The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
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After splitting a cab, each of the men gets dropped off at home.
Homer returns to the quiet, middle-class neighborhood where he grew up,
and his family is overjoyed to see him, as is his girlfriend Wilma (Cathy
O'Donnell, right). No one knows quite how to deal with his
handicap however -- whether they should acknowledge it or ignore it -- and
ill at ease, Homer finally takes a walk.
Al, a former banker, goes home to his "swanky" apartment house and is
reunited with his wife Milly (Myrna
Loy) and two children, Peggy (Teresa
Wright) and Rob (Michael Hall). He's so uncomfortable however,
that he can hardly sit still, and he suggests that Milly and Peggy join
him for a night on the town and a few drinks.
Al is well plastered by the time his adventures lead him to Butch's
Place where he is reunited with his old buddies Homer (who stopped in to
visit his uncle Butch) and Fred (who couldn't find his wife).
Butch (Hoagy Carmichael,
upper right) sees that the group is well cared for, and the revelry
continues late into the night.
Fredric March and Myrna Loy
on the set of Butch's being entertained by
Hoagy Carmichael, one of America's leading Jazz songwriters and an actor
who gave several memorable film performances in piano-playing character
parts in the 1940s and '50s.
plays Homer's uncle Butch Engle in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, a saloon
keeper and man of few words who, nevertheless, has a lot to say. He
also plays one of his trademark songs in the film, "Lazy River."
- "Give 'em time, Kid. They'll catch on. You know, your
folks'll get used to you and you'll get used to them. Then
everything'll settle down nicely -- unless we have another war. Then
none of us have to worry 'cause we'll all be blown to bits the first day.
So cheer up, huh?" --Butch Engle.
- "Step." --Milly Stephenson.
- "Fine people, the Merrills. Strictly T.C.R. . . . Top Credit
Rating." --Al Stephenson.
- "I'm going to break that marriage up!" --Peggy Stephenson.
- "I'm obviously the kind of girl that takes these things too
seriously." --Peggy Stephenson.
Al and Milly dancing to their favorite song, "Among My Souvenirs."
There's nothing left for me
Of days that used to be.
They're just a memory
Among my souvenirs...
(Read the complete lyrics to "Among My
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