The Best Years of Our Lives

on December 25, 1946 by BOXOFFICE Staff
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Classic Reviews It's priceless -- one of those pictures every producer hopes to make. It's close to the everyday lives of millions of men at present -- their postwar readjustment problems; it's as human as your next door neighbor. It has romance, pathos and humor, and more -- it is garnished by some of the most unexpected humor. These situations pop up and furnish some mirth-shaking moments. Fredric March, as the banker-father of a family of two, who comes back from the war the way he went -- a sergeant -- gives one of the finest performances of his career, and Myrna Loy, his wife in the picture, runs a close second. Dana Andrews, former soda jerker back as a captain, is forceful, virile and convincing, and a new find, Cathy O'Donnell, gets a flying start on the road to stardom. Her emotional shadings in moments of pathos are something to behold. William Wyler directed.

SELLING ANGLES:
Every once in a while Sam Goldwyn turns out a masterpiece. This is one. It's small town life with no theatricalism -- simply told and so honest it is heartwarming. Put everything you have behind that new girl, Cathy O'Donnell. She's wonderful. The tieups with stores, banks and juke parlors are so obvious they're waiting to be tested. You can play it from one of three angles or all three -- romance, comedy, tears.

CATCHLINES:
They're Home, Boys... See What Happens to Them. After the War What? They Do Some Rehabilitating and They Are Rehabilitated... Some Come Back to Happy Families... Some Face New Problems. Watch the Boys Face Life Again... And Conquer It. Laugh With Them, Cry With Them, Too, If You Feel Like It... And You Probably Will. Goldwyn-RKO 172 mins.

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