In alphabetical order; I'm not a fan of every film that's listed here but, even if I'm not a fan…
The Best Years of Our Lives
Three wonderful loves in the best picture of the year!
The Best Years of Our Lives is a classic film from director Williams Wyler about three war veterans. The film earned seven Oscars in 1946.
Film #23 of Project 40
”I'd stand up for you, kid, til I drop.”
The Best Years of Our Lives has a special place among the movies made about WWII, you may expect to see some sort of a heroic movie celebrating the valor and sacrifice of those young men who went to the brutal battlefields of war but William Wyler’s film takes a totally different path. It might be one of the very earliest movies exploring the joyless and ruined lives of individuals who experience the horrors of war as Wyler zooms on a triangle of American war veterans who return home to continue their normal lives but soon realize that the experience they have gone through will cast…
The other day, I found myself watching a lovely episode of China Beach entitled "The Thanks of a Grateful Nation". The story follows Dodger as he returns home from Vietnam and struggles to reintegrate into everyday life. It reminded me that we have a lot of Vietnam-centric films on this topic. And it occurred to me I had never seen the granddaddy of all 'coming home' films; I decided it was time to fix that oversight.
Best Years of Our Lives is not the first 'coming home' film. (See the John Gilbert silent classic "The Big Parade" for a heartbreaking example from World War I.) But it's this film that to this day is one of the top 100 moneymakers…
Encapsulating the worrisome uncertainty of a post-World War II America, The Best Years of Our Lives is an albeit long-winded three-pronged romantic drama but with a realism. Which is a strange way to describe I suppose, since realism is constantly in flux - constantly changing alongside time and events and personal experience, but for its time - this film was considered a realistic portrayal of three veterans' and their return home to a fictitious town by the name of Boone City. They're all of different military rank, different class but become pals on their journey home.
When they arrive home: life has changed for them. They each have potential/current wives and must reintegrate into civilian life negotiating their love life…
I'm struggling to think of what a contemporary equivalent of this would look like.... Something from Hollywood with A-list actors that confronts the emotional and psychological toll of war on fully realized characters while still working as masterfully filmed melodrama... How mentally malnourished are people who hold the (demonstrably false) opinion that new Hollywood movies are somehow more sophisticated than "old ones?" We've been at war for over a decade and we get a few Lone Survivors a year, but where are the stories about soldiers at home? Too uncomfortable to confront, I suppose.
The perfect movie.
Mark Harris wrote a great book about the Hollywood filmmakers who went to WWII and shot all the footage we now know today. And then they had to come back to a Hollywood that had in many ways forgotten them. One of them, William Wyler, made this fantastic film, so I talked to him about his book and this masterpiece.
'I've seen nothing, I should have stayed at home and found out what was really going on.'
The Best Years of Our Lives is all about Harold Russell. A real veteran and amputee thrust into a film about the emotionally turbulent period immediately following the war, he is the beating heart of the film, tragic and optimistic in equal measure, and endlessly admirable. William Wyler's mid-war melodrama Mrs Miniver may have relied to heavily on the extraordinary to make its straightforward points about British resilience and Nazi evil, but here he is more thoughtful, about the consequences of war for the fighters and those they left behind, and how life on the fringes of the conflict goes on while the…
Winner of 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor in Fredric March, this film tells the story about 3 men returning from the horrors of world war II in the pacific and how they try to go back to living normal lives. One might say that surviving the war ensures that it actually is "The Best Years of Our Lives".
Not a lot of movies get me teary-eyed but this one did. Four and a half stars would recommend
(It's great. The performances and emotions feel so genuine. It shows the difficulties the three men face returning to a home that's so different from the one they left, and how they come to terms with the effects the war has had on them.)
Just really fucking good.
Usually when you make the subtext into text, you lose a lot in the process. In this case I think it made it stronger.
I'll forgive it for wrapping up a little too nicely after such a long length, as perhaps we needed a little more emotional triumph after America had just finished a World War. In everything else, this is William Wyler's masterpiece: an impeccably acted, sobering look at PTSD that's sophisticated and poignant even by today's standards.
This was outstanding. Definitely one of the finest films I have seen, either from the 40's or of the struggles of adjusting to post-war civilian life. Would make a very interesting double bill with 'The Hurt Locker'. Triumphantly one of director Wyler's finest moments, to be sure.
Post war anxieties about the aftermath for the troops. Coping with disability.
A nice little drama about some of the hardships war veterans go through relationship wise. So there are not direct war scenes here, this is all about the post-war struggle of the 2nd world war.
I really appreciate the message it is trying to convey here though. It speaks more about the emotions of individuals that struggle to adjust to their new way of life. It rightfully won best picture at the Oscars and to this day it still resonates well given the wars that have been going on around the world as of late.
It is without a doubt a standout flick when it comes to Hollywood in the post-war era. I'd imagine this captured very well the sentiment…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
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