Monday, November 21, 2016

70 Years Ago Today

The Best Years of Our Lives premiered.

I first saw the film as part of a college course: Film and American Society 1930's through 1950's. That course was awesome: I saw so many good films for the first time, including A Night at the Opera and Citizen Kane. My father later told me that my stepmother was appalled that he was paying good money for me to watch movies in college. But what I learned from that course has stayed with me.

The Best Years of Our Lives is the first film I saw that didn't show a rosy view of returning veterans. It wasn't all parades and cheers. Al, Fred and Homer each faced challenges adjusting to civilian life. The three love stories of Al and Milly, Fred and Peggy, and Homer and Wilma were poignant.

I'll never forget Peggy's (Teresa Wright) line: "I'm going to break that marriage up." It led to laughter and cheers when I watched the film with my class

The acting is incredible across the board: Fredric March won his second leading actor Oscar and Harold Russell became the only person to win two Oscars for the same role.

The Best Years of Our Lives is one of those films that I can watch over and over and never get tired of it. A great film.

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