Released Date: June 17, 1947
Director: William Wyler
Actors: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Cathy O'Donnell, Hoagy Carmichael, and Harold Russell
I don't usually cry during movies, but this one got me. It is so inspiring. The director wanted a real war hero in this movie and he got Harold Russell. Mr. Russell lost both hands during WWII. He was truly amazing. He won Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1947 and well deserved it. He also won a special award that same year for his bravery. It was called the Honorary Award, he won it for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives. This movie actually won 8 Oscars. Best Picture, Best Actor (Fredric March), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Harold Russell), Best Director (William Wyler), and more. This movie is truly great. I would recommend it to anyone, and especially to Americans. This movie also holds great actors. Myrna Loy is one of my personal favorites. She was a great actress. And Teresa Wright, who is very underrated. But she was in some of the best movies I have ever seen. Such as; The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, The Pride of the Yankees, Shadow of a Doubt and this one. These were in her first six movies she ever made. What are the chances of being in five hits in your first six movies? She was also in a movie with Gary Cooper called Casanova Brown which was the movie she made before The Best Years of Our Lives. I hope everyone watches this, I highly recommend it.
Al Stephenson (Fredric March), Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) are returning home after serving in WWII. Al is returning home to his wife, Milly (Myrna Loy) and two children, Peggy (Teresa Wright) and Rob (Michael Hall). Fred is returning to his wife Marie (Virginia Mayo). And Homer is returning to his girlfriend, Wilma Cameron (Cathy O'Donnell). The three men share a private plane ride home. And become great friends in that short period of time. Having the same town they lived in common. They even share a taxi home. Dropping off Homer first, who has a hard time hugging Wilma. Then Al, who gets a warm welcome from his wife and two children. And Fred, who goes home to his mother and father, who are happy to have him back but are scared to tell him about his wife who left the nest. The three men meet up later at a bar that Homer's uncle (Hoagy Carmichael) owns. Can Al return back to normal life? Can Fred rekindle his relationship with Marie? And will Homer marry his high school sweetheart? Find out by watching. You can catch it on TCM, or buy the DVD, which is well worth it in my opinion.