Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Adapted by Robert Anderson from a story by James A. Michener, the Robert Wise-directed soaper Until They Sail is set in World-War-II New Zealand. Paul Newman plays been-there-done-that U.S. marine captain Jack Harding, assigned to investigate servicemen's requests to marry local girls. An unemotional cipher, Harding begins to warm up when he meets war widow Barbara Leslie Forbes (Jean Simmons), a woman with three sisters (played by Joan Fontaine, Piper Laurie, and Sandra Dee -- what a gene pool!). The Newman-Simmons relationship is played against the romance between uptight spinster Anne Leslie (Fontaine) and good-natured officer Richard Bates (Charles Drake), and the dysfunctional marriage between the emotionally desperate (and nymphomaniacal) Delia Leslie (Laurie) and slimy Shiner Friskett (Wally Cassell), who is off in battle. The fourth sister, Evelyn (Dee), watches her sisters' amorous pursuits longingly, her mind occupied by her own true love, who is off to war. Until They Sail was a copacetic reunion between star Newman and director Robert Wise, who'd previously collaborated in Somebody Up There Likes Me.
Marines, spinster, war-widow, investigation, love, marriage, romance, war