Watch The Sullivans
- 1 hr 52 min
The Sullivans is a powerful and poignant wartime drama from 1944, directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell, and Selena Royle. The film tells the true story of the Sullivan family from Waterloo, Iowa, whose five sons enlisted in the US Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served together aboard the USS Juneau during World War II.
The film opens with the Sullivans, a close-knit and loving family, going about their daily lives in 1941. We see the boys, George, Frank, Joe, Matt, and Al, playing baseball, dancing with their girlfriends, and dreaming of the future. Their parents, Tom and Alleta, are proud of their sons and the way they have been raised, with a strong sense of duty, patriotism, and faith.
However, their world is shattered on December 7th, 1941, when news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor reaches them. The boys, along with thousands of other young men, immediately enlist in the Navy, determined to do their part in the war effort. Despite the pleas of their parents and the advice of the Navy, the Sullivans insist on serving together on the same ship, the USS Juneau.
The rest of the film follows the Sullivans' experiences and challenges as they serve aboard the Juneau. We see their camaraderie, their bravery, and their dedication to each other and their country. We also see the toll that war takes on them, both physically and emotionally, as they face enemy fire, torpedoes, and the harsh conditions of naval life.
Throughout the film, we also see the impact of the war on the Sullivan family back home. We see Alleta's anguish as she fears for the safety of her sons and the way the whole town rallies around her in support. We also see the broader impact of the war on the community, with scenes of rationing, patriotic rallies, and newsreels of battles and casualties.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes towards the end, as the Juneau is hit by a torpedo and sinks, taking the lives of most of the crew, including the Sullivans. The scene is filmed with harrowing realism, as we see the chaos and terror of the sailors as they try to escape the sinking ship, and the stark realization of those who don't make it.
Despite the tragic ending, the film is ultimately a celebration of the bravery, sacrifice, and love of the Sullivan family, and all those who served in the war. It is a tribute to the human spirit and the resilience of families and communities in times of crisis.
The acting in the film is superb, especially by Anne Baxter, who plays Alleta Sullivan with heart-wrenching emotion and sensitivity. Thomas Mitchell and Selena Royle also give powerful performances as Tom and Alleta Sullivan, capturing the strength and agony of parents who have lost their sons.
The film was made during the war, at a time when patriotic films were popular, but it stands out for its honesty and authenticity. The filmmakers consulted with Alleta Sullivan herself, who provided input and guidance on the script and production, and the result is a deeply moving and respectful portrayal of her family's story.
In conclusion, The Sullivans is a must-see film for anyone interested in American history, military history, or family dramas. It is a powerful and moving tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who served in World War II, and a reminder of the importance of family, community, and love in times of war and peace.
The Sullivans is a 1944 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.