The Best Years of Our Lives

The Best Years of Our Lives quotes

50 total quotes (ID: 72)

Al Stephenson
Fred Derry
Multiple Characters


Milly: You ought to rest a while. Take a vacation.
Al: Got to make money. Last year it was kill Japs. And this year it's 'make money.'
Milly: We're all right for the time being.
Al: Then why do they have to bother me about problems like that the first day I get home. Why can't they give a fella time to get used to his own family?


Mr. Cameron: Have you thought anything about getting a job, Homer?
Wilma: Father, it's much too soon for Homer to be thinking about a job. He's just out of the hospital.
Mr. Cameron: Yes, I know but a few months from now, the same opportunities won't exist that exist today. You might think about my business Homer, insurance. We've taken on a number of veterans. They make very good salesmen, you know. Men who have suffered from some kind of disability.

Peggy: [explaining why she invited Fred and his wife] I did it deliberately...to prove to myself that what happened this afternoon didn't really happen.
Fred: But it did happen. It had to happen. And if we go on seeing each other, Peggy, it will happen again.

Peggy: I didn't really come in to buy anything. Dad told me you were working here and I just dropped in to say hello.
Fred: [as he shows her a perfume] Oh just a minute. I have - I have an hour off at one o'clock. Are you doing anything for lunch?
Peggy: Why no.
Fred: Thank you madam. [softly] I'll meet you outside in twenty minutes.

Peggy: I know what you both think.
Al: What are we thinking?
Peggy: You're afraid I may be in love with Fred.
Al: Why I never had any such idea?
Milly: Shut up, Al. Are you in love with him?
Peggy: Yes. But I don't want to be. That's why I asked him and his wife to go out with us this evening. I think it ought to have a very healthy effect on me. Once I get to know her, well, I'm sure I'll stop being silly about the whole thing.

Peggy: I've made up my mind...I'm going to break that marriage up. I can't stand it seeing Fred tied to a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him. Oh it's horrible for him. It's humiliating and it's killing his spirit. Somebody's got to help him...He doesn't love her, he hates her. I know it. I know it.
Al: Who are you, God? How did you get this power to interfere in other people's lives?
Milly: Is Fred in love with you?
Peggy: Yes.
Milly: You've been seeing him.
Peggy: Only once, today. Oh, it was all perfectly respectable. But when we were saying goodbye, he took me in his arms and kissed me and I knew.
Al: And you think a kiss from a smooth operator like Fred - you think that means anything?
Peggy: You don't know him. You don't know anything about what's inside him. And neither does she, his wife. That's probably what she thought when she married him. A smooth operator with money in his pockets. But now he isn't smooth any longer and she's lost interest in him.
Al: Whereas you're possessed of all the wisdom of the ages. You can see into the secret recesses of his innermost soul.
Peggy: I can see because I love him.
Al: So you're gonna break this marriage up. Have you decided yet how you're gonna do it? Are you gonna do it with an axe?
Peggy: It's none of your business how I'm gonna do it. You've forgotten what it's like to be in love.
Al: You hear that, Milly? I'm so old and decrepit I've forgotten how it feels to want somebody desperately.
Milly: Peggy didn't mean that, did you darling?
Peggy: Oh, no. I don't know what I do mean. It's just that, everything has always been so perfect for you. You loved each other and you got married in a big church, and you had a honeymoon in the south of France. And you never had any trouble of any kind. So how can you possibly understand how it is with Fred and me?
Milly: We never had any trouble. [To Al] How many times have I told you I hated you, and believed it in my heart. How many times have you said you were sick and tired of me, that we were all washed up? How many times have we had to fall in love all over again?

Peggy: Well, what have you been doing with yourself lately?
Fred: Working.
Peggy: Yes, uh, Dad told me he heard you were in some kind of building work.
Fred: Well, that's a hopeful way of putting it. I'm really in the junk business - an occupation for which many people feel I'm well-qualified by temperament and training. It's fascinating work.

Peggy: What d'ya do before the war, Fred?
Fred: I was a fountain attendant...soda jerk...Surprised?
Peggy: Yes, a little. I betcha you mixed up a fine ice cream soda.
Fred: You're darn right. I was an expert behind that fountain. I used to toss a scoop of ice cream in the air, adjust for wind drift, velocity, altitude. Then wham, in the cone every time. I figured that's where I really learned to drop bombs.
Peggy: What do you think you'll do now?
Fred: I'm not going back to that drugstore. Somehow or other, I can't figure myself getting excited about a root beer float. I don't know just what I will do. I'm gonna take plenty of time looking around.
Peggy: I guess after all the places you've been, Boone City looks pretty dreary to you.
Fred: Not from where I'm sitting right now. That's not just a line. I really meant it.

Rob: Say, you were at Hiroshima, weren't you Dad?..Well, did you happen to notice any of the effects of radioactivity on the people who survived the blast?
Al: No, I didn't. Should I have?
Rob: We've been having lectures in atomic energy at school, and Mr. McLaughlin, he's our physics teacher, he says that we've reached a point where the whole human race has either got to find a way to live together, or else uhm...
Al: Or else...?
Rob: That's right. Or else. Because when you combine atomic energy with jet propulsion and radar and guided missiles, just think of the...
Al: I've seen nothing. I should have stayed home and found out what was really going on. What's happened to this family? All this atomic energy and scientific efficiency.
Peggy: Nice to have you around, dad. You'll get us back to normal.
Al: Or maybe go nuts myself.

Salesman: [about Fred] I'll bet he's back looking for a job.
Saleswoman: And he'll get it too with all those ribbons on his chest.
Salesman: Well, nobody's job is safe with all these servicemen crowding in.

Wilma: They figure you don't want me around. You don't want to see me, and if I go away for awhile, maybe I'll get all of this out of my mind...Do you want to get rid of me? Tell me the truth, Homer. Do you want me to forget about you?
Homer: I want you to be free, Wilma, to live your own life. I don't want you tied down forever just because you've got a kind heart.
Wilma: Oh, Homer! Why can't you ever understand the way things really are, the way I really feel? I keep trying to tell you.
Homer: But, but you don't know what it would be like to live with me. Have to face this every day, every night.
Wilma: I can only find out by trying. And if it turns out I haven't courage enough, we'll soon know it.
Homer: Wilma, you and I have been close to each other for a long time, haven't we? Ever since we were kids.
Wilma: Yes, Homer.
Homer: I'm going upstairs to bed. I wantcha, I want ya to come up and see for yourself what happens.
Wilma: All right, Homer.

[about Homer] They [the Navy] couldn't train him to put his arms around his girl to stroke her hair.

[to Homer, about Wilma] Take her in your arms, and kiss her. Ask her to marry you. Then marry her. Tomorrow if you can get a license that fast. If you want anybody to stand up for you at your wedding...

[to Marie] I don't want to be right back where we started. We can never be back there again. We never want to be back there.

[to Milly and Peggy] How 'bout we go celebrate the old man's homecoming...I want to do something, see something. I've been in jungles and around savages so long, I gotta find out I'm back in civilization again.