Friday, May 8, 2015
Best Years of Our Lives
This being V-E Day, I thought it would be nice to remember our troops from World War II through one of the best movies made in their honor, The Best Years of Our Lives. Unlike the many other war films of the era, William Wyler chose to deal with the aftermath of the war and how difficult it was for many of these former soldiers to readjust to civilian life.
As Bosley Crowther wrote in a review from 1946, the film "honestly and sensitively images the terrible loneliness of the man who has been hurt -- hurt not only physically but in the deep recesses of his self-esteem." Most veterans got past these anxieties and adjusted to everyday life, but many fell through the cracks of society, as we have seen with each war. Just as importantly, the film deals with the women in these former GIs' lives.
As we look at a united Europe today, we can say that the soldiers and the many, many civilians who died during this brutal war did not do so in vain.