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The Best Years Of Our Lives

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Carabimero, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    I think you're talking about time budgeting, not "is the film too long from an artistic standpoint". I don't think the SEs of the LOTR movies are too long, but watching all three is obviously a huge time commitment.
     
  2. 22 Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    No, I'm not talking about time budgeting, I'm retired so I've got plenty of time.:)
     
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  3. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a great, great movie, one of my all-time favorites. It certainly doesn't seem too long to me. For me, if a movie is good, length isn't really a factor. But a bad movie always seems far too long, even if it's only 80 minutes or less. I've seen BEST YEARS many times in the past, but it has been several years since I last watched it. This thread is a good reminder to pull it off the shelf.

    Very interesting to read all the background information on the making of it. I'm in agreement that it's one of the more deserving Oscar winners out there.
     
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  4. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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    I really enjoy this film and have no problem with its length.
     
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  5. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    Even a retired person must decide how to allocate his time, Robert.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    As I stated, it's not about allocation of time with me!
     
  7. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I saw this movie once, I think when I was of high school age (though not in school). Even though I've only had that single viewing, it really stuck with me. I agree that it feels much shorter than its length would suggest. I forget which teacher, knowing of my interest in classic films, recommended it to me but it was astonishing and unlike anything I had seen before.

    Back then, I had a small TV (maybe about 15 inches) in my bedroom on my dresser which was at the foot of my twin bed. There was something really intimate about watching films sitting very close to a small screen, and I find that the movies I watched in that period and on that TV have really stuck with through my life. It had a way of drawing me into the story and the characters and my viewing of this film was enriched by those surroundings, as silly as that might sound given all the fancy big screen stuff we've all moved on to over the last 15-20 years. There was something very pure about how I watched movies then and as an adult there are times I wish I could get that back.

    I feel like I should see this again.
     
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  9. 29 Feb 13, 2018 at 5:51 PM
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 6:02 PM
    Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    Excerpt of letter to Goldwyn from Omar Bradley, WWII General dated 05 Dec 1946

    "Last week I took my chief assistants to see this. I was so impressed with the honesty and authenticity of your movie that I would ask if we could show it to all our chief people in Washington. I want them to see it to help them not only understand what we are trying to do for these young men, but because it will also help them realize what these veterans mean to the people of our country...Your movie is not only helping us do our job, but helping the American people understand veterans' wounds, pride, hopes, setbacks, what happened to the lives of their girls, wives and families."

    The movie was again released after the Korean War with a similar response from the military--and ex-military.

    "Dear Sir,

    My name is not important. I'm just another ex-serviceman. Things are tough and apart from my family I receive little sympathy. I'm so grateful to understand that there are others who appreciate the things we now face. On behalf of all ex-serviceman, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your movie."

    Forgetting how good it is, if there's a scripted dramatic movie that has done more to fundamentally change the lives of so many people for the better in the last 70+ years (including mine as I detailed in the Spielberg thread) I don't know what that movie might be.
     
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  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Semi-related but I'd highly recommend the book Five Came Back. It focuses on the war experiences of Best Years director William Wyler (and also Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston & George Stevens). There was a Netflix documentary mini-series based on it last year too.
     
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  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Excellent book and one that I'm glad is in my book library.
     
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  12. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Stunt Coordinator

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    The Netflix documentary is also very good and well-worth watching.
     
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  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, I'm going to check it out.
     
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  14. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer
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    An Excerpt from Howard Russell's obituary.

    "In 1961, President Kennedy appointed Russell as vice chairman of the presidential committee on employment of disabled people. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson made him chairman, and Richard Nixon reappointed him. He briefly returned to acting, in Inside Moves (1980), about disabled people who meet in a bar to help each other, and in Dogtown (1997), where he played a cigar-store owner and war veteran. He also appeared in the Vietnam war television series, China Beach."

    PDVD_001.JPG
     
  15. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I just finished watching The Best Years Of Our Lives for the very first time. I knew little about it and have not yet read the comments in this thread.

    It is an emotional powerhouse of a film! It affected me in ways very few films have. I was so emotionally connected to these characters that I felt everything they were going through. I teared up too many times to count.

    It it such a remarkable achievement in how it dealt with returning WWII vets and their reintegration into society, work, family and love. It is a relevant today as I’m sure it was in 1946.

    I loved all the performances. Every one was amazing. William Wyler obviously drew from his own experiences as a major in the Air Force during WWII to get realism from every aspect of the production.

    Thanks Caribamero for starting this thread and prompting me to finally see this classic.

    Definitely one of the best films ever made.
     
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  16. JSLasher

    JSLasher Agent

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    There are many important things to say about this truly great film. Far too many bloggers fail to mention Hugo Friedhofer's superlative Oscar®-winning music score, which is so very much a part of the film. The bomber graveyard sequence, where Friedhofer's score plays in counterpoint to the footage [there is no dialogue until the end of the sequence], is a perfect example. Lalo Schifrin told me that he thought this was the greatest moment in Hollywood film music history.
     
  17. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Regarding the score which I liked very much, apparently William Wyler hated it according to IMDB

    “Director William Wyler despised Hugo Friedhofer's Oscar-winning score for this film.”

    Is this true?
     
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  18. bujaki

    bujaki Cinematographer

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    Nobody's perfect, not even Wyler.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    A different type of situation, but today, I watched Casablanca again in a movie theater and it reminded me that if it wasn't for Ingrid Bergman cutting her hair for "For Whom the Bell Tolls" Warner would've had her come back to re-shoot some scenes so they could change out the song "As Time Goes By" for another song. Talk about getting a lucky break for a studio.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I started watching it today. Great so far as I finished the first episode.
     

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