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…
The perfect movie.
The Best Years of Our Lives was probably the first 'big' film to depict the effects of the second World War on the personal lives of the American war veterans after returning home from said war. It is a pretty straight forward film but it's the character's experiences and the way they're presented that allow the film to soar to great heights. Harold Russell's handicapped Homer Parrish is the highlight here. The film gets melodramatic but it's never overwhelming. Technically, the film is a great achievement, too. Hugo Friedhofer's score is a thing of beauty and Greg Tolland's magnificent cinematography (with it's use of deep focus) is the 11th nomination that the film never received, sadly. William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives doesn't tread any new ground today but it's a remarkable film when you consider how relevant it was at the time of its release.
Much like Mrs Miniver, which won Best Picture fours years prior, what makes The Best Years of Our Lives such a unique and memorable film is that it focuses on a period of war often ignored in films, the aftermath of such a large scale conflict as the soldiers come home.
The Best Years of Our Lives sees three American veterans return home and find themselves struggling to readjust to their daily lives after all they've witnessed, and did, during such a horrifying period of history. The story of Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), who has lost both his hands during the war, is easily the best of the three, he struggles with feeling…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Apart from the name of director William Wyler, I don’t recognise a single person involved with The Best Years of Our Lives. And while it won a swag of awards on release, I don’t feel like it gets talked about all that much today. I saw The Best Years of Our Lives about five or six years ago, and it’s a movie I’ve thought about a lot in the time since. The story and performances have stayed with me, and I was glad that this AFI countdown gave me an excuse to watch it again. On re-watch, all I can think is, why isn’t The Best Years of Our Lives, and every actor on screen in it, talked about all…
So this movie is incredible. More importantly, it further cemented my crush on Teresa Wright.
Powerful yet joyful, "The Best Years of Our Lives" really digs deep into the topic of soldiers returning home and trying to fit in with society, even though they have experienced traumatizing events. March, Andrews and Russell all lead this film with terrific performances and, with Wyler's direction, the audience understands how each character feels through the use of dark cinematography. The music fits the tone of each scene perfectly and the long running time allows for strong development of characters, so that the audience can really connect with them. A 3 hour long film that never feels slow, this is the perfect example on how to do a Post WWII film about soldiers and the difficulty to get back to the life they once knew. If only "American Sniper" knew how to do that better...
Didn't love the film as much as I had hoped, but still a very good. Particularly noteworthy are the performances and Gregg Toland's masterful cinematography.
The perfect movie.
Ah, what a satisfying film. Gregg Toland's cinematography is so spectacular with interesting things happening in the fore- middle- and background of shots all at once. Look no further if you want some cinematographic inspiration.
The rest of the film is wonderful, too. I love all of its characters and the things they say and do. I love the many, many pieces of non-verbal communication: eye rolls and shrugs and glances across crowded rooms.
It's just a good movie and well worth three hours of your time.
The women, save for Marie, are the true heroes of this grand, intimate tale of a trio of war veterans and their independent post-war struggles.
The Best Years of Our Lives appeals to the emotions but never quite ventures into the territory of melodrama. The entire cast is tremendous and they pull us through the story and through the ups and downs of life. I didn't have any problems with the length nor pacing which, considering this is a 3 hour creation, is an impressive feat.
In fact, I don't have anything negative to say. I may come up with some later but for now, my initial impression of this film is that the Academy Awards people were right in rewarding The Best Years of Our Lives with the Best Picture Oscar of 1946.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!