This is a narrative poem telling the story of three veterans returning home at the end of WWII and of their adjustment into society. The film, The Best Years of Our Lives was based on this book, with some changes.
Three returning servicemen fight to adjust to life after World War II.
Release Date: November 21, 1946
Release Time: 172 minutes
Myrna Loy as Milly Stephenson
Fredric March as Sergeant 1st Class Al Stephenson
Dana Andrews as Captain Fred Derry
Teresa Wright as Peggy Stephenson
Virginia Mayo as Marie Derry
Cathy O'Donnell as Wilma Cameron
Hoagy Carmichael as Uncle Butch Engle
Harold Russell as Petty Officer 2nd Class Homer Parrish
Gladys George as Hortense Derry
Roman Bohnen as Pat Derry
Ray Collins as Mr. Milton
Minna Gombell as Mrs. Parrish
Walter Baldwin as Mr. Parrish
Steve Cochran as Cliff
Dorothy Adams as Mrs. Cameron
Don Beddoe as Mr. Cameron
Marlene Aames as Luella Parrish
Charles Halton as Prew
Ray Teal as Mr. Mollett
Howland Chamberlain as Thorpe
Dean White as Novak
Erskine Sanford as Bullard
Michael Hall as Rob Stephenson
Victor Cutler as Woody Merrill
Robert Karnes as Technical Sergeant
1947 Academy Awards
Best Motion Picture - Samuel Goldwyn Productions (Samuel Goldwyn, Producer) - Won
Best Director - William Wyler - Won
Best Actor - Fredric March - Won
Best Writing (Screenplay) - Robert E. Sherwood - Won
Best Supporting Actor - Harold Russell - Won
Best Film Editing - Daniel Mandell - Won
Best Music (Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) - Hugo Friedhofer - Won
Best Sound Recording - Gordon E. Sawyer - Nominated
Honorary Award - To Harold Russell - Won
Memorial Award - Samuel Goldwyn - Won
1947 Golden Globe Awards
Best Dramatic Motion Picture - Won
Special Award for Best Non-Professional Acting - Harold Russell - Won
1948 BAFTA Awards
Best Film from any Source - Won
American Film Institute
1998 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - #37
2006 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers - #11
Benjamin McKinlay Kantor, was an American journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He wrote more than 30 novels, several set during the American Civil War, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956 for his 1955 novel Andersonville.
Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa, in 1904. His mother, a journalist, encouraged Kantor to develop his writing style. Kantor started writing seriously as a teen-ager when he worked as a reporter with his mother at the local newspaper in Webster City.
Kantor's first novel was published when he was 24.
During World War II, Kantor reported from London as a war correspondent for a Los Angeles newspaper. After flying on several bombing missions, he asked for and received training to operate the bomber's turret machine guns (this was illegal, as he was not in service). Nevertheless he was decorated with the Medal of Freedom by Gen. Carl Spaatz, then the U.S. Army Air Corp commander. He also saw combat during the Korean War as a correspondent.
In addition to journalism and novels, Kantor wrote the screenplay for Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female) (1950), a noted film noir. It was based on his short story by the same name, published February 3, 1940 in a "slick" magazine, The Saturday Evening Post. In 1992, it was revealed that he had allowed his name to be used on a screenplay written by Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, who had been blacklisted as a result of his refusal to testify before the House Un-American Committee (HUAC) hearings. Kantor passed his payment on to Trumbo to help him survive.
Several of his novels were adapted for films. He established his own publishing house, and published several of his works in the 1930s and 1940s.
Kantor died of a heart attack in 1977, at the age of 73, at his home in Sarasota, Florida.