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The Best Years of Our Lives


skimpole
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My favorite moment comes early in the film during the cab ride the 3 soldiers share. They look out the window and see two teenage boys driving alongside in a hotrod roadster. To me, the smiles on Al's, Fred's, and Homer's faces simultaneously say, "That was ME a few years back," and "I never thought I'd live to see a sight like that again." I laughed out loud (laughing for joy) when they spotted that hotrod and was happy they were home.

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Thanks king. The Wyler story is an interesting tidbit of info about the possible reasons for the inclusion of that whole scene, alright. I have to admit I always wondered if that might have been either of the scriptwriters' plot device of which they, and not Wyler, might have had an experience similiar to such in real life. And now I guess I know.

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Ya know folks, here's another thought about this film I'd like to bring up...nah, don't worry, this one ain't gonna be about the topic of "you-know-what". (chuckle out loud)

 

This one's gonna be about the film's score:

 

 

Now, don't get me wrong here, but while I LOVE this film, I've always kinda wondered if maybe the reason this sucker always "gets me right here" and I find these ol' eyes o' mine are waterin' up all through this picture...well...I wonder if maybe that might be because of all those many violins playing REALLY loud in the background throughout it all?

 

 

So, anybody around here wanna venture a guess about this?! Do ya maybe think the score is sometimes cranked up really loud in order to elicit all these here tears?

 

 

You know what I'm talkin' about here, right?! It's kinda like how this here Triumph motorcycle rider here(that's me) seems to find a whole lot o' Harley riders who have some sorta "need" to run straight pipes on their Hogs for some kind of "effect".

 

 

(...though, of course, in the case of these Harley riders, they don't exactly "elicit" the same kind of emotion from me as this here picture does!...so, maybe you've found this to be the case TOO, eh?!) ;)

 

 

 

:^0

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So, anybody around here wanna venture a guess about this?! Do ya maybe think the score is sometimes cranked up really loud in order to elicit all these here tears?

 

I couldn't agree more. It's the only thing that I dislike about the film. The characters, the situations - they're enough to elicit my reactions. Friedhofer's score is too obvious in its punctuation of each little detail. It should compliment the scene, not overwhelm it.

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Wow. I see that the issue I raised related to the Andrews slug has created a lot of interesting discussions. But it looks like I missed what was going on in this scene.

 

I compared the scene to Bogie's reaction in Key Largo - one less Johnny Rocco doesn't make a difference.

 

In other words I didn't view the Teal character as being Pro-Nazi but just saying the USA went to war to kill a Rocco (Nazis), only to face another Rocco (Soviets) a short time later and thus was just an insolationist.

 

I wouldn't of punched someone that was making a point simliar to Bogie's in Key Largo (but Becall does call him a coward which does lead Bogie to take action against Rocco), but I would a pro-Nazi. I'll have to watch that Teal scene more closely and really listen to the dialog next time (instead of just waiting to see the punch!).

 

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Actually james, I think the next time you watch this film, you'll discover the REAL reason Fred punched Mollett was NOT so much because he appeared to be a Nazi sympathizer, but was in fact because Mollett made the comment to Homer "It sure is a shame that lost your arms for nothin'!", which was what angered Homer and spurred his attempt to pull the little American Flag stickpin off of Mollett's lapel, which started the scuffle, and which then spurred Fred to come to the defense of Homer.

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Note sure why you say 'actually'. To me the line ',,,lost your arms for nothing!' has a very simlar theme to 'one more Johnny Rocco' from Key Largo.

 

i.e. removing the Nazis was "for nothing" because the commies are as big of a threat if not more so.

 

So in your view was the REAL reason the comment OR just to defend a friend in need like Homer?

 

 

 

 

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I'd say Fred's motivation was more to help out his pal Homer, but also remember Fred did try to shut Mollett up earlier in the scene with a comment to him, but then again I doubt Fred would've punched the guy if it had been anybody else but Homer who Mollett was trying to "convert" and who was told "his sacrifice was in vain".

 

So yeah, I think Fred punched him more for personal reasons than for any disagreement about any "geo-political" stance he might've had with the guy.

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Clore wrote:

>The characters, the situations - they're enough to elicit my reactions. Friedhofer's score is too obvious in its punctuation of each little detail. It should compliment the scene, not overwhelm it.

We disagree. Friedhofer took home the Academy Award for his score, I thought he deserved it. I'll go one better; this scene:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU0d3DVcKoY

 

First, listen to the whisper in the score as Derry's dad reads the citation. Bringing up the music validates the beauty, doesn't detract. Gen. Dolittle and Fred Derry deserves the accolade of a fanfare.

 

Next, the incredible depth, and using the low brass for the this fanfare reprise for this common man.. this everyday Fred Derry, who watches the past glory now fading fast in the Aircraft Graveyard.. The engines start- one after the other, in one of the most effective uses of camera and visual imagery, tied with music, I have ever witnessed. The music again punctuates it.

 

Without the music (score) it may deaden the reactions. It may seem more voyeuristic and disengaged for the viewer as a newsreel.

 

One more thing to note. The year 1946. This score tied to the action is the mark of the premium releases in Hollywood. It is a movie of it's time. The less expensive productions didn't have the budget for a great score to accompany it. I appreciate it's period in movie-making history. But I also appreciate these composers as well.

