Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day. "Best Years of Our Lives"

Do yourself a favor and see the eight-Academy-Award-winning, 1946 masterpiece, "THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES." One of the best films ever made; certainly among the five or so best films ever made about veterans.

Favorite scene: wizened old geezer Roman Bohnen and his worn-out wife Gladys George are the parents of Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), a returned World-War-Two fighter pilot who can't seem to escape his destiny as a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. In frustration, Derry runs away from his hometown, ready to hitch to any location he can get free transportation to. After he leaves, Bohnen and George find and read Derry's commendation letter. This guy who couldn't handle the phoniness and strictures of polite, civilian life was a savior, a hero, in battle. For anyone lucky enough to know a veteran, that scene says so much.

Fred Derry has a combat flashback

A character, coded as anti-Semitic, disses veteran Harold Russell


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