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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   36,795 votes »
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Down 51% 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:
An Extraordinary Picture 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:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #11972) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

The character played by Ray Teal (the actor that Harold Russell attacks at the soda fountain) is listed in the credits as "Mr. Mollett". However, the character's name is never mentioned or otherwise alluded to. It may be that Mr. Mollett is named in the book on which the film was based, "Glory for Me," by MacKinlay Kantor.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Peggy and Marie are in the ladies room at the restaurant, the cameraman's left arm is visible in one of the mirrors.See more »
Milly Stephenson:You'll probably have to make a speech.
Al Stephenson:It's my plan to meet that situation by getting plastered.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)See more »


Weren't Dana Andrews and Fredric March a little old for their characters?
Is "The Best Years of Our Lives" based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
37 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
An Extraordinary Picture, 31 July 2003
Author: ss5921 from Baltimore, Maryland

Sometimes, but very rarely, a movie tells a story so well that it almost becomes difficult. This movie tells several stories so well simultaneously that it was the first few times a movie I could not watch to completion. It was too real....and the characters SO STRONG that watching it became a personal struggle. Seeing these three men and their families deal with their hardships, one in particular, often hit me too hard. Now, I have watched in its entirety without interruption several times, and I realize what I always suspected. This movie is a masterpiece. The writing, the acting, the blending of several stories without being even the least bit choppy, everything about this movie is exceptional. Seven Academy Awards? No wonder, it certainly must have deserved them.

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Glib Gladys eugenie51
Airport Chris398
Why did Michael Hall (Rob Stevenson) disappear 1/3 into the movie mysmith121350
Al Stephenson (Fredric March) stepperry2010
Harold Russell's injury Soujurn
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