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The Best Years of Our Lives


skimpole
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Yep Casa. Did you always get the impression, like I did, that Mollet "just might've" been in attendance inside the old Madison Square Garden on February 20, 1939 in order to listen to a few "stirring speeches" and maybe "raise a hand (palm out, or course) in cheer" ?

 

;)

 

 

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Amen to that MrStewart. But......you know they will! This is ONE of my MOST favorite movies. Very well done and says it all. I remember my Uncle Steve coming home from WWII, he was a medic with Patton's 3rd Army. So he was a busy medic! He did not talk about it or did he have a difficult time getting a job. Oddly enough he went to work for Felins Meat Packing Company in Philadelphia. Hmmmm........now was that utilizing the Army Training received? Could be!!!!

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You say WWII was fully supported by the American people but that isn't the full story. After we were attacked WWII was fully supported but prior to Dec 7th 1941 entering the war in Europe wasn't.

 

As I said, the movie was 'radical' for the time because it has a scene that questions the value of defeating 'evil'. Key Largo has the same type of theme when Bogie makes the comment about the killing of one more Johnny Rocco. WWII didn't defeat evil. Only a short time after the end of WWII many Americans questioned whether the USA should of just let the Nazis and Commies destroy each other.

 

One of the key themes of film noir is disillusion and this is highly tied to the fact that WWII didn't really "solve" anything as it relates to the destruction of evil. So I see a connection between disillusion and post war feelings associated with WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, Korea, etc..

 

 

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>Dargo wrote: Yep Casa. Did you always get the impression, like I did, that Mollet "just might've" been in attendance inside the old Madison Square Garden on February 20, 1939 in order to listen to a few "stirring speeches" and maybe "raise a hand (palm out, or course) in cheer" ?

Humm, a reference to the super-patriotic (their self-proclaimed) German American Bund? Actually, I thought his comments, and his tract he was pointing to, was from one of those groups that sprang up like dandelions after the war, and were precursors to The John Birch and Ripon societies, strictly anti-communist. Mollett reminded me more of them. When the war ended, the industries were losing arms and supplies orders, and the Anti-Communist push was on to re-arm for they were the true enemy.

 

But it's past Rob Stephenson's bedtime, and when you combine Atomic power with jet propulsion, you know what can happen! ;-)

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Aug 1, 2011 9:49 PM, for the name is Mollett, according to imdb.com

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Yep Casa ol' friend, I think your take as to where that MORON got all his "ideas" WAS most likely from some John Birch Society pamphlet, instead of some moronic Bund member.

 

(...I mean, yeah, that moron's name was "Moffet", NOT "Moffetheisen", RIGHT?!) LOL!

 

;)

 

 

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The remake had a good cast and a pretty good rating. I would watch it at least once or start to. It could never beat the original, however.

 

The only part of the movie I've never got was that part with Ray Teal's character and just what he was espousing. I always though it was pro Nazi/anti-Semitic but it was never made clear unless the audience of the day would have got it and there was no need. A pro Communist agenda didn't occurr to me but it makes sense as Russia had fought with the Allies but for their gain rather that ours. Thanks for your input.

 

Edited by: wouldbestar on Aug 1, 2011 10:23 PM

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I think you're reading a little too much into this thing, wouldbe, and I think you've have taken a wrong turn here...that is IF I'm readin' your text correctly.

 

Mollett IS supposed to represent an Ultra Right Wing Blowhard( a character I "think" we "might" even see a little too much of TODAY, huh?!..aaaah, but I digress here, don't I?!)

 

Mollet's point to poor bewildered Homer was that he thought America should have sided with the Nazis in order to rid the world of Communism. There was no implied idea that he, nor any character in this movie, was "Pro-Communistic".

