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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Best Years of Our Lives can be found here.
Yes. Producer Samuel Goldwyn reportedly was inspired to produce The Best Years of Our Lives after his wife Frances read an article in the 7 August, 1944 issue of Time magazine about the difficulties faced by WWII servicemen returning to civilian life. Goldwyn hired American novelist and former war correspondent MacKinlay Kantor [1904-1977] to write the story. It was first published as a book-length narrative poem titled Glory for Me (1945). Based on Kantor's novel, American playwright Robert Sherwood [1896-1955] wrote the screenplay. The movie won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture.
Yes. Toward the end of the movie, when Marie [Virginia Mayo] is sitting at a dressing table and going on about Fred [Dana Andrews]'s failures, she blurts out: "I gave up the best years of my life," which is the point of the title. Americans, who didn't start the war and weren't responsible for it, sacrificed themselves to help save the world. These were very young people, many of whom were killed, many of whom were traumatized, who gave up the best years of their lives. And, for some, ironically, their years in the service would be remembered as the best years of their lives.
The graveyard was located at the Ontario Army Airport in California where over 2000 airplanes were dismantled after the war.
A bit. Dana Andrews was clearly playing someone about 23. He was 36 when he made this film. (Fredric March), who was almost 50 when he made this film, played Al Stephenson, who was in his early 40's. Even more interesting is how close in age were Milly Stephenson (Myrna Loy) and her daughter Peggy (Teresa Wright). Loy was only 13 years older than Wright.
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