Until They Sail


1h 35m 1957
Until They Sail

Brief Synopsis

Four sisters in New Zealand fall for Allied sailors en route to World War II.

Photos & Videos

Until They Sail - Piper Laurie Publicity Stills
Until They Sail - Sandra Dee Publicity Stills
Until They Sail - Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Oct 1957
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Oct 1957
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Christchurch,New Zealand; Hollywood, California, United States; Wellington,New Zealand; New Zealand
Screenplay Information
Based upon the short story "Until They Sail" by James A. Michener in his Return to Paradise (New York, 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
8,307ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

In a courtroom in Wellington, New Zealand, Barbara Leslie listens to testimony about her sister Delia and remembers the events that led to the trial: The Leslie sisters, Barbara, Anne and their impetuous younger siblings Evelyn and Delia, live in Christchurch, where most of the townsmen are preparing to leave for World War II duty, including their brother Kit and Barbara's new husband, Mark Forbes. With their mother deceased and their father lost to the war, the sisters console themselves by plotting their loved ones war locations on a world map in their living room. One evening, Delia gleefully announces her engagement to one of Christchurch's few remaining bachelors, "Shiner" Phil Friskett, but news of Kit's death quickly dampens her mood. Later, prim spinster Anne expresses her disapproval of the marriage, but Barbara defends Delia's happiness. Within weeks of Delia's marriage, the sisters come to hate Shiner's abusive behavior and are glad to see him leave for war duty. Delia, now lonely for male companionship, moves to the larger city of Wellington to work for the Navy despite Barbara's protests. When the United States sends several hundred Marines to Christchurch after the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941, many of the men brashly flirt with the lonely New Zealand women. Naive, fourteen-year-old Evelyn cannot resist inviting kind Capt. Richard G. Bates to dinner. The well-mannered captain declines her offer, but not without attracting Anne's attention. Concerned that Delia has forgotten her marriage vows, Anne sends Barbara to Wellington, where Delia is registered at a hotel under her maiden name. After Barbara reports that Shiner is a prisoner of war, Delia introduces Barbara to her lover, an American lieutenant named Andy, and announces she plans to divorce Shiner and begin a new life in the United States. Barbara, shocked by Delia's adultery, is about to leave when Andy awkwardly explains that he was raised with the same family values as the sisters. Inviting her to join them at a Wellington bar, Andy introduces Barbara to his friend Jack Harding, a divorced and disillusioned soldier assigned to investigate the prospective New Zealand brides of American soldiers. Once alone with Jack, Barbara harshly criticizes the Americans for seducing New Zealand women with trinkets and money. Jack retorts that, although many of men have wives and children at home, "war makes strange bedfellows." When they share a wistful glance, Barbara, still faithful to her husband, is upset by her attraction to him and abruptly excuses herself. Later in Christchurch, Anne is outraged when the American soldiers make lewd suggestions at the lingerie shop where she works and writes a complaint, which is subsequently published in the local paper. One evening, Richard is sent to the Leslie home to deliver a formal apology for the Marine Corps' behavior. Charmed by his courtesy and his good looks, Anne invites him to dinner that evening, where Richard gives the sisters each a gift of perfume. Anne inadvertently reveals her interest in him when she expresses disappointment that someone she likes would use such a common ruse to seduce them. Days later, Barbara and Anne's hopes are dashed when they learn of Mark's death and Richard's departure for duty; however, when Richard returns to New Zealand to recover from an injury months later, a romance between him and Anne blossoms. Soon after, Richard proposes to Anne, but before the required marital investigation can take place, he is given offshore duty, leaving Anne pregnant and unsure of their future. Days later, Jack surprises Barbara at the Leslie home while reporting on his investigation of Anne. During their subsequent date, Jack explains to Anne that wartime romances are the product of loneliness not love, adding that he suppresses his loneliness with alcohol. Barbara finds his assessment heartless and returns home to find Richard's name on the latest casualty list. Weeks later, Jack finds Barbara at a town dance, where she cautions that his drinking is a coward's answer to intimacy. Jack finally breaks down in her arms during a stroll that evening, which begins a strong friendship between the two. Months later, on Christmas Eve, Jack celebrates with the Leslies, including Anne's newly arrived baby boy. In a moment alone with Barbara, when Jack announces his immediate departure for duty, their heretofore-suppressed passion erupts in an amorous embrace. Months later, Evelyn's New Zealand sweetheart Tommy returns from war and proposes to her. Despite her brief flirtations with American soldiers, Evelyn loves Tommy and leaves for Oakland with him. In a newspaper column containing personal ads from American families to New Zealand, Barbara spots an ad from Mrs. Bates, Richard's mother, and writes to her. In her reply, Mrs. Bates encloses money for Anne and her son to move to Oklahoma to be with Richard's family. As Anne's departure approaches, Delia flies down from Wellington to see her off and to meet Shiner, who has just returned from war. That night, when Delia does not deny Shiner's accusations of infidelity and demands a divorce to leave for America with her lover, Shiner flies into a rage and kills his wife with a Japanese sword he brought back from the war. Weeks later, during the murder trial, Jack is forced to reveal his investigation report detailing that Delia had had seven American soldiers as lovers. Traumatized and infuriated that her sister's infidelities have been made the scapegoat for the brutal murder, Barbara refuses Jack's offer to leave New Zealand with him. Upon returning to the lonely house, however, Barbara realizes that she is alone in Christchurch. After burning the map and packing her belongings, Barbara arrives at Jack's hotel room, where he embraces her. Overwhelmed by the new life she is about to embark on, Barbara notes that her father would be shocked by his daughters' lives, but Jack assures Barbara that her father would both understand and forgive them.