 

 

(...well, I suppose that is UNLESS one might happen to BE an Ultra Right Wing Blowhard, and THEN they might be able to read into Wyler's great direction and Sherwood and Kantor's terriffic script all the admittedly slightly Left-of-Center ideas which are subtlely suggested in this movie...and THEN, as many Ultra Right Wing Blowhards often do, make that GREAT friggin' LEAP that all those ideas that ARE "slightly Left-of-Center" out there ARE somehow all "Communistic" anyway, and then scare the bejesus out ot those in our society who are sooooo friggin' dumb that they "believe" these morons are "tellin' the truth"....AND once again, MAYBE you've even seen or heard one of 'em do THAT nowadays, EH?!)

 

 

L---O---L!!!!!!

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There has always been in this country a not insubstantial element (that exists even to this day) that was opposed to our involvement in at least the European part of WW II, and has always maintained that it was FDR who manipulated America into it. This element was, and is, at least sympathetic to Hitler's regime, if not actually espousing Naziism, and virulently opposed to any form of communism or socialism. It considered us (Americans) dupes for fighting Germany with the Allies, thus Mollett's comments to Homer. Naturally, exponents of this philosophy styled themselves as true patriots (taking advantage of the last refuge), which is why the character wears the lapel pin. It serves as a coded signal to other of the cogniscenti.

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Yep, slaytonf, that was a very good history lesson there, I must say.

 

However, I was tryin' to explain a litttle more to our friend wouldbe here how all that simple-minded, overly patriotic, "last refuse of a scoungrel", "wave Ol' Glory 'til the cows come home", "You're either with us or against us" CRAP is STILL so friggin' ingrained in our American culture TODAY!

 

(...and thus maybe why *The Best Years of Our Lives* is a rather timeless American story and still pertinent to present and future generations of all political stripes...yep, EVEN to those friggin' Ultra Right Wing BLOWHARDS of the future TOO!!!)

 

ROFL!!!!!

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>However, I was tryin' to explain a litttle more to our friend wouldbe here how all that simple-minded, overly patriotic, "last refuse of a scoungrel", "wave Ol' Glory 'til the cows come home", "You're either with us or against us" CRAP is STILL so friggin' ingrained in our American culture TODAY!

 

Well Dang! Let's go out and burn a flag, photograph some power plants, and sell nuclear secrets to China!

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > However, I was tryin' to explain a litttle more to our friend wouldbe here how all that simple-minded, overly patriotic, "last refuse of a scoungrel", "wave Ol' Glory 'til the cows come home", "You're either with us or against us" CRAP is STILL so friggin' ingrained in our American culture TODAY!

> Well Dang! Let's go out and burn a flag, photograph some power plants, and sell nuclear secrets to China!

Well THANK YOU Fred for PROVIN' my point here, bro!

 

YEP! There's NEVER a MIDDLE friggin' GROUND with "some folks", is there?

 

YEP, because I see a certain amount of FOLLY in that ol' "America: Love it or leave it" thing, NOW that makes me one inclined to "burn the flag" and/or "betray American Ideals to the Chinese", HUH?!

 

(...once again Fred, I thank you SOOOOOO much for provin' my point here!...soooo, ya got anything ELSE you'd like to get off your chest here, ol' buddy????)

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>YEP! There's NEVER a MIDDLE friggin' GROUND with "some folks", is there?

 

Well, your feet don't seem to be planted on middle ground. I just don't want guys like you pointing and laughing at me if I wave a flag on the 4th of July. Nor do I want to have to explain to you why I might wave a flag, or have my opinions or actions scrutinized by you as if you are the Supreme Judge of the Universe.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > YEP! There's NEVER a MIDDLE friggin' GROUND with "some folks", is there?

> Well, your feet don't seem to be planted on middle ground. I just don't want guys like you pointing and laughing at me if I wave a flag on the 4th of July. Nor do I want to have to explain to you why I might wave a flag, or have my opinions or actions scrutinized by you as if you are the Supreme Judge of the Universe.

Fred, I'll have you know that I PROUDLY fly Ol' Glory outside my house EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!

 

AND, I think this country IS just about the BEST PLACE to live in this crazy friggin' world!

 

BUT, I have always AND always will draw the line at the notion: "There's just one way to think about what our American Ideals are or should be and if you don't agree with me then you're not a real true American".

