The Best Years of Our Lives
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Suggested MPAA rating: PG for brief violence and disturbing images

0/10

None.

1/10

There is one scene where two men get into a fistfight in a drugstore and one of them is pushed into a glass counter. He falls through the counter which shatters, but there is no blood or obvious injury shown.

0/10

None.

1/10

Several of the characters drink alcohol periodically throughout the movie. In the opening scenes all three of the main characters get drunk because they are celebrating coming home from the war. One of the main characters gets drunk at a party in his honor, and makes a somewhat nonsensical speech because he is drunk. The three main characters all smoke cigarettes and one also smokes a cigar in one scene. Two secondary characters smoke pipes.

3/10

The character of Homer is played by a real-life WWII veteran, Harold Russell, who lost both hands in an explosion while making a training film. In the movie, the character Homer is a sailor who lost both hands in a shipboard explosion. He has metal hooks for hands which are ugly and might be frightening to viewers. He briefly describes the explosion on board ship in which his hands were burned, but he does not remember any of it and it is not shown. At one point Homer shoves his hooks through a plate glass window in anger. The scenes where Homer's father helps him get ready for bed show that Homer has has no arms below the elbows and must wear a harness to keep his hooks in place. They also show that without his hooks Homer is helpless in some situations.

The character of Fred, who was an Air Force Bombardier, has a recurring nightmare about being in a plane that caught fire and watching helplessly while a friend died. The dream is not explicit, but Fred's fear and screams to his friend in the dream to "get out! get out!" are real. He wakes up in a cold sweat, crying.

At the end of the movie, Fred is walking through a "graveyard" of bomber planes like the kind he used to fly, which are being sold for scrap. He climbs into the cockpit of one of the planes, and although there are no visual flashbacks and no battle sound effects, the music on the soundtrack and Fred's expressions and perspiration make it clear he is reliving some of his war memories. This is a very powerful scene which some viewers might find upsetting.


Certification:
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) / USA:TV-PG (TV Rating) / West Germany:12 (f)

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