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4.4 out of 5 stars
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2003
You needn't be an American to love 'The Fighting Sullivans'. Filmed during World War II it does contain a 'United We Stand' message, yet the story of the five Sullivan brothers - all of whom died aboard their cruiser USS Juneau, which sank after being battered by Japanese attacks near Guadalcanal - is told engagingly.
The young boys' story plays out with endearing mischief; the grown boys' story with good-natured ribbing and a demure, ingenue Anne Baxter playing the youngest son's love interest.
But the best characters in the film are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, played with heart-rending pathos by Thomas Mitchell and Selena Royle (Royle's performance is the glue of the story - I wish she'd acted in many more films: her eyes are wonderfully expressive; she is also seen briefly as the mother-in-law of Doolittle Raid B-25 pilot Ted Lawson in 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo'). The Sullivan brothers' sister, Jen, doesn't have much of a role, but the young girl and the woman playing Jen as a child and as a woman give memorable supporting performances. Ward Bond, one of American cinema's most ubiquitous and solid character actors, plays, with consummate delicacy, a sympathetic naval officer.
Always, since the five Sullivan boys gave their lives in the war, there's been afloat a United States Navy ship named USS The Sullivans. In this film newsreel footage of the wartime launching of the destroyer, the first of the brothers' namesakes, is intercut with close-ups of Mitchell and Royle that place them at the launching ceremony. In the newsreel footage a long shot affords a glimpse at the real-life Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan. Neither do any of the Sullivan family, nor do any of their progeny, survive today.
Yes, have your hankies ready. Men weep at this film too, and not one of them has ever felt ashamed to have wept at it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2011
Nostalgia prompted me to buy it. I was 9 years old in 1944 when I first (and last) saw the film. It made a deep impression at that time on a nine year old. But 67 years later, while the story is still powerful & sad, the film is dated.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2001
Forget Private Ryan, this is the film to watch. It may be black and white, but its a film for all the family and it's a true story. Just be warned get your tissues ready
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2013
Bought for my mother who is an old film buff !! Sat down and watched part of it with her and enjoyed what I saw.
Product as said on the label with no French subtitles as on some DVD's'
Arrived on time with no hassle after a few days from purchasing.
Excellent !! Would use again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2014
Great true story l found it most enjoyable I would recommend this DVD to the over 50-60s

I will be showing this at our Complex for all to enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2013
Purchased film for my Mum for sentimental reasons - she is very pleased and enjoyed being able to watch this film again & have a permanent copy of it.
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on 30 January 2015
I was so pleased to be able to purchase this DVD as I remember from the 1950's being taken to see this film when I was about 12 years old and could always remember the young brother calling 'wait for me' as he was always late! a lovely lovely film and true story.
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on 24 September 2010
My mother has been nagging me forever to find this for her and at last Amazon came to my rescue - I couldn't find it anywhere else! She is so pleased with it she keeps watching it over and over. Thanks so much Amazon.
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on 29 March 2015
what a wonderful and sad story thank goodness things have changed for other families, so they never have to endure what mr and mrs Sullivan did
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on 14 July 2015
it has been a longtime since i have seen this film so i was very pleased to find it.
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