8.1/10
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The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 29 May 1947 (Mexico)
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Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Milly Stephenson
... Al Stephenson (as Frederic March)
... Fred Derry
... Peggy Stephenson
... Marie Derry
... Wilma Cameron
... Butch Engle
... Homer Parrish
... Hortense Derry
... Pat Derry
... Mr. Milton
... Mrs. Parrish
... Mr. Parrish
... Cliff
... Mrs. Cameron
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Honored Picture of All Time (1954 widescreen reissue) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1947 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Glory for Me  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,650,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,309,982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

An earlier character error comment criticized Fred Derry's wear of the Ike Jacket. The comment said that the belt buckle was not centered. Derry was wearing his Ike Jacket's belt buckle correctly--off to the right side of the wearer. The buckle was not a real belt buckle, but a kind of waist cinch. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Fred Derry: You know what it'll be, don't you, Peggy? It may take us years to get anywhere. We'll have no money, no decent place to live. We'll have to work, get kicked around.
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Crazy Credits

The character played by Ray Teal (the Axis sympathizer whom Homer Parrish 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. See more »

Connections

Featured in Waga jinsei saiaku no toki (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out the Barrel)
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Jaromir Vejvoda
Played on piano by Hoagy Carmichael and danced by Fredric March & Myrna Loy and other couples
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Over 60 years old and still a classic!
22 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

In 2004, I wrote the following statements on an IMDb message board when a user wondered if The Best Years of Our Lives was a forgotten movie:

***** To me watching this movie is like opening up a time capsule. I think in many ways "The Best Years of Our Lives" is probably one of the more fascinating character studies and it holds up extremely well as a look at life in the US in the mid-1940s after WWII. I believe "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter", both released in 1978, were the most recent films that were closest in capturing the numerous issues of military men returning from war that were brought up in "The Best Years of Our Lives".

What really impressed me was watching the movie in its entirety when I was in college around 1980-81 and many if not all of the college students applauded at the end of the movie.

This movie still packs a wallop and I'm very happy to read in other posts other users feeling of a movie that will definitely stand the test of time. *****

I'm very happy to see the movie ranked near the top 100 movies on IMDb and AFI. Also, though it was in competition with what eventually became a Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life, arguably, The Best Years of Our Lives' Oscar wins, including Best Picture, were very well-deserved.

I've just seen the film again in 2005 and after almost 60 years, The Best Years of Our Lives is still a powerful, beautifully acted and well-crafted motion picture.


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