Until They Sail
Newman and Simmons

Christchurch and Wellington New Zealand were recreated on the backlot of MGM for this story of four New Zealander sisters
Paul Newman and Jean Simmons

Paul Newman and Jean Simmons

(played by Jean Simmons, Piper Laurie, Joan Fontaine and Sandra Dee) during World War II and their involvement with America soldiers.

In the hands of Wise, what could have been a sappy drama was a well-told story :

"I didn't have to bend on sentimentality. I hoped to make those stories, particularly the one with Paul Newman and Jean Simmons, as honest as I could without overdoing it."*

UNTIL THEY SAIL marks the last film Wise made under a long-term contract to a studio.

Preview ProgramSynopsis During World War II in Christchurch, New Zealand, sisters Barbara, Anne, Delia, and Evelyn are lonely for male companionship. Their father and brother are killed, as is Barbara's husband Mark. Delia's ne'er-do-well spouse, Shiner, is a prisoner of war. Delia becomes over familiar with a series of American soldiers; Anne falls in love with U.S. Marine officer Captain Richard Bates and becomes pregnant, but he is killed before Marine liaison officer Captain Jack Harding can get an okay for their marriage. Barbara and Jack engage in a platonic love affair, dictated by Jack's disgust with women in general. At war's end, Anne and her baby go to the U.S. to join Richard's family. Delia decides to ask Shiner for a divorce; in a fury, he murders her, and investigator Jack Harding is called by the defense to testify to her bad reputation. Jack asks Barbara to return to the U.S. with him but she hesitates because his testimony has saved Shiner, and condemned Delia's memory. Finally, she capitulates.

From The Motion Picture Exhibitor, October 16, 1957.

Wise Facts
  • Wise visited New Zealand to research the film and even got to talk to several women who had gone though similar experiences as the characters.
  • Credits:95 min. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer;  Directed by: Robert Wise;  Produced by: Charles Schnee;  Screenplay by: Robert Anderson;  Edited by: Harold F. Kress;  Director of Photography: Joseph Ruttenberg;  Music by: David Raksin;  Production Design by: William A. Horning, Paul Groesse;  Make-up by: William Tuttle;  Hair by: Sydney Guilaroff.
    Paul Newman Cast  Jean Simmons (Barbara Leslie Forbes), Joan Fontaine (Anne Leslie), Paul Newman (Captain Jack Harding), Piper Laurie (Delia Leslie), Charles Drake (Captain Richard G. Bates), Sandra Dee (Evelyn Leslie), Wally Cassell ("Shiner" Phil Friskett), Alan Napier (Prosecution), Ralph Votrian (Max Murphy), John Wilder (Tommy), Tige Andrews (Marine), Adam Kennedy (Lieutenant Andy), Mickey Shaughnessy (Marine), Patrick Macnee (Private Duff), Ben Wright (Defense), Kendrick Huxman (Justice), James Todd (Consul), David Thursby (Trainman), Hilda Plowright (Woman), Nicky Blair (lst Marine), Morgan Jones (2nd Marine), Jack Mann (Sergeant), Molly Glessing (Hotel Clerk), Pat Waltz (lst Marine), William Boyett (2nd Marine), Jimmy Hayes (3rd Marine), Alex Fra~er (Mr. Hall), John Dennis (Sergeant), George Pelling (Steward), Owen McGiveney (Bank Official), DeanJones (Marine Lieutenant), Robert Keys (Major Campbell), Ann Wakefield (Mrs. Campbell).

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    1. Robert Wise On His Films, p. 144

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