Last night I watched The Best Years of Our Lives while riding my bicycle to nowhere.
The Best Years of Our Lives is the story of three former soldiers from different circumstances, returning to their families after WWII.
It won 7 Oscars in '47 and well deserved them. It was movie designed to show you what happens to everyone after war, both soldiers and those who stayed on the home front. These men returned to a different America and changed loved-ones. The men were changed too.
I was particularly moved by one character who was a soda-jerk before the war. By the time the war ended he was Air Force Captain, but he couldn't get a job when he got home. He became a soda-jerk again. You see this all the time in documentaries on WWII. In spite of the GI Bill, so many officers returned home to be janitors and gas attendants.
We need janitors and gas attendants, but I am reminded that many of us are where we are, not because of merit, but because of circumstance.
This movie was fantastic. It achieved what Flags of Our Fathers attempted, with out a single war flashback. It is a product of the melodramas of its time, but it has held up well.