The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Poster

Harold Russell: Homer Parrish



  • Wilma Cameron : You wrote me that when you got home, you and I were going to be married. If you wrote that once, you wrote it a hundred times. Isn't that true?

    Homer Parrish : Yes, but things are different now.

    Wilma Cameron : Have you changed your mind?

    Homer Parrish : Have I said anything about changing my mind?

    Wilma Cameron : No. That's just it. You haven't said anything about anything... I don't know what to think, Homer. All I know is, I was in love with you when you left and I'm in love with you now. Other things may have changed but that hasn't.

  • Homer Parrish : I was afraid you wouldn't be able to stand up for me.

    Fred Derry : I'd stand up for you, kid, til I drop.

  • Wilma Cameron : Tell me the truth, Homer. Do you want me to forget about you?

    Homer Parrish : I want you to be free, Wilma, to live your own life. I don't want you tied down forever just because you've got a kind heart.

    Wilma Cameron : Oh, Homer! Why can't you ever understand the way things really are, the way I really feel? I keep trying to tell you.

    Homer Parrish : But, but you don't know, Wilma. You don't know what it'd be like to have to live with me. To have to face this

    [his hooks] 

    Homer Parrish : every day, every night.

    Wilma Cameron : But I can only find out by trying. And if it turns out I haven't courage enough, we'll soon know it.

  • [Homer has asked Wilma into his bedroom to see what happens as he prepares for bed. After removing his hooks and harness, he 'wiggles' into his pajama top] 

    Homer Parrish : I'm lucky. I have my elbows. Some of the boys don't. But I can't button them up.

    Wilma Cameron : I'll do that, Homer.

    Homer Parrish : This is when I know I'm helpless. My hands are down there on the bed. I can't put them on again without calling to somebody for help. I can't smoke a cigarette or read a book. If that door should blow shut, I can't open it and get out of this room. I'm as dependent as a baby that doesn't know how to get anything except to cry for it. Well, now you know, Wilma. Now you have an idea of what it is. I guess you don't know what to say. It's all right. Go on home. Go away like your family said.

    Wilma Cameron : [She kneels in front of him]  I know what to say, Homer. I love you and I'm never going to leave you... never.

    [She kisses him] 

  • Homer Parrish : I didn't see much of the war... I was stationed in a repair shop below decks. Oh, I was in plenty of battles, but I never saw a Jap or heard a shell coming at me. When we were sunk, all I know is there was a lot of fire and explosions. And I was ordered topsides and overboard. And I was burned. When I came to, I was on a cruiser. My hands were off. After that, I had it easy... That's what I said. They took care of me fine. They trained me to use these things. I can dial telephones, I can drive a car, I can even put nickels in the jukebox. I'm all right, but... well, you see, I've got a girl.

  • Mr. Mollett : Say, uh, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?

    Homer Parrish : I know what it is. How did I get these hooks and how do they work? That's what everybody says when they start off, "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" Well, I'll tell ya. I got sick and tired of that old pair of hands I had. You know, an awful lot of trouble washing them and manicuring my nails. So I traded them in for a pair of these latest models. They work by radar. Look.

    [He takes a scoop of his ice cream sundae with a spoon] 

    Homer Parrish : Pretty cute, hey?

See also

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