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Past Films

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

  • Starring: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy
  • Director: William Wyler
  • Genre(s): Drama, Romance, War
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 170 min.

Free Screening

This program is presented in partnership with Springfield Art Museum, with support from the Springfield Regional Arts Council and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

A memorable film about the aftermath of World War II in the United States., this film opens with the homecoming of three veterans to the same small town. The movie exposes the reality of altered lives and the inability to communicate the experience of war on the front lines or the home front.

"William Wyler's heartbreaking postwar ballad seems even more radical today than it did in its Oscar-thick heyday. It's as non-propagandistic as an unemployment line."
- Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"As far as this review is concerned, it is the best picture to come out of Hollywood since the end of the war."
- Kate Cameron, New York Daily News
"[A] powerful, if cumbersome prestige picture."
- Keith Uhlich, Time Out
"Profoundly and sensitively balances the private demons of scarred veterans and the press of public policies that leave their mark on daily life."
- Richard Brody, New Yorker
"One of the best pictures of our lives."
- Abel Green, Variety
"Surprisingly modern: lean, direct, honest about issues that Hollywood then studiously avoided."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"I'd call this the best American movie about returning soldiers I've ever seen -- the most moving and the most deeply felt."
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"It is seldom that there comes a motion picture which can be wholly and enthusiastically endorsed not only as superlative entertainment but as food for quiet and humanizing thought."
- Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The feeling of warmth and satisfaction that accompanies the conclusion is the hallmark of a great drama."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews