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1,254 Ratings

The Best Years of Our Lives

Directed by William Wyler
United States, 1946
Drama, War


Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

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The Best Years of Our Lives Directed by William Wyler

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1947 | 8 wins including: Honorary Award

1947 | Nominee: Best Sound, Recording

National Board of Review

1946 | 2 wins including: Best Director

Homer is big-hearted and lovable and brave, but at times he feels freakish, haunted. And he’s concerned that he’ll be placing her within his struggle. Her light shadowed by his darkness. You see that on his face too. Homer receives her embrace without a smile, standing stiff, arms down. It’s a remarkable, beautifully acted scene. This is the first homecoming we witness in William Wyler’s masterpiece, The Best Years of Our Lives, homecomings that were powerfully personal to the director himself.
November 17, 2017
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[The cast] play a kind of bittersweet symphony, built from the jarring emotions involved in yearning to be home, only to find that things there are hardly the way you left them. The Best Years of Our Lives is the kind of movie you make when your eyes have been fully opened to the worst. Only then can you know what the “best” really means, and appreciate it in all its tattered, careworn glory.
July 20, 2015
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This definitive life-after-wartime masterpiece is filthy with resonant quantities Hollywood wasn’t supposed to know from: real-life ambivalence, disappointment, social humiliation, threadbare hopes, very American dreams crushed by time, adulthood, and happenstance… This wasn’t the movie 1946 we thought we knew all about, but it hews closely enough to reality, in a pre-Method way, to punch a hole in your heart.
June 04, 2014
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