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 »
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
In real life two of the brothers, Frank and George, had actually served in the US Navy prior to the five brothers enlisting but this story element is not represented in the film. See more »
When Tom Sullivan comes in from searching for George and admonishes the rest of his sons for staying up late, the mic's shadow is visible on the kitchen table. 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.
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This film is presented as vignettes of the boys at different ages, as if seen through a mother's loving eyes. It makes your heart particularly vulnerable to their inevitable fate. Especially poignant to the audiences of the day, note that it was released in 1944, during some of the darker days of World War II.
Five brothers DID die as the result of ONE enemy encounter. It was a terrible tragedy. It made one family's sacrifice TOO great. In their honor, there has always been a "USS The Sullivans" afloat. The newly commisioned ship can be seen, along with the "new" skipper (sometimes), on patriotic holidays when the movie is shown. They have him (and the ship) in the "bumpers" between segments. It adds a new dimension and reality to the film.
My younger children always gather round to watch the "Leave it to Beaver" type antics of the brothers growing up. They very much enjoy the "little troublemakers". They DO follow the film and understand what happens at the end. I'm glad they do. It's not lost on them. And we always salute, along with Pop Sullivan, at the end of the movie.....
REST IN PEACE, BOYS...........
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