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The Best Years of Our Lives

Fredric March , Dana Andrews , William Wyler    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 36.97
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Product Description


Winner of seven Academy Awards, including best picture, director, actor, and screenplay, William Wyler's brilliant drama about domestic life after World War II remains one of the all-time classics of American cinema. Inspired by a pictorial article about returning soldiers in Life magazine, the story focuses on three war veterans (Fredric March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell in unforgettable roles) and their rocky readjustment to civilian life in their Midwestern town of Boone City. Capturing the contradictory moods of America in the mid to late 1940s, this three-hour drama spans a complex range of honest emotions, from joyous celebration and happy reunion to deep-rooted ambivalence and reassessment of personal priorities. A movie milestone when released in 1946, The Best Years of Our Lives still packs a punch with powerful, timeless themes. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must on any top ten list!! March 7 2005
By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is one picture that I never tire of after repeated viewings and I have seen this picture MANY times over the years.
This pictures' theme which centers around the trials and tribulations of three WW2 vets returning home and their efforts to reintegrate back into civilian life is as timeless as the picture itself.And it plays as well today and speaks the same truths as it did back in 1946.
Director William Wyler did a masterful job of keeping everything taut and focused as the movie unfolds before us.
Harold Russell who plays a navy vet whose hands and forearm have been lost in an aboard ship battle won two Oscars for his portrayal.And this for a man who really had no formal training as an actor.He landed the part after being spotted in a Naval training film explaining how he lost his appendages.
Dana Andrews did a wonderful job playing the returning AAF bombardier.His moods and reactions to an unwelcoming civilan population hit the mark everytime.
And screen veteran Frederic March playing an army sergeant I thought stole the picture on many occasions.He infused his character with just the right combination of emotions.His is the one we see with the most potential for an easy re-entry into society but as time progresses it's painfully obvious he is dealing with as much "crap" as his two other friends.All three have their own seperate stories which unfold wonderfully but all are inextricably bound by their attempts to just be accepted for who they are now,not what they were.They don't necessarily want to forget their pasts(how can they?),they just want to move on.
And as we watch them we empathise and sympathize with them all the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is for the MGM release of The Best Years of Our Lives DVD in 2000.

There's nothing wrong with the transfer quality. The picture and sound are perfect.

The most gut wrenching, moving, and poignant subject as it was in 1946. It's human. A film portraying average people and families who are working to create a new normal for themselves. Trying to connect again. Imagine coming home after fighting a war. Maybe the person you love still loves you. Maybe people will understand what you've seen and done. You're a fly on the wall watching them trying to adapt to coming home.

I didn't find the length of the film unbearable. I can watch it through without a problem. The acting is great. The story is great. I find it moving and it is worth the money and time to watch it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same review, at least 2 different DVD's! Jan. 30 2002
By A Customer
Caution! The reviews for this DVD title are identical for two different releases of the DVD. How is one to tell the difference in DVD quality if the reviews don't differentiate between them?! We don't need reviews of the story line - those are available anywhere - we need to know how good the DVD is and what extra material is included.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Film. July 5 2004
By A Customer
I was fortunate enough to see this movie on TV a few nights ago, and I must say that it is one of the best films I've seen for YEARS. It's hard to believe that I've never heard of this movie. Even though I was born more than 30 years after this movie's release, it melted my heart unlike any film I've seen. I was very surprised by some of the material in the movie. It seemed way ahead of its time, with topics like alcohol addictions, the questionable results of WWII, etc. It's definately a movie that I'll be adding to my DVD collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb (and Still Relevant) July 4 2004
By A Customer
I'm usually reluctant to watch old movies no matter how good they're supposed to be. I'm thankful that for some reason I decided to at least watch the beginning and see if it held my attention. This movie will break your heart, all of the characters are sympathetic, and although it is almost 60 years old it is extremely relevant right now, since the US is now in the middle of a war and a new generation of veterans is coming home. It is moving, touching, disturbing, thought-provoking, and inspiring, and for someone too young to have known any family members who remembered WWII or post-war America, highly informative. I suspect, from the number of awards this movie won in the 1940s, that it was well-received, but if this movie were released today it would be denounced as anti-American and unpatriotic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Correction to Jeff Shannon's Review May 21 2004
By A Customer
The Best Years of Our Lives may have perhaps drawn from some things in a Life Magazine article on returning vets, but the plot is really based on MacKinlay Kantor's 1945 novel Glory for Me, which follows a similar trio of returning GIs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece For Any Era April 6 2004
By A Customer
A timeless movie which should serve as a primer for all movies about returning war veterans. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is so emotionally satisfying with an absorbing story plot(s) and characters that demands repeat viewings. Three veterans of WWII (Frederick March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell) come home after the war to face their own personal war of unfamiliarity with loved ones, alcoholism, physical disability, post-war trauma, unemployment, lack of skills,and non-empathy from a post-war society that wants to forget about war and it's servicemen and act as if the war never happened. The cast is top notch including a great support role from songwriter Hoagy Carmicheal and a first class performance from disabled WWII veteran Harold Russell. This is one of great pictures of all time with some great cinematography, script, and production values.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best of Any Year
Nowadays it seems almost unthinkable for a movie about everyday people with (sort of) everyday problems to have a run time of close to 3 hours. Maybe half that! Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by Gregor von Kallahann
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
This masterpiece depicts the lives of 3 U.S. servicement after their return home from WW2. You learn that the acclamation back to normalcey isn't as easy as you may believe. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004 by Curtis M. Hiott
"The Best Years of Our Lives" is an Oscar winning picture that, at the height of the dream factory in Hollywood, stooped to strip away the pretensions of glamor and... Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2003 by Nix Pix
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but dated movie
The Best Years of Our Lives is an often touching drama about three WWII vetrans returning home. Scenes such as a sailor who has hooks for hands flawlessly attempting to light a... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by John C. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Generation
Every now and then a book or a movie appears that tells the story of a whole generation. Some, like Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" and Hopper's "Easy Rider"... Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2003 by Randy Keehn
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary masterpiece!
A movie that was years ahead of its time in explaining the impact of WWII had on domestic life in America. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Called The Best Movie of Our Lives
The first movie to honestly deal with troops returning from war (WW II). A stellar cast serve as a retutning sailor, Marine and air man who each must deal with their own demons as... Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2003 by Matthew T. Szramoski
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