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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

Until They Sail focuses on the lives of the four Leslie sisters -- Barbara (Jean Simmons), Anne (Joan Fontaine), Delia (Piper Laurie), and Evelyn (Sandra Dee) -- in WWII New Zealand. Anne becomes engaged to Marine Captain Richard Bates (Charles Drake). Delia wishes to divorce her prisoner-of-war husband Phil "Shiner" Friskett (Wally Cassell) and takes up with a string of American soldiers. Barbara's husband Mark is in North Africa and, although she loves him, she finds herself attracted to Captain Jack Harding (Paul Newman), an American soldier whose job it is to investigate New Zealand women who are engaged to American soldiers.

Until They Sail is based on a short story from Return to Paradise, a 1950 anthology by American author James Michener [1907-1997]. The story was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Robert Anderson.

How does the movie end?

Anne and the baby move to Oklahoma to be near Richard's parents. Evelyn and Tommy marry and go to Oakland, California. Jack ships out but is called back to New Zealand to testify against Delia at Shiner's trial. Following the trial, he asks Barbara to go to America with him, but she is still angry at him for the unkind things he said about Delia. She has a change of heart, however, and goes to see him at his hotel. Standing outside the door to his room, she hears a female laughing and is about to turn away when another man tells her to go right in. Once inside, she sees Jack and a blonde woman sitting together. Jack introduces Barbara to Major Campbell and Mrs Campbell. The major and his wife leave the room, and Jack takes Barbara into his arms.

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