Monday, May 27, 2013

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946): Review

Today my mom and I watched the 1946 black and white movie The Best Years of Our Lives and it was fun to spend the afternoon with my mom.  This movie stars Fredrick March as Al Stephenson, Dana Andrews as Fred Derry, and Harold Russell (a real life vet) as Homer Parish, who are three WWII veterans who have just come home from the war and have to readjust to being back home.  Al has to deal with his drinking problem, coming home to a job he doesn't want, a daughter Peggy, played by Teresa Wright, who is grown up and readjusting to living wife Milly, played by Myrna Loy.  Fred has come home to find that his wife Marie, played by Virginia Mayo, who he was married to for twenty days before going to war is not the women he thought she was, as she wants to be wined and dined and Fred just cant afford it.  He is also dealing with his attraction to Al's daughter Peggy. Homer, who lost both of his hands in a ship fire and now has mechanical claw hands, has to deal with his disability while pushing away his fiance Wilma, played by Cathy O'Donnell. The lives of these people are intertwined as they force their lives forward after the war.
This movie seemed to be quite standard for the drama's that I have seen made of this era and it really focused on the interplay of the characters as they navigate their lives while dealing with their readjustment (now called PTSD).  It was an interesting journey that moves together at a good pace, but seemed a bit long.  It worked all of the details out and ended on a positive note.  Which was the name of the game for movies back then. 
I enjoyed this movie and think it is worth a watch for anyone who likes movies of this era.

My Rating: 2

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