Selznick International Pictures’ 1944 release Since You Went Away endures because of its realistic portrayal of how World War II impacted the lives of those who were left behind when the war started.
The gripping ensemble drama — which makes a perfect double feature with The Best Years of Our Lives stars Claudette Colbert as Anne Hilton, a Midwestern housewife whose husband is serving in the war. Uncertain of what his fate will be and what the future holds, she tries to remain brave and attempts to keep some normalcy in the lives of her teenage daughters Bridget (Shirley Temple) and Jane (Jennifer Jones). As the war drags on, the lives of the Hiltons and others impacted by the seemingly endless fighting, the characters all find themselves in a world full of fear, love, and, perhaps most of all, hope.
With a superb supporting cast that includes Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Lionel Barrymore, the film has come to DVD and Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics. With an end sequence set on Christmas Eve, this isn’t a holiday film per se, but one whose unforgettable ending has added weight during this time of the year.