ALL THE BROTHERS WERE VALIANT
US, 1953, 94 minutes, Colour.
Stewart Granger, Robert Taylor, Ann Blyth, Betta St. John, Keenan Wynn, James Whitmore, Kurt Kasznar, Lewis Stone.
Directed by Richard Thorpe.
All The Brothers Were Valiant is very colourful action entertainment, set amongst the whalers of last century. Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger clash as brothers. They were to team in Richard Brooks' The Last Hunt. Direction is by Richard Thorpe who directed Robert Taylor in many films from Ivanhoe to Tip On A Dead Jockey, and his westerns. Attractive and enjoyable popular entertainment.
1. The enjoyment of this seafaring adventure? Audience interest, entertainment values?
2. The quality of colour adventures of the '50s, atmosphere of the sea and ships? The status and impact of the stars?
3. The significance of the title and its explanation, the family motto, the strength of family bonds, family pride, the ironic fulfilment?
4. The re-creation of American ports in the 19th. century, the way of life in the town, family pride and strength, trading, whaling, the life of the sea and ships? How well was this detailed? How impressively?
5. The presentation of the family, the patriarchal father, the emphasis on the sons and their loyalty to their father, the family name etc.? Priscilla and her relationship with the family?
6. How convincing a hero was Joel? As the good brother, his career, the type, his courtship of Priscilla and the marriage. his sense of duty, hard work, judgment, the importance of his relationship with Priscilla, the threat of Mark, the encounter with Mark and the hostility, the bonding together at the end? How valiant was he?
7. The contrast with Mark, the black sheep of the family and his lack of character. the comparison with Joel, his trying to win Priscilla, his misleading her, his own adventures, his search for wealth, his relationship with Silva, a South Sea wanderer, his mutiny and yet his final loyalty, death and help? How valiant was he?
8. Priscilla as a conventional love-interest? Her role in the plot, the strength of her marriage to Joel, her feelings, her not understanding him and being hurt, her believing Mark, her change of affection, her discovery of the truth, the final bonding with Joel?
9. The excitement and the picture of whaling? The skills and the endurance and energy required?
10. The contrast with treasure-seeking, adventure, endurance and suffering? Greed, fighting and killing?
11. How satisfactory was it that everything came right ultimately? The fulfilling of the motto? A presentation of traditional values?