uncredited)
Robert Karnes ... Technical Sergeant (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Man at Bank Dinner (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Steve the Bartender (uncredited)
Gene Krupa ... Musician - Drum Solo (archive footage) (uncredited)
Alyn Lockwood ... Counter Girl (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Man at Airport (uncredited)
Susan Mann ... Announcer (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Waiter (uncredited)
Michael Mauree ... Glamour Girl (uncredited)
Doreen McCann ... A Girl (uncredited)
Peggy McIntyre ... Girl at Soda Fountain - Mollett Scene (uncredited)
Chef Milani ... Giuseppe - Lucia's Restaurant Proprietor (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Wealthy Man at Nightclub (uncredited)
Ernesto Molinari ... Card Player (uncredited)
William Newell ... Waiter at Bank Dinner (uncredited)
Georgie Nokes ... One of Homer's 'Kids' (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Nightclub Waiter (uncredited)
Joe Palma ... Card Player (uncredited)
Leo Penn ... ATC Corporal (uncredited)
Caleb Peterson ... Black Soldier at Airfield (uncredited)
Norman Phillips Jr. ... Clarence 'Sticky' Merkle (uncredited)
Jack Rice ... Apartment Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Girl at Table with Cliff (uncredited)
Mickey Roth ... Boy at Soda Fountain - Mollett Scene (uncredited)
Ruth Sanderson ... Mrs. Garrett (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... George H. Gibbons (uncredited)
Noreen Sayles ... Girl (uncredited)
Stephen Soldi ... Card Player (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Man at Airport / Dinner Guest (uncredited)
John Tyrrell ... Angus - Butch's Waiter (uncredited)
Amelita Ward ... Counter Girl (uncredited)

Jan Wiley ... Perfume Saleswoman (uncredited)
Marek Windheim ... Waiter at Lucia's Restaurant (uncredited)
Catherine Wyler ... Department Store Customer (uncredited)
Judy Wyler ... Department Store Customer (uncredited)

Directed by
William Wyler 
Writing credits
Robert E. Sherwood (screen play)

MacKinlay Kantor (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)

Produced by
Samuel Goldwyn .... producer
Lester Koenig .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Hugo Friedhofer (music)
Cinematography by
Gregg Toland (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Daniel Mandell (film editor)
Art Direction by
Perry Ferguson 
George Jenkins 
Set Decoration by
Julia Heron (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Irene Sharaff  (as Sharaff)
Makeup Department
Marie Clark .... hair stylist
Robert Stephanoff .... makeup
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jonathan C. Boyle .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Dorothea Holt .... illustrator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Richard DeWeese .... sound recorder
Larry Gannon .... sound (uncredited)
Gordon Sawyer .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
John P. Fulton .... special effects director (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Garvin .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ralph Hoge .... key grip (uncredited)
E. Truman Joiner .... key grip (uncredited)
Vic Jones .... gaffer (uncredited)
Paul Mantz .... aerial director of photography (uncredited)
Bill McLellan .... gaffer (uncredited)
Bert Shipman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Charles Straumer .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Emil Newman .... musical director
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Jerome Moross .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Samuel Goldwyn .... presenter
Dale Tate .... title designer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Samuel Goldwyn's The Best Years of Our Lives" - USA (poster title)
See more »
172 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Australia:PG (alternate rating) | Finland:S | South Korea:15 (2002) | UK:U | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Not Rated (Digital Streaming) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #11972) | USA:TV-PG (TV Rating) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Came sixth in the UK's Ultimate Film, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemasSee more »
Continuity: 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 »
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?See more »
Movie Connections:
ChopsticksSee more »


Weren't Dana Andrews and Fredric March a little old for their characters?
Is there a reference to "the best years of our lives" in the movie itself?
Where is the airplane graveyard located?
See more »
68 out of 85 people found the following review useful.
Refreshing To See, 13 August 2003
Author: smthrk from Tulsa, OK

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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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Was it 'Sticky' or 'Stinky'? dlynch843
Al Stephenson (Fredric March) stepperry2010
Veterans Day 70 Years After 1945 hpalencar
Glib Gladys eugenie51
Airport Chris398
Why did Michael Hall (Rob Stevenson) disappear 1/3 into the movie mysmith121350
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