Americans flocked to the movies in 1945 and 1946ùthe center point of the three-decade heyday of the studio system's sound era. Why?
Best Years is a panoramic study, shining light on this critical juncture in American historyand the history of American cinemaùthe end of World War II (1945) and a year of unprecedented success in Hollywood's "Golden Age" (1946). This unique time, the last year of war and the first full year of peace, provides a rich blend of cinema genres and typesùfrom the battlefront to the home front, the peace film to the woman's film, psychological drama, and the period's provocative new style, film noir.
Best Years focuses on films that were famous, infamous, forgotten, and unforgettable. Big budget A-films, road shows, and familiar series share the spotlight. From Bergman and Grant in Notorious to Abbott and Costello in Lost in a Harem, Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron examine why the bond between screen and viewer was perhaps never tighter. Paying special attention to the movie-going public in key cities--Atlanta, New York, Boston, Honolulu, and Chicago--this ambitious work takes us on a cinematic journey to recapture a magical time.