Perhaps the most memorable film about the aftermath of World War II, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES unfolds with the homecoming of three veterans to the same small town. The leads all touch emotional truths: Myrna Loy seems able to express longing, joy, fear and surprise--mostly with her back turned--in a particularly poignant welcome home. The movie never glosses over the reality of altered lives and the inability to communicate the experience of war on the front lines or the home front. A landmark achievement. WWII vet Harold Russell, who lost his hands in the war, is the only person to win two Oscars for the same role, Best Supporting Actor and a special Oscar "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance."
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Actor Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actor Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Special Achievement Awards Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Original Score Winner
1946 - Academy Awards - Best Adapted Screenplay Winner
Dana Andrews - American Actor
Carver Dana Andrews - American Actor
Myrna Loy - Voted "Queen of Hollywood" to Clark Gable's "King"
Myrna Williams - Voted "Queen of Hollywood" to Clark Gable's "King"
Virginia Mayo - American actress, WHITE HEAT
Virginia Jones - American actress, WHITE HEAT
Hugo Friedhofer - American Composer/ D. 1981
Samuel Goldwyn - Legendary Early Hollywood Producer/Studio Head
Shmuel Gelbfisz - Legendary Early Hollywood Producer/Studio Head
William Wyler - Acclaimed Director
Willi Wyler - Acclaimed Director
Gladys George - American Actress
Fredric March - American Actor, A STAR IS BORN (1937)
Fredric McIntyre Bickel - American Actor, A STAR IS BORN (1937)
Daniel Mandell - Oscar Winning Editor, mid '20s-mid '60s, THE APARTMENT
Julia Heron - Set Decorator
Hoagy Carmichael - American Composer/Actor
Charles Halton - Actor, worked with Wilder, Lubitsch, and Wyler, '10s-'50s
Perry Ferguson - Art Director
Irene Sharaff - Oscar winning costume designer, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOO
George Jenkins - Oscar winning art director, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN
Gregg Toland - Legendary Cinematographer
Ray Collins - American Character Actor
Teresa Wright - Oscar winning American actress, MRS. MINIVER
Muriel Teresa Wright - Oscar winning American actress, MRS. MINIVER
Roman Bohnen - American Actor
Harold Russell - Actor/"Best Years.."
Robert E. Sherwood - Playwright/Screenwriter
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES was an original selection to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1989. This was the first picture for Harold Russell, a nonactor and war veteran who was an actual amputee. His performance brought him critical acclaim, and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as well as a Golden Globe award for Best Non-Professional Acting. He was also given a Special Academy Award for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in the film.
"Wyler tackles issues of greed, disability, post-traumatic stress and marital crisis with admirable subtlety." - 09/01/2004 Sight and Sound, p.94