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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves its place in film history
Before Platoon, before Coming Home, before even Apocalypse Now, there was this film. Made in 1946, it grabbed nearly every major Academy Award in a year where there was plenty of stiff competition. And it's not hard to see why. Dana Andrews gives a riveting performance as the USAF Captain shipped home after the war to a life of menial work in a perfume store. Along the...
Published on 13 Dec. 2010 by Eric Ian Steele

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, pity about the lip synch!
A beautifully made Human story. Loved every minute of it. Unfortunately two movies out the ten I ordered had problems with the lip synching. Forbidden Planet was AWFUL, but this disk was really annoying too. As the movie progressed it got worst. Really disappointing. At the end I just closed my eyes and listened to the soundtrack. Delivered promptly and well packaged.
Published on 31 May 2010 by G. M. Griffin


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves its place in film history, 13 Dec. 2010
By 
Eric Ian Steele (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Before Platoon, before Coming Home, before even Apocalypse Now, there was this film. Made in 1946, it grabbed nearly every major Academy Award in a year where there was plenty of stiff competition. And it's not hard to see why. Dana Andrews gives a riveting performance as the USAF Captain shipped home after the war to a life of menial work in a perfume store. Along the way he meets Frederic March (who won the Oscar for his performance as an upper class banker whose life is changed forever by the war) and a young disabled war veteran with hooks in place of hands. Although the subject is serious, the film has plenty of comedy to keep it light and stop it from becoming downbeat. But the real story is how these men have to cope with being thrust back into a normal, trivial world. It's a subject handled with shocking realism - from Andrews' disturbed nightmares to March's drinking and the disabled hero's depression. One of the film's most powerful scenes is when Andrews strolls through an aircraft graveyard, and we can't help but think he's destined for the same fate. But amid the social comment, there's also a tender love story, a Scrooge-like tale of a banker who gains a conscience, and a story about redemption and hope amid the poverty of post-War America. The film stands up to scrutiny after over sixty years, and reminds us that once upon a time, Hollywood made films for grown-ups too.
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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best film of its type ever made ??, 23 Nov. 2004
By 
paul hackett (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
This film is quite simply my favourite film of all time . The 163 minutes pass by in no time and the fact it won 7 academy awards is a further pointer . The story is simplistic ...3 American serviceman return from war duty with a mixture of relief at coming home to fear at how their families will react to their reappearance after years away with differing outcomes...the signature performance for me is from the disabled serviceman who was plucked from total obscurity to play this role and whose story is the most poignant . The direction from William Wyler is magnificent and a further delight is the musical score which undoubtedly squeezes every ounce of emotion from your body as you watch the film cover a mutliplicity of scenarios that beset the returning serviceman and their loved ones at that time .I am a relatively stereotypical middle-aged man who keeps his emotions in check and in the last 30 or so years that has passed since first watching the film (I have seen it at least 15 times over the years ) it has brought tears every time ...a masterpiece it truly is and I heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to look at a definitive reflection of the emotional side of war when heroes who have served their country (try to) return to the physical and emotional ties of their civilian life .Yes , it is over 50 years old and dated to many but as someone who is a genuine film buff who has watched and enjoyed many genres of films made from all decades this one is my all-time favourite . Buy it and enjoy ....
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Years Of Our Lives, 2 Jun. 2007
By 
J. Ezart - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Captivating film that has stood the test of time. Great storyline and acting. The film also has a positive message about life which many current films dont have. Really enjoyed it. Uplifting. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Years of Our Lives Music Score, 19 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Other comments about William Wyler's finest film ("Ben-Hur" notwithstanding) cover the basics. To these I add my own personal comments about Hugo W Friedhofer's Oscar-winning original score, which, following the release of the film in 1946, was reviewed in several music publications at the time. This was unheard of for a Hollywood film score, particularly one by a composer who did not compose 'serious' music for the concert hall. Later, 'The Technique of Film Music', issued by Focal Press UK, carried a lengthy analysis of Friedhofer's score.