Photo Collections

Until They Sail - Piper Laurie Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of Piper Laurie, taken to help publicize MGM's Until They Sail (1957). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Until They Sail - Sandra Dee Publicity Stills
Here are several photos of model-turned-actress Sandra Dee, taken to help publicize MGM's Until They Sail (1957), Dee's film debut.
Until They Sail - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Until They Sail (1957), starring Paul Newman and Jean Simmons and directed by Robert Wise.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Oct 1957
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Oct 1957
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Christchurch,New Zealand; Hollywood, California, United States; Wellington,New Zealand; New Zealand
Screenplay Information
Based upon the short story "Until They Sail" by James A. Michener in his Return to Paradise (New York, 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
8,307ft (10 reels)

Articles

Until they Sail - Until They Sail


New York actor Paul Newman had arrived in Hollywood with a Warner Brothers contract, and had promptly bombed in his first film, a ludicrous biblical epic, The Silver Chalice (1954). Loaned out to MGM, Newman quickly made up for that disaster with highly-acclaimed performances as boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), and as a brainwashed war veteran in The Rack (1956). His next film, Until They Sail (1957), reunited Newman with his Somebody Up There Likes Me director, Robert Wise. But although Newman liked Wise, he was less than enthusiastic about the film. Newman thought the film was a "woman's picture," and considered his role peripheral.

Based on a story by James Michener, Until They Sail follows the lives of four New Zealand sisters during World War II, and shows how they are affected by the arrival of the U.S. military. Newman plays a cynical, hard-drinking marine who falls in love with one of the sisters, a widow, played by Jean Simmons. Joan Fontaine plays the repressed and judgmental oldest sister, and Piper Laurie the promiscuous sister whose sexual adventures lead to tragedy. Newman and Laurie had few scenes together, but they would later co-star in The Hustler (1961), for which both would earn Academy Award nominations. Playing the teenaged youngest sister in Until They Sail was a 14-year old model named Sandra Dee, in her film debut.

By the time he made Until They Sail, Newman had become increasingly dissatisfied with the terms of his Warner Brothers contract which earned him only $1,000 per week, while the studio made $75,000 each time they loaned him to another studio. Another disappointment was the lack of an Academy Award® nomination for Somebody Up There Likes Me. According to Robert Wise, on Oscar® night 1957, friends presented Newman with a consolation prize: a statuette they dubbed "Noscar." Seven nominations and nearly 30 years later, Newman finally won the real thing, for The Color of Money (1986).

Newman's personal life was causing him a great deal of turmoil at this time as well. Married and the father of three children, Newman had fallen in love with a young actress named Joanne Woodward. His wife had refused to give him a divorce, but Newman was living with Woodward and their friend, writer Gore Vidal, at a Malibu beach house. Eventually, Newman's wife relented, and Newman and Woodward were married in January, 1958.

Newman and Woodward each had two films released in 1957. Woodward appeared in The Three Faces of Eve (1957) and No Down Payment (1957). Both were box-office hits, and The Three Faces of Eve won Woodward the Academy Award as best actress. Newman made The Helen Morgan Story (1957) right after Until They Sail. Both released in fall of 1957 and neither was commercially successful. But both were important to Newman's career, adding to his growing reputation as one of the screen's most exciting young actors.

