Americans flocked to the movies in 1945 and 1946 - the 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 history and the history of American cinema - the 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 types - from 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.
CHARLES AFFRON is professor emeritus of French at New York University. He is the author of Lillian Gish: Her Legend and Life, coauthor of Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative, and editor of 8-1/2: Federico Fellini, Director (Rutgers University Press). Along with Mirella Jona Affron and Robert Lyons, he is a general editor of Films in Print and Depth of Field, both Rutgers University Press series. MIRELLA JONA AFFRON is a professor of cinema studies at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, where she was provost from 1995 to 2002, and at the Graduate Center/CUNY. She is the coauthor of Sets in Motion: Art Direction and Film Narrative and editor of The Last Metro: Francois Truffaut, Director (both Rutgers University Press). Along with Charles Affron and Robert Lyons, she is a general editor of Films in Print and Depth of Field, both Rutgers University Press series.