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The Best Years of Our Lives (21-Nov-1946)

Director: William Wyler

Writer: Robert E. Sherwood

From novel: Glory for Me by MacKinlay Kantor

Music: Hugo Friedhofer

Producer: Samuel Goldwyn

Keywords: Drama, WWII

Three veterans return from WWII, all finding it difficult to pick up the pieces of their lives: Fredric March, a bank clerk and family man; Harold Russell, a football star who has lost his hands; and Dana Andrews, a soda jerk whose wife has been unfaithful. Won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Editing, plus an Honorary Award to Harold Russell; received a nomination for Best Recording. Entered 1989 into the National Film Registry.

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NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Dana Andrews
1-Jan-1909 17-Dec-1992 The Best Years of Our Lives
Walter Baldwin
2-Jan-1889 27-Jan-1977 The Best Years of Our Lives
Don Beddoe
1-Jul-1903 19-Jan-1991 The Night of the Hunter
Roman Bohnen
24-Nov-1894 24-Feb-1949 Of Mice and Men
Hoagy Carmichael
22-Nov-1899 27-Dec-1981 Star Dust
Steve Cochran
25-May-1917 15-Jun-1965 The Damned Don't Cry
Ray Collins
10-Dec-1889 11-Jul-1965 Lt. Tragg on Perry Mason
Gladys George
13-Sep-1900 8-Dec-1954 Valiant Is the Word for Carrie
Minna Gombell
28-May-1892 14-Apr-1973 Block-Heads
Charles Halton
16-Mar-1876 16-Apr-1959 Bespectacled character actor
Myrna Loy
2-Aug-1905 14-Dec-1993 The Thin Man
Fredric March
31-Aug-1897 14-Apr-1975 The Best Years of Our Lives
Virginia Mayo
30-Nov-1920 17-Jan-2005 South Sea Woman
Cathy O'Donnell
6-Jul-1923 11-Apr-1970 They Live by Night
Harold Russell
14-Jan-1914 29-Jan-2002 The Best Years of Our Lives
Erskine Sanford
19-Nov-1885 7-Jul-1969 Citizen Kane
Ray Teal
12-Jan-1902 2-Apr-1976 Sheriff Roy Coffee on Bonanza
Teresa Wright
27-Oct-1918 6-Mar-2005 Shadow of a Doubt


Myrna Loy   ...   Milly Stephenson
Fredric March   ...   Al Stephenson
Dana Andrews   ...   Fred Derry
Teresa Wright   ...   Peggy Stephenson
Virginia Mayo   ...   Marie Derry
And Introducing
Cathy O'Donnell   ...   Wilma Cameron
Hoagy Carmichael   ...   Butch Engle (uncle)
Gladys George   ...   Hortense Derry
Harold Russell   ...   Homer Parrish (amputee)
Roman Bohnen   ...   Pat Derry
Ray Collins   ...   Mr. Milton
Victor Cutler   ...   Woody Merrill
Minna Gombell   ...   Mrs. Parrish
Walter Baldwin   ...   Mr. Parrish
Steve Cochran   ...   Cliff
Dorothy Adams   ...   Mrs. Cameron
Don Beddoe   ...   Mr. Cameron
Marlene Aames   ...   Luella Parrish
Charles Halton   ...   Prew
Ray Teal   ...   Mr. Mollett
Howland Chamberlain   ...   Thorpe
Dean White   ...   Novak
Erskine Sanford   ...   Bullard
Michael Hall   ...   Rob Stephenson


Review by Maureen (posted on 17-Mar-2009)

A masterpiece and certainly the best film of the '40s. Captures American post-war civilian and returning veteran moods perfectly.

Review by Sid (posted on 8-Aug-2007)

My favorite movie. Showing the trials of three returning veterans at the end of WWII. The three represent the 16 million who served and had to pick up their lives after being away for years. Won multiple academy awards and featured a real life war amputee, Harold Russell. This movie can be shared by the men as not a chick movie, but has multiple love stories running throughout. A truly all time great classic, with Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews and Teresa Wright.

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