Friedhofer's score reflects the Americana style of Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter (particularly the 2nd-movement of his First Symphony) and, to a lesser extent, George Gershwin. There are several motives in the film, each of which identify the dramatis personae. This is one film score that demands the attention of the viewer. Watch the film first; then, play it again, listening only to the music. It will simply amaze you. To call Friedhofer's score a masterpiece would be an understatement. It stands quite alone. If not the finest American film score from the sound era, it holds pride-of-place as being among the top three, alongside Alex North's "Spartacus" and Bernard Herrmann's "Vertigo".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an astonishing performance by all the cast in An Extraordinary Picture, 19 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
--THE FILM-- It's the hope that sustains the spirit of every GI: the dream of the day when he will finally return home. For three WWII veterans, the day has arrived. But for each man, the dream is about to become a nightmare. Captain Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) is returning to a loveless marriage; Sergeant Al Stephenson (Fredric March) is a stranger to a family that's grown up without him; and young sailor Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) is tormented by the loss of his hands.
Can these three men find the courage to rebuild their world?
Or are the best years of their lives a thing of the past?
WHAT CAN I SAY?
A simply brilliant film. Three men return home from war and try to return to civilian life with great difficulty. All three led opposite lives during the war Executive Banker became an army corporal, a soda jerk became an Air Force Captain and the High School Football hero loses both his arms in battle and now each must reconstruct his life and connect with a new reality. The homes they return to, with grown children and independent, working women along with a depressed economy, only add to the strife. It's the scenes just off camera and the unspoken dialog which resonates the most loudly, however. The awkward intimacy of Frederich March and Myrna Loy and his struggle to return to his place as leader both at home and at work are heartbreaking. Dana Andrews is riveting as a decorated Captain who struggles to keep his life together without the uniform. The film is filled with honest characters and each is portrayed by a gifted actor. it is one of the few film that give you The reality and magnitude of what these men lived through for love and country......and obviously it didn't end on the battlefield. everything about this movie is exceptional.
Seven Academy Awards?
No wonder,
it certainly the least this film has deserved .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, pity about the lip synch!, 31 May 2010
By 
G. M. Griffin - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
A beautifully made Human story. Loved every minute of it. Unfortunately two movies out the ten I ordered had problems with the lip synching. Forbidden Planet was AWFUL, but this disk was really annoying too. As the movie progressed it got worst. Really disappointing. At the end I just closed my eyes and listened to the soundtrack. Delivered promptly and well packaged.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars class act, 20 July 2009
By 
Alasdair S. Ferguson (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Hadn't seen this one in years, but it just blew me away. Fabulous cast and a fine story. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is that Chopsticks You're Playing, Hoagy?, 8 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
A very good post-war gently soap operatic piece with some effective naturalistic performances, especially from Myrna Loy (lovely) and Frederic March (the profile still intact). Harold Russell, the amateur, is good, and the scene in which he needs to get ready for bed pretty startling. Photography good, Hoagy good, Teresa Wright and Dana Andrews also good: it is convincingly optimistic about the future which is of course utterly unconvincing nowadays. Grown-up and yet naive at the same time from our perspective. 170 minutes flies by in a narrative in which we care about most characters a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best film ever made, 1 April 2011
By 
M. P. Campbell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Anyone who hasn't seen this film will be agog to discover at the end of it that they've sat through around 160 minutes.

The clutch of Oscars for this film only does partial justice to the sheer integrity and super acting of everyone in it. I defy even the stoniest-hearted person not to get a damp eye or lump in the throat at times, especially watching Homer with his girlfriend and Fred and Al discussing what to do next. And yet there are plenty of occasions for fun and laughter too.

Extraordinarily moving and memorable. If the film industry had one film as its ever-lasting tribute, this would be it for my money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Troops are Coming Home....., 9 May 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] (DVD)
Though we had a plethora of films about troops returning from the Vietnam war and trying to re-integrate back into their societies, most of which were hard-hitting, angry voices against War, here is arguably the original - and best.

Definitely a family orientated movie (Cert U) this will appeal to and find favour with all ages, but don't start thinking that this is all gooey, slushy nonsense. There's some quite hard-hitting topics covered, even by today's standards and of course, with our minds on our current troops in Iraq/Afghanistan, equally relevant.

Multi-stranded, which each of the three G.I.'s immediate and extended families and friends being examined, it's about them coping, with varying degrees of success, with home life and getting jobs, now that the War is ended. It's the little observations and stories around them that are so fascinating, as the Heroes of yesterday are now anything but when it comes finding new purpose in a changed world.

The cast is exemplary, not necessarily the biggest stars of the day but the most believable and natural for their roles. Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy and Fredric Marsh are the ones most easily recognisable and their appearances convey a sort of reassuring familiarity and normality. They're all excellent, of course.

Though long, at nearly 3 hours, William Wyler's easy going and assured and tight direction keeps things flowing nicely and it never drags. This, my second viewing, is an enjoyable one as the first and if anything I'm more at ease with it.

Though obviously not as exciting or dramatic as other 'normal' war films, it's a tragedy that it's not more well known. I've never seen it to ever have been on TV, or to my recollection, even Sky Movies, for that matter. Any movie that won 7 Oscars and is currently no. 180 on IMDb's films of all time, voted by its voters (us, the public) is hardly one of minority interest.

A friend I lent my DVD to watched it with his family and normally they only go for current films, or ones they know, but they not only enjoyed it, but felt enormously moved by it, too.

If you haven't seen The Best Years... yet, make a mental note to do so. Your life won't change by doing so, but it really is worth the 3 hours of it that it will take. You certainly can't say the same about every film out there....
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The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946]
The Best Years of Our Lives [DVD] [1946] by William Wyler (DVD - 2004)
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