Woody's
 Classic Movie Reviews

Best Years of Our Lives

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My 'MUST SEE' Movies

There have been a relative few movies that had something important to say and said it in a profoundly moving way, becoming classics. These are movies worth seeing more than once. Some of these are identified and described on this and the following pages



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HAROLD JOHN RUSSELL (Jan 1914 -- Jan 2002)  

Russell, a Canadian-American, is one of only two non-professional actors to ever win an Oscar for acting. And Russell stands alone in having been awarded two Oscars for the same role. Born in Nova Scotia, Russell moved with his family to Massachusetts in 1933. He was so aroused by the Pearl Harbor attack that he enlisted in the Army the next day. While he was in training with the 13th Airborne Division in 1944, a defective fuse caused an explosive to detonate while he was handling it, costing him his hands. He later appeared in an Army film about working with disabled veterans and William Wyler happened to see that film. He summoned Russell, a student at Boston University, to play the role of Homer Parish in The Best Years of Our Lives . After the film, he returned to Boston University and graduated with a degree in business. He authored two autobiographies, Victory in My Hands (1949) and The Best Years of My Life (1981). He didn't appear in another movie until 1980 and then again in 1997. He appeared in an episode of the Trapper John television series in 1981 and then in China Beach in 1989.

 

TITLE:     THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
  

  

     The readjustment to civilian life presents different kinds of challenges to three service- men returning home at the end of WWII. Frederick March is welcomed back at the bank where he was employed before leaving for the war, but is cautioned about being too liberal in granting loans to veterans who have nothing to put up as collateral. Dana Andrews tries to return to his old job at a drugstore but soon wears out his welcome. Harold Russell was not an actor but an actual war veteran who lost both hands in Navy service. The fine cast includes Myrna Loy, Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright. This film won seven Oscars, including two for Russell - one as Best Supporting Actor and another, special, Oscar for bringing encouragement to other disabled war veterans. 


1946, Directed by William Wyler
  



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  Complete List of all the Movie Reviews:

A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

Bugsy Malone    Cabaret    The Caine Mutiny    Casablanca    Chicago    The Defiant Ones     Doctor Strangelove 

Double Indemnity
    El Cid    Elmer Gantry    Fantasia    Fiddler on the Roof    For Whom the Bell Tolls  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
   

From Here To Eternity
    Funny Girl    Glory    Go For Broke    The Grapes of Wrath    Hamlet    

The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

Julius Caesar    Key Largo Lawrence of Arabia    The Learning Tree    The List of Adrian Messenger     Little Big Man

My Fair Lady
   
The Neverending Story    North by Northwest    The Owl and the Pussycat    Porgy and Bess    

Pride of the Yankees
   The Producers    Purlie    Quo Vadis    The Red Badge of Courage    Requiem for a Heavyweight    

Rhapsody in Blue
     The Sand Pebbles    The Sea Wolf    Seven Samurai    Ship of Fools    Some Like It Hot   

The Sound of Music    South Pacific   Spartacus    The Spirit of St. Louis    Stalag 17    

Sunset Boulevard
    

To Kill a Mockingbird      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre       Twelve Angry Men       Twelve O’Clock High    

2001 A Space Odyssey    The Victors     Victor Victoria   Watership Down     West Side Story    

The Wizard of Oz
    Yankee Doodle Dandy  

The Yearling
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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