The Best Years of Our Lives
Drama | English | 172 minutes
Three World War II veterans return home to their families in a small midwestern town. Adjusting to civilian life isn’t going to be easy. Al Stephenson, a highly respected banker, is questioned about loans he is making to returning veterans with little collateral. He develops a drinking problem; Air Force Captain Fred Derry suffers from PTSD and has frequent nightmares. His party-going wife Marie wants a divorce; the most damaged is Naval Petty Officer Homer Parrish who lost both his arms in combat. He considers breaking off his relationship with Wilma, the woman he loves and promised to marry. The three were World War II heroes. They survived. But now they must deal with different challenges – adjusting to the uncertainties of a changing peace-time world.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 98%
- Metacritic Score: 93
- Academy Awards: Winners, Best Picture; Best Director (William Wyler); Best Actor (Fredric March); Best Supporting Actor (Harold Russell); Best Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood); Best Film Editing (Daniel Mandell); Best Scoring (Hugo Friedhofer)
- Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Picture
- National Board of Review: Winner, Best Director (William Wyler)
- New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Director (William Wyler)
- The Best Years of Our Lives was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
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It is seldom that there comes a motion picture which can be wholly and enthusiastically endorsed not only as superlative entertainment but as food for quiet and humanizing thought. Yet such a one opened at the Astor last evening. It is THE BEST YEARS of OUR LIVES.
Director William Wyler, working with a script by Robert E. Sherwood, captures the sense of history and the momentous shifts in mindsets and expectations.
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