29 user 6 critic

Until They Sail (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 27 February 1958 (Australia)
During WW2, husband-less New Zealand women meet and marry American soldiers who are fighting in the Pacific theater.



(screenplay), (story)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Anne Leslie
Delia Leslie Friskett
Capt. Richard Bates
Evelyn Leslie
Wally Cassell ...
Phil Friskett aka Shiner
Prosecution Attorney
Max Murphy
US Marine, Store Customer
Adam Kennedy ...
Andy, Delia's Lover
US Marine, Store Customer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pvt. Duff (scenes deleted)


Four sisters in New Zealand fall for four U.S. soldiers en route to the Pacific theater in WWII Written by johnno.r@xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They Couldn't Have The Love They Wanted, So They Took The Love They Could Get!


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 1958 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Famintas de Amor  »

Box Office


$1,841,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Aspen Pictures, owned by Mark Robson and Robert Wise, bought two stories from James A. Michener's anthology "Return to Paradise." After Robson filmed one of the stories as "Return to Paradise" with Gary Cooper, they ran out of funding and had to sell the rights to the other story, "Until They Sail" to Burt Lancaster. Some years later the it ended up with Charles Schnee at MGM. By then Wise was at Metro and requested to film the property. See more »


The movie takes place in New Zealand. Toward the end of the movie, one of the sisters and her son are flying away. The registration on the aircraft is SU-AAC. "SU" is the registration letters for aircraft certified in Egypt. See more »


Barbara Leslie Forbes: [Last lines] If my father could read the history of his daughters...
Capt. Jack Harding: He'd understand.
Barbara Leslie Forbes: As they say, to understand is to forgive. Or is it, to understand is not to forgive? I can never remember.
See more »


References Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) See more »


Until They Sail
Music by David Raksin
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by Eydie Gormé
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent ensemble acting with an intelligent script
25 August 1999 | by (Bradford, Yorkshire, England) – See all my reviews

War starts, the New Zealand men go off to fight, and four sisters are left to cope with that- and the arrival of the American fleet! It sounds like a recipe for the most hackneyed sort of wartime romance weepie, but this film is certainly not that.

First, this is an ensemble movie, where no one 'star' dominates. From Paul Newman (probably the best-remembered name now) on, we are given a whole clutch of accomplished and finely nuanced performances.

The cinematography is superbly judged: this is one of those lovingly observed pictures where a shot of 'two people talking' is rarely just that; the backgrounds and choice of shots are a delight. This must be viewed in the original format, not 'scanned'!

The script is intelligent and daring. Sexual topics such as promiscuity and having children outside marriage are dealt with in a surprisingly straightforward and sophisticated manner for a 1950s movie. And, it must be said, they are dealt with in a human and sympathetic fashion. There is no hint of the lurid sensationalism nor of the tight-arsed repressiveness that films of this era often display when dealing with such subject matter.

In a situation where the old well-patterned expectations have gone by the board, the sisters attempt to keep track of their universe with a wall-map of the world on which they plot where their men are now. The scope of this exercise is enlarged to include the dead, and then American 'friends'. Ultimately, the map is screwed up and thrown on the fire as the old world- including the old moral universe- goes up in smoke.

The only jarring note is the plot device allowing the film to open and close with a murder trial. One of the sisters has married a 'local'- clearly marked as unsuitable by his working class tones and chest hair! The relationship ends in worse than tears. This element of the film has all the sophistication of an Enid Blyton 'Famous Five' childrens book, and sits uneasily in such an- otherwise- intelligent performance!

25 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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