The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Romance, War

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Poster

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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  • "Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946)" Myrna Loy & Teresa Wright
  • Dana Andrews & Teresa Wright
  • Myrna Loy and Fredric March in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Harold Russell in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Myrna Loy and Fredric March in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Dana Andrews and Harold Russell in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

31 July 2003 | ss5921
| An Extraordinary Picture
Sometimes, but very rarely, a movie tells a story so well that it almost becomes difficult. This movie tells several stories so well simultaneously that it was the first few times a movie I could not watch to completion. It was too real....and the characters SO STRONG that watching it became a personal struggle. Seeing these three men and their families deal with their hardships, one in particular, often hit me too hard. Now, I have watched in its entirety without interruption several times, and I realize what I always suspected. This movie is a masterpiece. The writing, the acting, the blending of several stories without being even the least bit choppy, everything about this movie is exceptional. Seven Academy Awards? No wonder, it certainly must have deserved them.

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Did You Know?


In the sequence where Homer discloses his stumps to Wilma, Robert Warshaw* attributes that sexual charge to "feminization [following that] he .. has lost his hands - and with them, his power to be sexually aggressive .. every night, his wife will have to put him to bed, and then it will be her hands that must be used in making love. Beneath the pathos of the scene .. feels a current of excitement, in which the sailor's misfortune becomes a kind of wish-fulfillment, as one might actually dream it. He must be passive .. therefore he can be .. without guilt. [and that overall] The asexual relations of the characters form an unusually clear projection of the familiar Hollywood (and American) dream of male passivity. The men are inept, nervous, inarticulate and childishly wilful." [*from 'Anatomy of a Falsehood'; '62.]


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 ...


There are many scenes in the movie where Al's bangs change as the camera angle changes.

Crazy Credits

The character played by Ray Teal (the Axis sympathizer whom Homer Parrish attacks at the soda fountain) is listed in the credits as "Mr. Mollett". However, the character's name is never mentioned or otherwise alluded to.

Alternate Versions

The film was modified to play on a wide screen and reissued on February 3, 1954.


Lazy River
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by
Hoagy Carmichael & Sidney Arodin
Played on piano by Hoagy Carmichael


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Drama | Romance | War

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