Thursday, June 23, 2011

#342: The Best Years of Our Lives

Directed by: WILLIAM WYLER
1946, TSPDT Rank #130

To think that a director who would some years later make the eternal blunder that is Ben-Hur could make a film as moving, emotional, and engrossing as this one is the real marvel. But this is really one of the great films of the '40s, a profound and dead-on appropriation of what life on the homefront was like once our gallant soldiers returned home from World War II. Some films around this length (ahem, Ben-Hur) can tend to be strained or reliant on sensational scenes. This film is nothing of the sort, and is the rare bird that is a three-hour movie that keeps your attention and emotions focused for the whole duration. It feels like a film half its length, and I think this is due to the absolutely fantastic dialogue. It comes out flowing smooth and realistically - you buy every minute of this movie, every word the characters speak. It's effect was potent back when it was first released, and it has proved to be quite durable through the years. A movie very worthy of acclaim.

(Rating: 9/10)

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