Until They Sail (1957)

Genres - Crime, Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama, War Romance  |   Release Date - Oct 8, 1957 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

An effective war time soap opera, Until They Sail is an entertaining, if superficial, look at the trials and tribulations of a rather unlikely New Zealand family -- unlikely because it is simply hard to imagine the likes of Jean Simmons, Joan Fontaine, Piper Laurie and Sandra Dee as sisters (let alone as New Zealand-ers). Still, once one gets past this Hollywood casting, it's a treat to see four such appetizing stars on screen, and when a young Paul Newman is thrown into the mix, it's clear that Sail at the very least provides plenty of visual entertainment. The story that these actors are employed in is a sudsy, rather predictable one, but it's given the proper treatment in Robert Anderson's smartly crafted screenplay and definitely "works." Is it a bit unbelievable? Yes, but then we've already established a certain level of unbelievability via the casting, so it comes out fine. Robert Wise's direction is slick and appropriate, if not among his best jobs; he doesn't seem to have a personal stake in this effort and so he comes across as somewhat mechanical, if always effective. Joseph Ruttenberg's lensing is appropriately atmospheric and captures the stars at their most appealing. Newman and Simmons come off quite well; Fontaine and Dee not quite so well.