It’s a soap opera love story that delves into questions about morality during wartime. It’s set in New Zealand during World War II. Four New Zealand sisters are living in Christchurch on their own since their mom’s death and their father being lost to the war. They are the soon to be war widow, the warmhearted but proper Barbara Leslie Forbes, and her three younger sisters: the prudish Anne Leslie, the man-crazy Delia Leslie and the 14-year-old flirtatious youngest one named Evelyn Leslie. They all have wartime romances with American marines waiting to be shipped out to the war zone soon after Pearl Harbor, because they are lonely as all the local eligible men are already fighting in the war. Though Evelyn sees American soldiers, in the end she will marry local boy Tommy when he returns alive from the war front. The fate of the others ranges from tragic to some chance of hope that all will work out despite their affairs.
After all the locals go off fighting the war, Delia weds the only eligible local who remained behind, “Shiner”. He soon incurs the wrath of all the sisters because of his abusive behavior towards Delia. They are relieved when the army bags him. Later Shiner becomes a POW. In the meantime, Delia meets an American marine lieutenant named Andy in Wellington and wishes to marry him and divorce her husband. When Barbara intervenes, Andy introduces her to his handsome pal Major Jack Hardy, a friend of Andy’s, who is a cynically divorced officer assigned to investigate the potential New Zealand brides of American soldiers. There’s an immediate attraction, and it’s more than hinted that the two have an intimate relationship that might continue back in the States. Spinster Anne meets the courteous Captain Richard Bates and is immediately attracted to the gentle American, who proposes and knocks her up; he later gets killed in the war before their marriage can be approved, and she has his baby. —Ozu’s World of Movie Reviews
One of the most successful directors of the 1960s, when he became an efficient maker of epic-length pictures, Robert Wise is one of Hollywood’s few popularly recognized filmmakers. He joined RKO in the 1930s as a cutter and eventually became one of the studio’s top editors, working in this capacity on classics such as The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Citizen Kane (1941), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). He became a director with help from producer Val Lewton, who assigned Wise to finish Curse of the Cat People (1944), a B-movie that had fallen behind schedule, and the resulting picture proved extremely haunting and enduring. Wise later directed The Body Snatcher (1945) for Lewton, but after the producer left RKO, he found himself locked into B-movies. His 1948 psychological Western Blood on The Moon, starring Robert Mitchum, and the acclaimed boxing drama The Set-Up (1949) were the only two important pictures that Wise got to do during his last four years at the studio. Wise… read more