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The Sullivans (1944)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  3 February 1944 (USA)
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Reviews: 45 user | 13 critic

The lives of a close-knit group of brothers growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression and of World War II and their eventual deaths in action in the Pacific theater are ... See full summary »


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Title: The Sullivans (1944)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Selena Royle ...
Mrs. Alleta Sullivan
Edward Ryan ...
Albert Leo 'Al' Sullivan
Trudy Marshall ...
Genevieve 'Gen' Sullivan
John Campbell ...
Francis Henry 'Frank' Sullivan
James Cardwell ...
Madison Abel 'Matt' Sullivan
George Offerman Jr. ...
Joesph Eugene 'Joe' Sullivan
Father Francis
Lt. Cmdr. Robinson


The lives of a close-knit group of brothers growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression and of World War II and their eventual deaths in action in the Pacific theater are chronicled in this film based on a true story. Written by JD-2

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Guts and Glory of the Fighting Navy!! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fighting Sullivans  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers during World War II, their parents, went on to assist in the war effort as a tribute to their five sons. See more »


In the first scene of the brothers as little boys they race from home to the railroad to see their father pull away on the train, and the last fence they have to climb over to reach the rail yard is shown first as a wooden-framed wire fence which the oldest four brothers climb over, but in the next cut to the fence, showing the youngest brother Al climbing over, the fence is missing it's wood frame and is instead an all-wire fence. See more »


Naval Officer at Boat Launching: Today, as we launch the destroyer, U.S.S. The Sullivans, the parents of the five Sullivan boys are here to share in the tribute to their sons, even as they shared their fighting spirit. As this ship slides down the ways, it carries with it a special armor all its own: The flaming and undaunted spirit that is the heritage of its name. The five Sullivan boys are gone; the U.S.S. The Sullivans carries on. May God bless and protect this ship. May her destiny be as glorious as the name she bears.
See more »


Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #8.11 (1957) See more »


You'll Never Know
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the dance and often throughout the picture
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply great
25 November 2001 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

This is one of the few movies I've seen that really made me cry. I agree with others who wrote about this and would definitely put it up there with The Best Years of our Lives as one of the great World War II pictures. Saving Private Ryan didn't move me as much as this mainly because we really don't get to know Private Ryan (or his brothers, for that matter). In this movie, we get to know all of the brothers, especially the oldest and the youngest. It did feel a bit like the Waltons in the first hour (were homes really that apple pie in Iowa in the 30s?) But watching the boys come of age and struggle with basic teenage issues, and then watching them enlist, made their fates all the more powerful. Yes, I knew what was going to happen but I was moved all the same. This movie should be required viewing for everyone who adored Saving Private Ryan.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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