Sunday, November 12, 2017
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
I have seen it many many times since, and though I don't make many lists since the brain operation ended that lifelong compulsion, this movie was always one of my top ten and in recent years' viewings I've decided it's my favorite movie of all.
Watching it each year, on its annual screening on TCM around Veterans Day, despite some dated bits in some scenes, this story of three World War Two veterans returning home after the war has only grown more relevant and prescient and fulfilling.
The female leads especially impress. Mryna Loy's performance should be the template for anyone ever wanting to act in a movie. She can play poignancy, romance, wisdom, comedy, and more with only the turn of a shoulder, or pause in a step, or slight upturn of an eye. For me Loy is the quintessence of screen acting skill.
And Theresa Wright, from my home town but graduated and gone before I was born, is always a delight to watch on screen, her emotional range vast as well. Virginia Mayo, playing the bad girl, as she often did, gives maybe her best performance too. And the male leads keep up with them and anchor the story with their postwar inner demons.
I could go on, but suffice it to say THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES is a classic Hollywood masterpiece that still lives up to its original worthiness.