Until They Sail
- Original title
Until They Sail
- Running time
- 94 min.
- United States
Robert Anderson (Story: James Michener)
Joseph Ruttenberg (B&W)
Drama | II World War. Courtroom Drama
- Movie Groups
James A. Michener Adaptations
- Synopsis / Plot
- Four sisters in New Zealand fall for Allied sailors en route to World War II. 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.
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