The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The whole point of this film when it was released still makes perfect sense today, though I'm sure it doesn't have the same impact it did in those first years after World War II ended. Returning servicemen, with all kinds of backgrounds before and during the war, hit a wall coming home: wives who no longer loved them, jobs that had dried up, a culture that was foreign to them and that found them, these men, to be foreign themselves.
It wasn't a crisis to take lightly. These were the guys who were drafted to fight the enemy, and in going overseas they lost some of the best years of their lives, if not their lives. The country knew its debt in the abstract, but it also knew it in sons and husbands who really did come home and who had to face it all. This movie was both a reckoning for the sake of national healing and a brilliant drama that would be beautifully pertinent and therefore successful. And what a success, then and now.
The consummate Hollywood director William Wyler shows in this fast, long movie just what a master he is at working the medium. With Gregg Toland at the camera, Wyler makes a highly fluid movie, visual and dramatic and weirdly highly efficient. With the three main plots interweaving and depending on each other, the drama (and melodrama) build but never beyond plausibility. Wyler knew his audience wouldn't put up with pandering or cheap mistakes. Casting Harold Russell as Homer, knowing the audience would hear about how Russell really was a soldier who lost both hands in the war, was a huge step toward creating both empathy and credibility. It even practices a key theme in the move--to go beyond your bounds to make a difference, to give these guys a break and help them assimilate.
It's interesting how singular this movie is, trying to show the truth in these kinds of situations. The other post-war films about army and navy men fall into two large and dominating categories--war films and film noir. And it is film noir that comes closest to getting at the problem of the G.I. not reintegrating well, making it a whole style, brooding and spilling over with violence. "The Best Years of Our Lives" has a highly controlled and even contrived plot structure, but it aims to be honest and representative.
That it's remarkable formally--the way it is shot and edited and acted, top to bottom--is not surprise, given the heights that Hollywood had reached by then, and given that Wyler is easily the slickest of them all, in the best sense. That the movie makes such beautiful sense and really works as a story, a moving and heartwarming story without undue sappiness, is a whole other kind of achievement. A terrific, rich, full-blooded, uncompromised movie.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 720p YIFY Movie
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Best Years of Our Lives is a movie starring Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, and Fredric March. Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
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The Synopsis for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 720p
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.
The Director and Players for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 720p
The Reviews for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 720p
Highly structured but flawless and really moving drama about returning G.I.sReviewed bysecondtakeVote: 10/10
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
"The Best Years of Our Lives" is a movie from 1946 directed by William Wyler, one of the greatest directors of the classic Hollywood. The film, which takes place in a little town of the USA, is a drama about the problems that several veterans of the Second World War have to overcome when they come back home.
The three main characters (Al, Fred and Homer) meet by chance in the plane that is going to take them back home after the war. They live in the same town but they'd never met before. During the journey they share their experiences and they become friends immediately. The rest of the movie we are going to witness how difficult is going to be for all of them to come back to their lives due to the physical and psychological scars that the war has caused to them.
Never before have I seen in my entire life such a touching and moving film like this! Everything in it fits perfectly. It's incredibly entertaining and at the same time is absolutely thought-provoking because the characters seen on the screen and the situations they cope with are universal and timeless, thus anyone can feel identified with them. Nevertheless, many would argue that the length of the movie (almost three hours) may be a drawback but I don't agree. In fact, the producers (as usual) organized a test screening before the official premiere, to check what the audience didn't like about the film, but the people considered the plot so haunting and gripping that the producers eventually decided not to modify a single scene of the movie, which is not very frequent.
Widely praised by critics and awarded with 8 well-deserved Oscars (including best motion picture), this masterpiece soon became a huge box office success that still remains (adjusting the ticket price to inflation) as one of the most top-grossing movies of all time. I never get tired of watching it and every time I do it I can't help thinking: "it's a real shame they don't make movies like this anymore!".
"The Best Years of Our Lives" is definitely my favorite movie of all time, by far (alongside "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial").
I learned about the movie from reading a note on the CD that had its music as one of many great film scores. The note about the movie was so favorable I had to see it. The music is very moving and subtle; it really contributes to this fine movie.
The two finest scenes for me have not even been discussed yet...
- The scene where Fred Derry's parents are reading his award citation makes me cry. I am moved whenever respect is shown and appreciation is given; when there is an understanding of sacrifice and of honor. (The only similar scene which comes to mind now is that great moment from To Kill a Mockingbird when Atticus Finch leaves the courtroom after having failed to win Tom Robinson's freedom, when all of the black folks in the balcony (plus his own kids) stand to show him respect.)
- The scene in the cockpit, when Fred Derry is reliving his war experiences. The music takes over and he is overwhelmed with the intensity of the memories. This scene is big for me because I was a sailor and I did some neat things in uniform and was in on some intense action. After I left the military, I had a letdown - what is more important that waging war, defending your country and trying to save lives/minimize casualties? I had to realize that those feelings of contribution and worthiness and importance can never be matched again. (There are other types of worthiness, like being a dad and a husband - but these are very different.) Regular life is of a different pace, with more competing responsibilities. Its all about balance rather than objective.
So these two scenes meant a great deal to me when I first saw them and they still do.
What a wonderful film!