Genre Grandeur – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) – MovieRob (Encore Reiew)


best years of our lives[after Peggy tells her parents that they never had any trouble in their relationship] “We never had any trouble.” How many times have I told you I hated you and believed it in my heart? How many times have you said you were sick and tired of me; that we were all washed up? How many times have we had to fall in love all over again?” – Milly Stephenson

Number of Times Seen – At least 10 (21 July 2001 on TV, DVD, 16 Jun 2013 and 31 Aug 2015)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – After 3 WWII veterans come home from the war, re-acclimating to society and their old lives is not as easy as they assumed.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I can probably say ranks very high on my all time favorites list.

I was captivated by it the first time I saw it back in 2001 and it constantly sticks in my memory as one of the best films ever made.

Its storyline that was so relevant after WWII, was relevant again after Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War and even now during the current conflicts in the Middle East.

The idea that soldiers coming home from war bear physical and emotional scars is a very important one to highlight and not only does this movie deal with those issues, but it also adds in how much these surviving men (and women) lost from their own lives when doing their duty for their country.

The title actually has a double meaning because it refers to both how these men missed out on some of the best years of their lives of their youth by being at war and also will always reflect on those times in war as the years they most are proud of.

The idea of having 3 concurring storylines was a pretty novel one back when this was made and they do a wonderful job juggling all three while still remaining focused on all of the characters. None of them feel like the B-story and all of them remain interesting throughout.

This movie is a bit long, coming in at 165 minutes, but it doesn’t feel that way because it flows so well throughout.

The cast is superb; Fredrick March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell, Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright are all excellent.

This movie won 8 of 9 nominations at the Oscars including Best Picture and Director and also won the top award at the Globes and BAFTA’s that year.

This is a movie that I can pop in any time and just get lost in it and never feel bored at all because I find the characters and their stories to be so interesting to watch.

Bottom Line – One of my all time favorite movies that is just as relevant now as it was 70 years ago.  Does a great job of juggling all 3 storylines and keeping us interested in all of them.  Its 165 minutes go by so easily that you don’t feel bored at all.  Great lead cast with March, Russell, Andrews, Loy, Mayo and Wright all doing superb work.  Won 8 of 9 Oscars and took home wins for top film at the Globes and BAFTA’s too.  I can watch this over and over and it still wouldn’t bore me because the storyline is so captivating. Highly Highly Recommended!!!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  For his performance as Homer Parrish, Harold Russell became the only actor to win two Academy Awards for the same role. The Academy Board of Governors thought he was a long shot to win, so they gave him an honorary award “for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance.” Later that ceremony he won for Best Supporting Actor. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)

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9 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) – MovieRob (Encore Reiew)

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