All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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.
I came upon this film from my wife and she came upon it by reading about it in a Paul Auster book. Backstory!
Color me pleasantly surprised because I was immensely entertained and awestruck for the better part of 172 minutes, that's even with little droplets of melodrama sprinkled throughout, although not enough melodrama that the refreshingly natural and humanistic aspects couldn't overcome.
All the performances are fantastic while every character seems effortlessly multi-dimensional as Wyler brilliantly balances the three separate storylines that are both distinct yet comparable all at once. This 1946 gem is a perfect blend of emotional heart-wrenching, playful camaraderie, quick witted one liners, and above all honest, sincere depictions of the tribulations faced by all those…
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 have a random problem with movies from the 1940's, at least the ones I've seen, and it has to do with how innocent and sincere the characters are. It's probably a testament to how I've been beaten down into accepting cynicism as a preferred way of thinking that I can't buy into the stories these movies tell. I have no such problem here. This film is filled with so much sincerity and humanity that it hurts. And I mean that in the best way possible.
Fred, Al and Homer are three veterans of World War Two with vastly different experiences of the war who meet for the first time on the plane to their mutual hometown. Up ahead is…
Three American WWII veterans come marching home to struggle with civilian life. Important, moving, astonishingly frank examination of the effects of war is the perfect antidote to the rah-rah John Wayne programmers of the day, with disillusioned banker March, ace bombardier Andrews, and disabled sailor Russell memorably illuminating the horrors and confusions of the returning vet. Despite a maudlin tendency in the second half (Andrews and Wright grow distressingly mopey after they fall in love), the film is packed with stirring, honest moments and heartfelt testaments to the indomitability of the human spirit. Special mention goes to Loy, who, as March’s wife, delivers one of her most touching performances. Director Wyler is in peak form here, and he and the picture won many Oscars, including Best Picture, Actor (March), Screenplay, Score (Hugo Friederhofer) and Supporting Actor (Russell, who was a disabled veteran in real life).
This is a film that should be updated and remade. It's a classic, with universal and still-relevant themes. The only thing I found problematic were the close ups that lingered just a tad too long. Otherwise, damn close to a perfect film.
Whenever people aren't referring to each other as "soldier", there's actually a very heart felt story mixed into this story of three veterans trying to adjust to life after World War II. I'll just leave this at 4.5/5 stars for now, but I foresee my regard for this film only increasing with time.
One is tempted to call this ahead of it's time, but clearly.. it was OF IT'S TIME. Important lessons simply seem to need to learned over and over again be each generation.
Such an amazing, impactful movie. Every single character is dynamic, and I can empathize even with the clear villains. Amazing performances by all with a great, truthful story. I love seeing the legacy of American film in all its glory. Without The Best Years of Our Lives there would be no American Sniper.
A classic that deserves it reputation. The story of three returning WWII veterans and their adjustment to life after war is surprisingly unsentimental for its era. The film and its performances reveal the toll that war can take on its participants , physically as well as emotionally. The only deduction can take is for the maudlin score, something that director William Wyler also apparently disliked.
One of the greatest melodramas I've ever seen. Captures the hardships war veterans face re-adjusting back to their day to day lives. Incredibly timeless and relevant. Never fails to make me shed manly tears
Viewed on DVD
The Best Years Of Our Lives isn't a film many people would be interested in seeing today.
A 3 hour film about 3 war veterans trying to resume their lives in their small hometown.
In fact, the only reason I picked it up is because it's an Oscar winner I hadn't scratched of my list yet.
For a 1946 film, it's quite daring for its time.
The cast is wonderful and William Wyler's direction is perfect.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!