“Well, I guess that oughta learn us Sullivans to stick together!”
Five Irish-American brothers — George (James Cardwell), Frank (John Campbell), Joe (George Offerman, Jr.), Matt (John Alvin), and Al (Edward Ryan) Sullivan — remain close-knit with their sister (Trudy Marshall) and parents (Thomas Mitchell and Selena Royle), even after Ryan marries his sweetheart (Anne Baxter) and they have a baby. When America enters World War II, the brothers decide to enlist in the Navy together, refusing to be separated.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Anne Baxter Films
- Thomas Mitchell Films
- World War II
This biopic about the Sullivan Brothers — whose sacrifices inspired the creation of the United States’ Sole Survivor Policy when all five brothers died in action — was surely an audience pleaser and consoler at the time of its release, during the height of World War II. It focuses heavily on the boys’ upbringing and fraternal camaraderie:
— as well as Ryan’s courtship of Baxter:
— before finally turning in its last half hour to the moment the family hears about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the radio:
… and the brothers’ fate is eventually sealed. The movie remains a fitting tribute to this family which gave so much to the war effort — and while it’s not must-see viewing, it’s worth a one-time look, especially by those interested in films of the era.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- An emotionally stirring tale of family unity
No, though it’s a fine tale and worthy one-time viewing.