8.0/10
56,426
290 user 125 critic

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 29 May 1947 (Mexico)
Trailer
1:46 | Trailer
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Robert E. Sherwood (screen play), MacKinlay Kantor (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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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:

Three wonderful loves in the best picture of the year! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harold Russell's character was originally written as a war veteran suffering from combat trauma. This was changed to a physical disability when Russell joined the cast. See more »

Goofs

During Al Stephenson's speech at the bank get-together party, he talks about his division being in Okinawa. The 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning), was part of the Luzon campaign that started January 1945 and ended with the divisions relief at the end of June 1945. At no time was the 25th in Okinawa. The divisions that did participate in the Okinawan campaign (April 1 - June 22, 1945) were the: 7th, 96th, 27th, and 77th Infantry Divisions of the army and the 1st, 2nd, and 6th Marine Divisions. See more »

Quotes

Peggy Stephenson: I'm going to break that marriage up! I can't stand it seeing Fred tied to a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him. Oh, it's horrible for him. It's humiliating and it's killing his spirit. Somebody's got to help him.
Al Stephenson: Who made you God?
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The film was modified to play on a wide screen and reissued on February 3, 1954. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Majestic (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Lazy River
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael & Sidney Arodin
Played on piano by Hoagy Carmichael
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User Reviews

 
A worthwhile message that rings true still today.
1 February 2013 | by SmileysWorldSee all my reviews

Returning to life at home for our overseas fighting men was not as easy as we here at home may have assumed,and McKinlay Kantor thought it important to write about this fact.The novel caught the attention of Hollywood and soon we were seeing it well illustrated on the big screen.War changes a man to one degree or another,either physically or emotionally or perhaps both.The passage of time doesn't help either,and things at home change a little.Their children grow,and they were unable to be there to witness it firsthand.Again,this makes the adjustment harder.For 4 years,all they knew was war,and they find themselves faced with the impossible task of picking up where they had left off.It's a worthwhile story to engross yourself in.While much of what you see here represents a world that does not exist anymore,the difficulties of adjusting to life at home after war ring true still today.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1947 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Glory for Me See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,650,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,656,620
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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