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And Andrews? Well, everything bad turns good. He gets fired from the drugstore, which is the final straw for his wife who divorces him. On his way out of town Andrews comes across a graveyard of fighter planes and bombers. Sitting in the clear nose of one of the airplanes, Andrews lets his mind drift back to the war. He’s still lost in thought when a man comes yelling for him to get out. Turns out it’s a vet, and, lo!, he’s got a job for Andrews — turning the metal from old fighter planes into houses, the ultimate sign of rebuilding and redemption. He sticks around Boone City, and reunites with March’s daughter Peggy. Since she never made good on her threat to break up the marriage, their relationship remains somehow pure in the viewer’s eyes.
It’s true that the movie ends in typical Hollywood fashion, with everyone content in life and love, and no loose ends. We know now the country was on the brink of massive economic expansion, “All I want is a good job, my own future, and a little house for me and my wife, and I’ll be rehabilitated, all right,” Andrews tells March at the beginning of the film, and by the end you know he’s going to get it. If this is Warshow’s naive Americanism, sign me right up.
“That’s the problem today,” the fascist sympathizer shouts during his encounter with the two vets. “Every soda jerk in this country has got the idea that he’s somebody.”
As the Greatest Generation gets their due over the next few weeks, The Best Years of Our Lives helps remind us that the difficulties they faced did not end at the water’s edge. The story of how they put it behind them and moved on to even greater things is as much their legacy as the long, deadly charges across the frozen hills of Europe and the island-to-island fighting under the scorching South Pacific sun.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online