Friday, May 13, 2011

Great Movie, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)


Our family thoroughly enjoyed this movie this past week, we've watched it in parts for several evenings since Mothers Day.

This is one of those wonderful movies worthy of a purchase indeed, as it has been in our collection for years now. Winner of 7 Academy Awards. I recently purchased the soundtrack for our family as a treat, I can't wait to receive it, so poignant...

One fact you may be interested in is that the actor who played Homer, Harold Russell had actually lost his hands in war...No one else could have played the part with the true life experience as he did...

Each time we watch this film we are so very moved by it. These movies are gems, nothing like what they are putting out today. There is nothing like them!

See the Trailer Enjoy the beautiful theme music too....

One of my favorite parts HERE ...A tender, poignant testimony of a faithful marriage, this middle aged couple, the husband returning from war... They with their young adult daughter having a heartfelt discussion on the disappointments in life...This scene never fails to either bring tears to my eyes or a sobering silence in our living room because it is so true. We have four daughters ages 17 to 28 and I can so understand both sides and have sometimes seen similar thoughts and outcomes... We have been married for almost 31 years...We were young once and still are in many ways. This most remembered part is wonderful...Just as relevant for today.

This film paints a picture of the struggles of World War II servicemen that they faced AFTER the war was over. It was a more personal struggle of men returning home after being away for many years, and after experiencing horrors that their loved ones could never fully understand. They return home as changed people, and come home to changed lives.

The story of such a homecoming experienced by thousands of men after World War II is told from the perspective of three fictional characters: Captain Fred Derry, a bombadier in the Army Air Corps (Dana Andrews), Sergeant Al Stevenson, an Army infantryman (Frederich March), and Seamen Homer Parrish(Harold Russell). They happen to meet on the plane to their hometown, having never met before, and immediately form a bond built upon mutual understanding of the experiences of war and the anxieties of returning home again...

Captain Derry came from a poor background before the war, and married a blond bombshell (Virgnia Mayo) while in the Air Corps. He hopes to return home to a better life, a nice home with his wife, and a better job. This was not to be, as Derry struggles to try and deal with bad job prospects (no one in the civilian world needs a bombadier) and a cheating wife. In a poignant moment in the film, Derry (at his lowest) tells his Father to throw away the citations for his medals, because "they don't mean anything". His Father reads the one for the Distinguished Flying Cross, signed by General Jimmy Doolittle, and a look of pride comes over the old man's face for his son's heroism that makes you want to cry and cheer all at the same time. It also makes the viewer see how criminal it was for such a man to be made to feel worthless...

(My note: Captain Derry's parents are gems...I loved the character of these precious parents. They were truly rich in what counted, sweet hearts, they remind me of my Italian grandparents years ago. I wish more people would value such sweet hearts.)


Seamen Parrish's problems are the most obvious. He lost his hands during the war, and now must come home to his family and fiancee with hooks for hands. The actor who potrayed Parrish, Harold Russell, was a real disable veteran, and lends credibility to the role that no one else could have due to real life experience.

This may seem like a depressing film, but it is actually uplifting in its entirety because it does show that hope doesn't die, and that you really can come home again after all. It is also a film of historical importance due to the insights it provides into post-World War II America, and the struggles of veterans in the post-war years. Captain Derry, Sergeant Stevenson, and Seamen Parrish, and their individual struggles to reclaim their lives can provide the student of history an important perspective on the many real life veterans who returned home, and the country of the time they returned home to.

The film has certainly earned accolades over the years. It won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1946. It was named by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 Best Movies ever made, and was also named as one of the most important films of all time by the National Archives for the National Film Registry.

"The Best Years of Our Lives" is not to be missed for both its dramatic poignancy and its insight into an important period of American History. And its a beautiful sight to behold in DVD quality. ~Captain Hornblower


I hope you all enjoy the movie as you see fit for your families... Mothers, grandmothers you may enjoy the Bible Study link on my Vision for a Godly Home.blogspot too....Be encouraged. : )

If you are an old fashioned family or person who values the old fashioned values and ways of life, the Lord Jesus Christ, please be encouraged and may we encourage one another. Until the next time...
~Amelia

3 comments:

Beloved's Bride said...

OH, Mrs. Amelia. I always enjoy when you post about an old movie. I will be on the look out for this one too.
Blessings to you!

Lea said...

Yes, this movie is very poignant and I really enjoyed watching it again. SUCH a classic!

Maxine said...

I do believe we have this movie here somewhere on a video, We aren't able to play videos because our player is broken and our TV won't work with a newer one. But this was a favorite one for me as well. so well done. Hope you are well, my dear.