 

 

THAT notion is the kind of CRAP that I was talkin' about here!

 

 

(...and ya DON'T have to be some friggin' "Supreme Judge of the Universe" to see THAT...at least I HOPE not anyway!!!!!)

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Ok, but you shouldn't imply that there is no middle ground and that anyone who waves a flag and is patriotic is like that guy in the movie.

 

He was a composite character. He was an isolationist. He feared the Communists more than he feared the Nazis. He had a loud mouth and deserved a punch in the nose. But don't compare him with any other patriotic American. Don't get your movie characters mixed up with real people, and don't jump to conclusions about real people. We are all slightly different.

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Sorry Fred, I disagee with your premise about reel vs real life.

 

What makes the movie in question here so great, and indeed almost ANY movie which has been deemed a "classic", is that they tend to be able to depict a very real sense of human reality, with actors who can flesh out REAL people, and scripts which also depict a certain timeless human "truth".

 

And, you can't tell me that there aren't people walkin' around America today, let along during the immediate Post-WWII era, who aren't JUST like how Ray Teal "fleshed out" the Mollett character, now can ya?!

 

(...and btw...admittedly I might've, okay did, overstate my point with that whole "Wave Ol' Glory 'til the cows come home" thing of mine...BUT, I think you really know what kind of people I was referencing with that, now didn't ya?!)

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*Geez, I go to bed early one night, and the kids stay up late and fight in the family room! I wake up to find a broken lamp. Hey, what's the flag doing in here!?*

 

Okay, yes, Mollett's character displays universal concepts the audience understands and accepts, and not because it is urban legend. You work with urban legend concepts for horror and sci fi stories. Mollett's character rings true for we do know of people like this, and the less than crystal-cut way he presents his arguments make him even more believable. Who hasn't had their Thanksgiving dinner ruined by someone like Mollett?

 

Can we get back to the motivations of the protagonists, besides want to punch antagonists in the face? Although, I do admire the way Al Stephenson handles the SeeBee's loan application.and finds he has to stand up for him and G I Bill. Yes, Mr. Milton...

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Someone wrote in the Quotes thread that they think the setting is Cincinnati.

 

Wow. Cincy's in the Cornbelt? I checked the imdb.com too and saw that factoid. That town would not have occurred to me. Of course I have the perspective of 50 years later. The location is masked well. You learn more if you find where the author or screenwriter hails from.

 

The writer, MacKinlay Kantor, was from Iowa. Yeah, watching it so many times, it feels like Des Moine or Sioux City. Sioux City could be a hot town.

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> {quote:title=casablancalover wrote:}{quote}*Geez, I go to bed early one night, and the kids stay up late and fight in the family room! I wake up to find a broken lamp. Hey, what's the flag doing in here!?*

LOL! Yep Casa, it sure was a shame you hit the sack early last night, 'cause you missed how dashing I looked while sportin' that lampshade on my head! ;)

> Okay, yes, Mollett's character displays universal concepts the audience understands and accepts, and not because it is urban legend. You work with urban legend concepts for horror and sci fi stories. Mollett's character rings true for we do know of people like this, and the less than crystal-cut way he presents his arguments make him even more believable. Who hasn't had their Thanksgiving dinner ruined by someone like Mollett?

Well said.

> Can we get back to the motivations of the protagonists, besides want to punch antagonists in the face? Although, I do admire the way Al Stephenson handles the SeeBee's loan application.and finds he has to stand up for him and G I Bill. Yes, Mr. Milton...

And, as I said earlier in this thing, another one of my favorite scenes is when Al pretty much tells off hs boss Milton in his welcome home banquet speech by saying somthin' like, "And, we're going to continue to give out loans to people so much that some people might say that we're gambling with our investors' money. And we WILL be, because we'll be gambling on the future of this country!"

 

Okay, and now, and NOT to get into another little "political tiff" here again mind you, BUT wouldn't you agree that there does seem to be a mild strain of Progressive or slight Left-of-Center thought subtlely being "preached" in this film? Especially considering the course the script takes in order to bring in the Mollett character and make him the catalyst for Fred's firing from the drug store.