 

Maybe you need a break from watching it so you don't pick it apart out of familiarity. I let the whole effect wash over me fresh after taking a break. In fact, there was a 3-4 year period when I didn't watch Casablanca for that reason.

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Wayne wrote:

>My favorite moment comes early in the film during the cab ride the 3 soldiers share. They look out the window and see two teenage boys driving alongside in a hotrod roadster. To me, the smiles on Al's, Fred's, and Homer's faces simultaneously say, "That was ME a few years back," and "I never thought I'd live to see a sight like that again." I laughed out loud (laughing for joy) when they spotted that hotrod and was happy they were home.

I like that scene too. For me the best part is they really appreciate being home, so much so, that they are not resentful at all of what they went through while other's were at home.. except for, umm. Stinky Merkel, the 4F worm..

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

> Well this is a case of type casting an actor would clearly wish to avoid. "Hey casting director, we need someone that patronizes or picks on a disabled person,,, OK, I'll call on Ray Teal,,,, he is good at taking a punch!

Well james, I guess you know that THIS is exactly the reason why he moved to Virgina City Nevada later on.

 

(...there he had Ben Cartwright and the boys take all those hits from then on, ya know!) ;)

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Maybe you need a break from watching it so you don't pick it apart out of familiarity. I let the whole effect wash over me fresh after taking a break. In fact, there was a 3-4 year period when I didn't watch Casablanca for that reason.

 

Actually, I saw it recently for the first time in about five years. I had never noticed the score being so loud before - in certain scenes, and neither did the woman who was watching it with me, a longtime film buff herself. I know this often happens with certain Warner scores of the period, but it was the first time that I noticed it with this film, which I even saw once at a big screen revival.

 

I don't dislike the score, I just found it too loud in some scenes. There were Homer and Wilma and it late at night and they're in his room and I could not help but think that the music was going to wake everyone else up. It's a delicate scene and the music goes well, just too much volume per my ears.

 

But I know what you mean about having to step away from some films after seeing them too often. On the other hand, I've seen HIGH NOON about 50 times and it just keeps getting better, the same for THE MALTESE FALCON which I've seen at least 35 times.

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Just to continue the Ray Teal theme, in the book Film Noir, Ray has the most film noir credits of any actor (14), one more than Mitchum or Ryan.

 

He goes from this to telling little Joe to be a good boy (there is something about a left handed gun draw that I aways found interesting, somewhat like a left handed guitar player).

 

 

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}Just to continue the Ray Teal theme, in the book Film Noir, Ray has the most film noir credits of any actor (14), one more than Mitchum or Ryan.

Interesting! While I know he was in a lot of 'em, I never would've guessed that! My money would've been on, say, William Bendix or somebody like that.

> He goes from this to telling little Joe to be a good boy (there is something about a left handed gun draw that I aways found interesting, somewhat like a left handed guitar player).

Okay james...try to stay on track here, okay?!

 

(...this is no time to bring up Jimi or Sir Paul, ya know?!) ;)

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Yep, kinda like was I was sayin' earlier, and why I brought it up.

 

EXCEPT, of course, I have to say I agree with Casa's point about the B-17 scene with the score imagining each Wright Cylone Radial engine(that are no longer there, of course) startin' up. THAT is perfectly volumed.

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So Ryan has as meny film noir credits as Mitchum? We discussed this several months ago, and I recently looked at another film noir reference, and it seemed that Mitchum had 2 or 3 more than Ryan. Almost all of these two's credits were starring roles. Maybe the "almost" is the kicker.

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EXCEPT, of course, I have to say I agree with Casa's point about the B-17 scene with the score imagining each Wright Cylone Radial engine(that are no longer there, of course) startin' up. THAT is perfectly volumed.

 

I have to agree there, but as I said it is only with some scenes that I find it too loud.

 

I was discussing this with a friend of mine and he says that a lot of films in the digiital format suffer from this. Somehow the range is such that soft sounds are softer and loud ones are louder and that it mostly affects the soundtracks to recent films.

 

I do notice that when I watch recent films on TV, I'm constantly playing with the remote as the scores need lowering and the dialogue passages need raising. Again, not all films but then I don't tend to dwell on the high-tech comic book adaptations.

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I forgot that the book Film Noir has an error in it related to Ryan, they credit him in Out of The Past. So this means Mitchum beats Ryan by 1 (assuming the accuracy of the source).

 

Ryan is credited with; Act of Violence, Berlin Express, Beware My Lovely, Caught, Clash By Night, Crossfire, House of Bamboo, Johnny O'Clock, Odds Against Tomorrow, On Dangerous Ground, The Racket and The Set-Up.

 

Mitchum with; Angel Face, Cape Fear, Crossfire, Farwell My Lovely, Friends of Eddie Coyle, His Kind of Women, The Locket, Macao, Out of the Past, The Racket, Undercurrent, When Strangers Marry, and Where Danger Lives.

 

But of course there might be films that the book doesn't consider film noirs that other sources do, or another mistake in the appendix.

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Wow. If Ryan had known that he trailed Mitchum by one, he would have clamored to get into two more noirs (cameos, if necessary) just to beat him out.

Oooooh...why's THAT, finance? What have ya heard?

 

C'mon! Was there some kinda bad blood 'tween 'em that ya know of?

 

(...I NEVER get to hear the juicy stuff, ya know) ;)

 

Edited by: Dargo on Aug 3, 2011 12:33 PM

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