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William Wyler’s Love Letter to His Comrades in Arms: The Best Years of Our Lives

In the opening shot of William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), CAPT Fred Derry walks into an airport terminal in hopes of catching a flight home to Boone City, USA. Upon reaching the clerk at the counter, Fred learns there is a several day wait for a commercial flight, even though he’s a returning war hero. A wealthy middle-aged businessman then charges up next to Fred, interrupts his conversation with the airline clerk, and confirms his seat on the next flight regardless of the extra cost. He barely acknowledges CAPT Derry, no nod or a “thank you for your service.” The air is thick with rotten apathy, and it’s this scene that signals the audience is in for a different kind of war movie. William Wyler, himself a WWII veteran, saw America’s shift in attitude immediately following the war. The wells of patriotism had been tapped dry and those keeping the fires burning on the home front were tired of making sacrifices. Once the servicemen returned home, the warm welcome was short lived. After fighting for years in the Pacific and Europe, these soldiers were expected to resume life as normal almost immediately. Definitely easier said than done. The transition back to civilian life was difficult for many of the soldiers displaced by the war, and Wiliam Wyler wanted to pay tribute to their post-war struggles.

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20th Century Fox Brings Classics to Blu-ray

Twentieth Century Fox has announced a brand new interactive campaign “Voice Your Choice” which allows fans to select films for digital restoration and Blu-ray release. In addition to this program, Fox Home Entertainment will be releasing at least one classic film title on Blu-ray each month categorized as “20th Century Fox Studio Classics.”

The “Voice Your Choice” campaign starts today. You can vote at www.hometheaterforum.com and at www.foxconnect.com

 

Voice Your Choice Titles

Jesse James
Call of the Wild
The Little Princess
Steamboat Round the Bend
Swanee River 
The Return of Frank James
That Night in Rio
Pin Up Girl

The Black Swan
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

My Gal Sal
Kiss of Death

To the Shores of Tripoli
Captain From Castile

My Friend Flicka
The Blue Bird

Crash Drive
A Letter to Three Wives

Hello, Frisco, Hello
Mother Wore Tights

Don’t Bother to Knock
Cheaper by the Dozen

Carmen Jones
On the Riviera

Anastasia
Black Widow

Broken Lance
The True Story of Jesse James

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
The Tall Men

Desk Set
The Best of Everything

The River’s Edge
The Bravados

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness 
From the Terrace
Morituri

Two for the Road
North to Alaska

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Bandolero!

Let’s Make Love
Do Not Disturb

The Agony and the Ecstasy
Back Door to Hell

How to Steal a Million
Bedazzled (1968)

The Undefeated
The 300 Spartans

Can-Can

20th Century Fox Studio Classics scheduled releases on Blu-ray:

1/15
Titanic (1953)
How Green Was My Valley
Wild River
Gentlemen’s Agreement

2/5
Laura

3/26
Panic in the Streets

4/2
Hello, Dolly!

5/7
Viva Zapata!

 

What titles would you like to see released on Blu-ray through this new program?