IMDb Top 250: #237 The Best Years of Our Lives

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Director: William Wyler
Writers: Robert E. Sherwood (screen play), MacKinlay Kantor (from a novel by) (as Mackinlay Kantor)
Stars: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.


The first movie to win eight Academy Awards, The Best Years of Our Lives tells the story of three military veterans who have just returned to their hometown of Boone City, somewhere in the Midwest, and each in his own way is fearful of this approaching reunion.

The movie feels surprisingly modern, tackling issues that even today would be defined as sensitive. It is indeed a courageous act to take a look at the problems war veterans face when they return home.

The film makes no effort to create spectacular characters. The lives of average men is brilliantly described. It’s not over the top, as it tends to happen recently in movies. Its trust rests entirely in the story.

Brilliant movie. Well worth watching.

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