Lawrence J. Quirk wrote in Hollywood Stars, "In Somebody Up There Likes Me, Paul Newman revealed himself as a solid character star. In The Rack, he showed he could handle the heavy dramatics with the best of them. And now, in Until They Sail, he gives every evidence of becoming a matinee idol par excellence." Films and Filming's Kay Collier was even more effusive: "He is gentler and less rugged than Brando, but his acting has the same arresting power." Newman and Simmons' chemistry and restraint also earned praise, along with the script's handling of the adult subject matter. The New York Herald Tribune's William K. Zinsser wrote that the film "has moments of genuine tenderness and truth. Robert Anderson's script ponders the trick that war plays on human emotions." For its time, Until They Sail was a surprisingly modern and unsentimental view of love during wartime.

Director: Robert Wise
Producer: Charles Schnee
Screenplay: Robert Anderson, based on a story by James A. Michener
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Editor: Harold F. Kress
Art Direction: William A. Horning, Paul Groesse
Music: David Raksin
Principal Cast: Jean Simmons (Barbara Leslie Forbes), Joan Fontaine (Anne Leslie), Paul Newman (Capt. Jack Harding), Piper Laurie (Delia Leslie), Charles Drake (Capt. Richard Bates), Sandra Dee (Evelyn Leslie), Wally Cassell ("Shiner" Phil Friskett).
BW-95m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri
Until They Sail - Until They Sail

Until they Sail - Until They Sail

New York actor Paul Newman had arrived in Hollywood with a Warner Brothers contract, and had promptly bombed in his first film, a ludicrous biblical epic, The Silver Chalice (1954). Loaned out to MGM, Newman quickly made up for that disaster with highly-acclaimed performances as boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), and as a brainwashed war veteran in The Rack (1956). His next film, Until They Sail (1957), reunited Newman with his Somebody Up There Likes Me director, Robert Wise. But although Newman liked Wise, he was less than enthusiastic about the film. Newman thought the film was a "woman's picture," and considered his role peripheral. Based on a story by James Michener, Until They Sail follows the lives of four New Zealand sisters during World War II, and shows how they are affected by the arrival of the U.S. military. Newman plays a cynical, hard-drinking marine who falls in love with one of the sisters, a widow, played by Jean Simmons. Joan Fontaine plays the repressed and judgmental oldest sister, and Piper Laurie the promiscuous sister whose sexual adventures lead to tragedy. Newman and Laurie had few scenes together, but they would later co-star in The Hustler (1961), for which both would earn Academy Award nominations. Playing the teenaged youngest sister in Until They Sail was a 14-year old model named Sandra Dee, in her film debut. By the time he made Until They Sail, Newman had become increasingly dissatisfied with the terms of his Warner Brothers contract which earned him only $1,000 per week, while the studio made $75,000 each time they loaned him to another studio. Another disappointment was the lack of an Academy Award® nomination for Somebody Up There Likes Me. According to Robert Wise, on Oscar® night 1957, friends presented Newman with a consolation prize: a statuette they dubbed "Noscar." Seven nominations and nearly 30 years later, Newman finally won the real thing, for The Color of Money (1986). Newman's personal life was causing him a great deal of turmoil at this time as well. Married and the father of three children, Newman had fallen in love with a young actress named Joanne Woodward. His wife had refused to give him a divorce, but Newman was living with Woodward and their friend, writer Gore Vidal, at a Malibu beach house. Eventually, Newman's wife relented, and Newman and Woodward were married in January, 1958. Newman and Woodward each had two films released in 1957. Woodward appeared in The Three Faces of Eve (1957) and No Down Payment (1957). Both were box-office hits, and The Three Faces of Eve won Woodward the Academy Award as best actress. Newman made The Helen Morgan Story (1957) right after Until They Sail. Both released in fall of 1957 and neither was commercially successful. But both were important to Newman's career, adding to his growing reputation as one of the screen's most exciting young actors. Lawrence J. Quirk wrote in Hollywood Stars, "In Somebody Up There Likes Me, Paul Newman revealed himself as a solid character star. In The Rack, he showed he could handle the heavy dramatics with the best of them. And now, in Until They Sail, he gives every evidence of becoming a matinee idol par excellence." Films and Filming's Kay Collier was even more effusive: "He is gentler and less rugged than Brando, but his acting has the same arresting power." Newman and Simmons' chemistry and restraint also earned praise, along with the script's handling of the adult subject matter. The New York Herald Tribune's William K. Zinsser wrote that the film "has moments of genuine tenderness and truth. Robert Anderson's script ponders the trick that war plays on human emotions." For its time, Until They Sail was a surprisingly modern and unsentimental view of love during wartime. Director: Robert Wise Producer: Charles Schnee Screenplay: Robert Anderson, based on a story by James A. Michener Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg Editor: Harold F. Kress Art Direction: William A. Horning, Paul Groesse Music: David Raksin Principal Cast: Jean Simmons (Barbara Leslie Forbes), Joan Fontaine (Anne Leslie), Paul Newman (Capt. Jack Harding), Piper Laurie (Delia Leslie), Charles Drake (Capt. Richard Bates), Sandra Dee (Evelyn Leslie), Wally Cassell ("Shiner" Phil Friskett). BW-95m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute
Sunday, October 12