 

(...and as you might have gathered by now, I have absolutely NO problem with that, IF in fact that IS the case) ;)

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Man, Dargo, you had me reliving the late 1980s/early 1990s there this morning. Waking up to make coffee and finding my sons asleep in the family room surrounded by a Pizza Hut box or two, (When did they order that?) and the frozen TV screen in pause of the Mario Bros hitting 10,000, or some such silliness. It makes me look forward to grandchildren -the ones you can enjoy and spoil for short spurts of time.. Just don't break Mom's favorite lamp.

 

Then, charming Dargo, you had this explanation:

>And, as I said earlier in this thing, another one of my favorite scenes is when Al pretty much tells off hs boss Milton in his welcome home banquet speech by saying somthin' like, "And, we're going to continue to give out loans to people so much that some people might say that we're gambling with our investors' money. And we WILL be, because we'll be gambling on the future of this country!"

>Okay, and now, and NOT to get into another little "political tiff" here again mind you, BUT wouldn't you agree that there does seem to be a mild strain of Progressive or slight Left-of-Center thought subtlely being "preached" in this film? Especially considering the course the script takes in order to bring in the Mollett character and make him the catalyst for Fred's firing from the drug store.

>

>(...and as you might have gathered by now, I have absolutely NO problem with that, IF in fact that IS the case)

 

I am back in the rare midday just this once, hopefully. My conference call is sooooooo booooring!

 

Funny, how you suggest your view is a mild strain of Progressive politics. In mid 1940s, that view was strictly middle of the road. Investment in the infrastructure and the future of this country was our duty as citizens. Now we can't even get people to get off their hind ends and do minimum duty to vote, unless they think they can make more money for themselves to do it. Then their pay gets cut, so they vote in more politicians to cut their taxes.

 

Mr. Milton is thinking of his bottom line, that's all. No need to raise our voices.. His rights are not being trampled on. But, that, (looks at his loan application for the name) Novak, he is just a veteran.

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> {quote:title=casablancalover wrote:}{quote}Man, Dargo, you had me reliving the late 1980s/early 1990s there this morning. Waking up to make coffee and finding my sons asleep in the family room surrounded by a Pizza Hut box or two, (When did they order that?) and the frozen TV screen in pause of the Mario Bros hitting 10,000, or some such silliness. It makes me look forward to grandchildren -the ones you can enjoy and spoil for short spurts of time.. Just don't break Mom's favorite lamp.

LOL...again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> {quote:title=casablancalover wrote:}{quote}

> Funny, how you suggest your view is a mild strain of Progressive politics. In mid 1940s, that view was strictly middle of the road. Investment in the infrastructure and the future of this country was our duty as citizens.

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True, I suppose. But then again, that was an era when FDR was still somewhat revered by many if not most Americans, and his and Truman's "New and Square Deal" policies were a popular political stance. And thus, I suppose, one could say because a majority of the American citizenry during that time approved of these policies, then one could say that that WAS a "Centrist" view AT that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> {quote:title=casablancalover wrote:}{quote}Now we can't even get people to get off their hind ends and do minimum duty to vote, unless they think they can make more money for themselves to do it. Then their pay gets cut, so they vote in more politicians to cut their taxes.

VERY true again. But hey, I've heard that if ya'd just give the Miltons of the world whatever they want and don't tie their hands at all, then all that money will just naturally come trickling down to all the rest of us poor slobs. Somethin' to the effect that a "Raising tide raises all boats", or somethin' like that anyway!

 

(LOL...okay sorry, there I go again, huh?!)

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Those of you interested in Wyler and this film should enjoy Jan Herman's biography of Wyler, *A Talent for Trouble*. The scene where Dana Andrews slugs the pro-Nazi is apparently based on an episode in Wyler's life.

 

Two isolationist (perhaps pro-Nazi) senators were so upset that MGM was making *Mrs. Miniver*, which was obviously pro-British, that they scheduled hearings about ending the movies' monopoly on distribution. The attack on Pearl Harbor changed that.

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