The Best Years of Our Lives

Genre:  Drama, Romance
Running Time:  172 min.
Release Date: October 3, 1947
DVD: April 1, 2003 - April 1, 2003

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Cast: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo


It’s the end of World War II and three servicemen—a soldier, a sailor and an airman—have just returned to their hometown of Boone City. All three struggle with readjusting to their previous lives and getting over what they saw during the war.

Al Stephenson (Fredric March) was a banker before his time in the war and finds it hard to be the banker he once was. Older than the typical veteran, he returns home to find his children all grown up and faces having to recreate the once intimate relationship he shared with his wife.

Having worked hard as an Air Force Officer and Bombardier during the war, Fred Darry (Dana Andrews) realizes upon returning home that he has no job skills. He ends up working at his old job in the pharmacy as a soda jerk. He also notices that his wife, whom he married just a few weeks after meeting her, is not as interested in him as she once was.

Losing both hands in the war has not killed Homer Parrish’s (Harold Russell) spirits. Although he’s proud of how he has learned to use his prosthetics, his excitement is dampened when he receives pity from onlookers. His main objective after the war was to marry his high school sweetheart, but is unsure if she still wants him due to his deformity.

These three unique yet similar men form a great bond and with the help of each other, find a way to move forward with their lives.

Director: William Wyler
Studio: The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Producer(s): Samuel Goldwyn
Screenplay: Robert E. Sherwood

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