The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(582) IMDb 8.2/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime
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Winning seven Academy Awards, this drama follows three World War II veterans, Homer, Al and Fred, as they return to small-town America and must come to terms with their experiences.

Starring:
Fredric March, Dana Andrews
Runtime:
2 hours 51 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Best Years of Our Lives

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Romance
Director William Wyler
Starring Fredric March, Dana Andrews
Supporting actors Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Cathy O'Donnell, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Russell, Gladys George, Roman Bohnen, Ray Collins, Minna Gombell, Walter Baldwin, Steve Cochran, Dorothy Adams, Don Beddoe, Marlene Aames, Charles Halton, Ray Teal, Howland Chamberlain
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

One of the best movies ever made.
James A. Fisher
This heartwarming story of three returning World War II veterans arriving home, and readjusting to civilian life.
Don C.
The movie itself has a very good story and well acted.
frank5678

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

364 of 371 people found the following review helpful By David Kusumoto on July 19, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
** BLU-RAY UPDATE: The November 2013 Blu-ray issue of this title is a MAJOR UPGRADE from the DVD re-issue from January 2013. (See notes about that DVD below). Dirt, scratches and other debris have been digitally removed and the film now looks and sounds (DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0) gorgeous. The moment the opening credits roll, you know you're about to see the sharpest transfer of "The Best Years of Our Lives" ever released on home video. Keep in mind, however, that there's still some graininess present - which is common with vintage movies given the Blu-ray treatment - and I do not consider this a defect. While original negatives of old films never have the sharpness of movies shot today with high-resolution cameras, I'm not a fan of digital noise reduction - which removes details from each frame. All special features from the January 2013 DVD re-issue are also on this Blu-ray, with subtitles available on everything except the theatrical trailer. The 1995 interviews with Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright were shot on video tape hence are NOT in high resolution - nor is the theatrical trailer, which is still ragged and has not been cleaned. Still, in my view, the November 2013 Blu-ray is now the "gold standard" for this title. Note also that this film is presented in its original 1:37:1 semi-square aspect ratio format. Like "Gone With the Wind," "Casablanca" and other Golden Age classics, "The Best Years of Our Lives" was NEVER shot with wide screen cameras.

** DVD UPDATE: The January 2013 re-issue DVD offers NO improvement in picture or sound quality from previous DVD releases (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo).
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118 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Captain Hornblower on January 19, 2003
Format: DVD
"The Best Years of Our Lives" is a compelling dramatic masterpiece, and certainly one of the best films ever made. It's not as well known today as other pieces from the period, such as "Casablanca" or "Citizen Kane", but it is nevertheless a classic that deserves ranking with those same films.
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".
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 2002
Format: DVD
The 4-star rating reflects the quality of the DVD only, not the movie itself (which is a 5-star). The picture quality of this DVD (the 2000 MGM-released version) is poor, much below the average expected from a DVD. The picture quality of the 1997 HBO-released DVD is slightly better. However, the 1997 version sometimes has annoying black lines running vertically in the middle of the screen. This 1997 release is the one that people complain about having to turn the disc over around the middle of the movie. Both the 1997 and 2000 releases are Full Screen format (contrary to what Amazon.com says about the 1997 release). Considering that the 1997 release costs about twice the price of the 2000 release, you would be better off spending your money on the 2000 release.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "flickjunkie" on December 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This outstanding 1946 film looks at WWII from a different perspective. It examines the plight of soldiers returning after the war. It follows three servicemen who meet on a flight back to their hometown. The story is well crafted, depicting men from very different backgrounds, each from a different branch of the service and each with a different challenge to face.
Fred (Dana Andrews) was a bombardier, a dashing captain in the Air Corp. He is coming home to a beautiful wife (Virginia Mayo) and no job prospects. His wife loves to party, but his job as a soda jerk can't keep pace with her penchant for spending. Al (Frederic March), a former banker, was a sergeant in the infantry with a wife of 20 years (Myrna Loy) and two grown children. He comes home to a distant wife and a troubled marriage. He is a banker with a heart, which evokes derisive scrutiny from his boss and the other bankers. Homer (Harold Russell) was a sailor who lost his hands in a fire onboard ship. He is returning to his parents and his long time girlfriend Wilma (Cathy O'Donnell) feeling certain that she will never be able to love him with his disability.
William Wyler (Wuthering Heights, Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur) is one of the most renowned directors in filmmaking history, having won four Oscars in twelve nominations. His direction here is superb. This is a compelling character study with nuance, sensitivity and insight. The scenes of the uneasy moments of reunion were stirring, especially in the case of Homer, who was tormented and insecure about how he would be accepted without his hands. Wyler takes us right into the most intimate thoughts and feelings of these families as they attempt to deal with challenges for which they are not totally prepared.
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