Sunday, December 23, 2012

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)

At the end of WWII three men with three very different lives come home.  Fredric March was a platoon Sargent in the South Pacific who's a banker with a loving wife (Myrna Loy) and two teenage children including Teresa Wright.   Harold Russell (a real life Army veteran who lost both his hands in 1944) was a seaman who lost his hands in an explosion.  He lives with his parents and has a fiancee.  Dana Andrews is an Air Force captain and bombardier married to nightclub waitress (Virginia Mayo) who's been living the party life while he's been gone.  Their lives might be different, but all three face the same problems with readjusting to civilian life and putting the demons of war behind them.  That's all you really need to know about the story.

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES rightfully won a wheelbarrow full of Oscars, but I think it should have won two more.  Most notably Teresa Wright for Best Supporting Actress.  I thought she was absolutely stunning in her performance of a young woman tormented with her emotions.  I haven't yet seen Anne Baxter's performance in THE RAZOR'S EDGE (she did win) but I can't imagine that it tops Teresa's performance. [I put TRE at the top pf my Netflix queue so I should have a review up in the next few weeks]  Also it should have won for Best Cinematography.

Another thing is Fredric March as Best Actor.  I do agree that he was quite good, but the Oscar should have gone to Jimmy Stewart in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  And here's one that'll probably anger some people but Dana Andrews should have won over Harold Russell for Best Supporting Actor.  Russell was good and he did get an honorary Oscar for his brave performance, but as far as acting skill goes Dana Andrews turns in one of the best performances of his career in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.  And with as many outstanding performances as he had that saying something.

I have a lot to say about TBYOOL's, but honestly your time would be better spent just watching the movie, so get to it!