In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies:

Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM
6:00 AM The Rack
8:00 AM Until They Sail
10:00 AM Torn Curtain
12:15 PM Exodus
3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth
6:00 PM Hud
8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me
10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke
12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel
4:00 AM The Outrage


TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic.

Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor.

In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT.

The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career.

Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand.

After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)].

He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute Sunday, October 12

In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies: Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM 6:00 AM The Rack 8:00 AM Until They Sail 10:00 AM Torn Curtain 12:15 PM Exodus 3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth 6:00 PM Hud 8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me 10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke 12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel 4:00 AM The Outrage TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic. Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor. In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT. The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career. Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand. After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)]. He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

Robert Wise (1914-2005)


Robert Wise, who died at age 91 on September 14, was the noted film editor of Citizen Kane (1941) and other movies before he became a producer and director, and all his works are marked by striking visual rhythms. He is best remembered for two enormously popular musicals, West Side Story (1959) and The Sound of Music (1965), which brought him a total of four Oscars® -- each winning for Best Picture and Best Director. (Wise's directorial award for West Side Story was shared with Jerome Robbins.)

Born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Ind., Wise was a child of the Depression who quit college to earn a living in the movie industry. He began as an assistant cutter at RKO, where he worked his way up to the position of film editor and earned an Oscar® nomination for his bravura work with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane. He also edited The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for Welles, along with several other RKO films.

Wise became a director by default when RKO and producer Val Lewton assigned him to The Curse of the Cat People (1944) after Gunther von Fritsch failed to meet the film's production schedule. Wise turned the film into a first-rate psychological thriller, and enjoyed equal success with another Lewton horror film, The Body Snatcher (1945).

Critical praise also was showered upon Wise's Born to Kill (1947), a crime melodrama; and Blood on the Moon (1948), an unusual psychological Western starring Robert Mitchum. Even more highly regarded was The Set-Up (1949), a no-punches-pulled boxing drama that won the Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Wise moved on from RKO in the early 1950s, directing one of the movies' classic alien invasion films, The Day the Earth Stood Still, for 20th Century Fox.

At MGM he directed Executive Suite (1954), a compelling all-star boardroom drama; Somebody Up There Likes Me, a film bio of boxer Rocky Graziano that established Paul Newman as a major star; and The Haunting (1963), a chilling haunted-hause melodrama. His films for United Artists include Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), a submarine drama with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster; I Want to Live! (1958), a harrowing account of a convicted murderess on Death Row, with Susan Hayward in her Oscar-winning performance; and the crime caper Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Wise served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America. He was awarded the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1966, and the Directors Guild's highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award, in 1988. He remained active as a director through the 1970s. His final film, Rooftops (1989) was a musical with an urban setting that recalled West Side Story.

The films in TCM's salute to Robert Wise are Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Body Snatcher (1945), Born to Kill (1947), Blood on the Moon (1948), The Set-Up (1949), Executive Suite (1954), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), B>West Side Story (1959), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) and The Haunting (1963).

by Roger Fristoe

Robert Wise (1914-2005)

