All My Sons (film)
|All My Sons|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Irving Reis|
|Produced by||Chester Erskine|
|Screenplay by||Chester Erskine|
|Based on||the play All My Sons
by Arthur Miller
|Starring||Edward G. Robinson
|Music by||Leith Stevens|
|Editing by||Ralph Dawson|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Joe Keller is sorry to hear son Chris plans to wed Ann Deever and move to Chicago, for he hoped Chris would someday take over the manufacturing business Joe built from the ground up.
Joe's business partner used to be Ann's father Herb, but when both men were charged with shipping defective airplane parts that resulted in wartime crashes and deaths, only Herb was convicted and sent to prison.
Another son of the Kellers is in the Army air corps, missing in action and presumed dead. Ann used to be engaged to him and her engagement to his brother upsets Kate Keller, who hasn't yet accepted that son Larry is gone for good.
Ann's attorney brother George strongly discourages him from marrying a Keller, and many in town still whisper that Joe was responsible for many brave young men's deaths. A war widow even calls Joe a murderer to his face in a restaurant.
On a visit to Ann's father in prison, Chris hears how Joe called in sick on the one day the Army came to pick up the airplane parts. Joe admits to Chris that he knew they were defective, but repairs would have been costly and could have bankrupted the business. Chris strikes his father in anger at hearing this.
A letter from Larry reveals that he knew of his father's guilt and intended to go on a suicide mission in a plane, no longer wanting to live with the family's shame. This is the final disgrace for Joe, who shoots himself.
- Edward G. Robinson as Joe Keller
- Burt Lancaster as Chris
- Louisa Horton as Ann Deever
- Mady Christians as Kate
- Frank Conroy as Herb Deever
- Howard Duff as George
- Lloyd Gough as Jim Bayliss
- Arlene Francis as Sue Bayliss
- Harry Morgan as Frank Lubey
- Elisabeth Fraser as Lydia Lubey
In his film review, critic Bosley Crowther contrasted Arthur Miller's play to the screenplay. While stating that the screenplay was more restrained, he praised the acting. He wrote, "In the role of this rugged individualist, Mr. Robinson does a superior job of showing the shades of personality in a little tough guy who has a softer side. Arrogant, ruthless and dynamic in those moments when his 'business' is at stake, he is also tender and considerate in the presence of those he loves ... As the right-thinking son of this corrupt man. Burt Lancaster is surprisingly good and, although he appears a bit dim-witted at times, that is not implausible. Louisa Horton is natural as his sweetheart and Mady Christians plays the mother intensely. Irving Reis' direction is slightly stilted in some scenes but generally matches the tempo of a fluid script".
Film critic Dennis Schwartz praised the film and also echoed Crowther's review. He wrote, "Irving G. Reis (Roseanna McCoy) directs this thoughtful and well-meaning family drama. It explores all of the following moral questions: unprincipled greed, taking family loyalty to the extreme, the importance of taking responsibility for one's actions, and suicide. The stage play undergoes a major change in its screen adaptation, making it less controversial. In the play the unethical business practices leading to war profiteering by the entire defense industry is questioned, in the film it's only the business partners that are found guilty of such criminal acts. Still, there are enough social conscience talking points to fill the airwaves of talk radio for a season of broadcasts ... Though losing some of the power of Miller's play, it still is a haunting melodrama with excellent performances by the stellar cast."
- Writers Guild of America Award: Best Written American Drama - Chester Erskine; The Robert Meltzer Award (Screenplay Dealing Most Ably with Problems of the American Scene) - Chester Erskine; 1949.
- All My Sons at the American Film Institute Catalog
- All My Sons at the Internet Movie Database
- All My Sons at allmovie
- All My Sons at the TCM Movie Database
- All My Sons film trailer at YouTube