Warner Home Video will be giving two films from the venerable Samuel Goldwyn library the hi-def treatment on Nov. 5 with attractively priced Blu-ray product offerings of both director William Wyler’s 1946 Best Picture winner, The Best Years of Our Lives and director Henry Koster’s 1947 Best Picture nominee, The Bishop’s Wife.
The war is over and Hollywood is back to making motion pictures in a big way. Theatres are crammed to the gills with attendance records that will never be broken (television hadn’t kicked in just yet) and one “classic” after another is released — all with stars, stars and more stars.
Not only did The Best Years of Our Lives win Best Picture, but William Wyler took home his second Oscar for direction (he won for Mrs. Miniver in 1942 and would bag his third Oscar in 1960 for Ben Hur — 12 nominations in all), plus Fredric March and Harold Russell took home Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Oscars respectively … and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert E. Sherwood added an Oscar to his collection for his screen play adaptation of MacKinlay Kantor’s novel (he would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1956 for his sprawling Civil War novel, “Andersonville”).
Beyond the terrific story of war vets returning to civilian life and the heap of awards the film received, The Best Years of Our Lives features an amazing cast — included are: Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Steve Cochran, Ray Collins and Hoagy Carmichael (and more).
As to bonus nuggets, there is an introduction by Virgina Mayo, vintage interviews with both Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright and the original theatrical trailer.
The Bishop’s Wife — starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven — was also adapted to the screen by Sherwood. As mentioned the film was nominated Best Picture (losing out to Gentleman’s Agreement) and director Henry Koster, known for such films as Harvey, The Robe and Flower Drum Song, received his only Oscar nomination for his work here.
No bonus features are planned at this time.