Robert Wise, who died at age 91 on September 14, was the noted film editor of Citizen Kane (1941) and other movies before he became a producer and director, and all his works are marked by striking visual rhythms. He is best remembered for two enormously popular musicals, West Side Story (1959) and The Sound of Music (1965), which brought him a total of four Oscars® -- each winning for Best Picture and Best Director. (Wise's directorial award for West Side Story was shared with Jerome Robbins.) Born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Ind., Wise was a child of the Depression who quit college to earn a living in the movie industry. He began as an assistant cutter at RKO, where he worked his way up to the position of film editor and earned an Oscar® nomination for his bravura work with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane. He also edited The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for Welles, along with several other RKO films. Wise became a director by default when RKO and producer Val Lewton assigned him to The Curse of the Cat People (1944) after Gunther von Fritsch failed to meet the film's production schedule. Wise turned the film into a first-rate psychological thriller, and enjoyed equal success with another Lewton horror film, The Body Snatcher (1945). Critical praise also was showered upon Wise's Born to Kill (1947), a crime melodrama; and Blood on the Moon (1948), an unusual psychological Western starring Robert Mitchum. Even more highly regarded was The Set-Up (1949), a no-punches-pulled boxing drama that won the Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Wise moved on from RKO in the early 1950s, directing one of the movies' classic alien invasion films, The Day the Earth Stood Still, for 20th Century Fox. At MGM he directed Executive Suite (1954), a compelling all-star boardroom drama; Somebody Up There Likes Me, a film bio of boxer Rocky Graziano that established Paul Newman as a major star; and The Haunting (1963), a chilling haunted-hause melodrama. His films for United Artists include Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), a submarine drama with Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster; I Want to Live! (1958), a harrowing account of a convicted murderess on Death Row, with Susan Hayward in her Oscar-winning performance; and the crime caper Odds Against Tomorrow (1959). Wise served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America. He was awarded the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1966, and the Directors Guild's highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award, in 1988. He remained active as a director through the 1970s. His final film, Rooftops (1989) was a musical with an urban setting that recalled West Side Story. The films in TCM's salute to Robert Wise are Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Body Snatcher (1945), Born to Kill (1947), Blood on the Moon (1948), The Set-Up (1949), Executive Suite (1954), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), B>West Side Story (1959), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) and The Haunting (1963). by Roger Fristoe

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005


For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60.

She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin.

Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide.

Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart.

Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years.

The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977).

Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia.

by Michael T. Toole

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005

For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60. She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin. Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide. Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart. Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years. The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977). Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A written prologue during the opening credits reads "M-G-M gratefully acknowledges the generous cooperation of the government and Army of New Zealand in the making of this motion picture." After a brief opening scene in a New Zealand courtroom, voice-over narration is then provided by Jean Simmons as the character "Barbara Leslie Forbes." She introduces of herself and her three sisters with an interior monologue. At various points through the film, radio broadcasts which the characters listen to provide information about the war in the Pacific.
       As portrayed in the film, following New Zealand's declaration of war against Germany in 1939, New Zealand soldiers were shipped out for duty overseas, leaving their homeland almost devoid of marriageable men. American military personnel were subsequently stationed in New Zealand following the United States' entry into the war in December 1941. Modern sources estimate that over 15,000 American soldiers married Australian and New Zealand women they had met while stationed in those countries. Although petitions were initially required before these soldiers could transport their "war brides" to the United States, the December 28, 1945 War Bride's Act required only proof of marriage to ensure legal migration. Some modern sources estimate that the total war bride migration as a result of World War II was one of the largest migrations to the United States since the 1920s.
       A December 24, 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item states that Mark Robson and Robert Wise's Aspen Productions originally purchased the film rights to James A. Michener's short story "Until They Sail," but filming was postponed due to casting difficulties. According to a September 14, 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, after purchasing the rights from Aspen Productions, Harold Hecht of Hecht-Lancaster-Hill Productions wanted his partner, Burt Lancaster, for the lead and planned to have their subsidiary Norma Productions produce it. However, by December 1954, Hollywood Reporter reports that Hecht was considering Kim Stanley for the female lead, while Lancaster was assigned to direct the film with shooting scheduled for December 1955. A December 20, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item states that Richard Collins was originally considered to write the screenplay and James Hill, the third Hecht-Lancaster-Hill partner, was assigned to produce the film. By December 1955, M-G-M stepped in to purchase the rights from Hecht-Lancaster-Hill for $75,000 with plans for Glenn Ford to star in the film, and a August 23, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item states that Marcel Norring was considered for a leading role.
       By 1957, M-G-M had decided that Paul Newman was to star and shooting began that year with one of the original purchasers, Robert Wise, directing. The other purchaser, Robson, had produced another film based on a Michener novel entitled Return to Paradise in 1953 (see entry above). Although the two films' plots differ greatly, some modern sources attribute Until They Sail as a remake of the earlier film, also set in World War II South Pacific. As noted in reviews, some scenes were shot on location in Christchurch and Wellington, New Zealand.
       This film marked the motion picture debut of actress Sandra Dee (1942-2005), who became one of the most popular teenage stars of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her embodiment of the pretty blonde teenage ideal of the era was immortalized in the 1972 Broadway musical and subsequent 1978 film musical Grease, about teen life in the 1950s, in the song "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee." Dee was married to popular singer Bobby Darin in the 1960s. The biographical film Beyond the Sea, which deals with Darin's relationship with Dee was released in late 2004, a few months before Dee died. That film was directed by and starred Kevin Spacey as Darin and Kate Bosworth as Dee.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 1957

Released in United States on Video December 16, 1992

CinemaScope

Released in United States Fall October 1957

Released in United States on Video December 16, 1992