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All the Brothers Were Valiant

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All the Brothers Were Valiant
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard Thorpe
Written byHarry Brown
Based onAll the Brothers Were Valiant
1919 novel
by Ben Ames Williams
Produced byPandro S. Berman
StarringRobert Taylor
Stewart Granger
Ann Blyth
Betta St. John
Keenan Wynn
James Whitmore
CinematographyGeorge J. Folsey
Edited byFerris Webster
Music byMiklós Rózsa
Distributed byLoew's Inc.[1]
Release date
  • 13 November 1953 (1953-11-13)
Running time
95 minutes
101 minutes (US)
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,628,000[2]

All the Brothers Were Valiant is a 1953 Technicolor adventure drama film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), based on the 1919 novel All the Brothers Were Valiant by Ben Ames Williams.

The 1953 MGM film is a remake of the 1923 silent film that starred Lon Chaney and made by Metro Pictures (a forerunner of MGM), that is now considered lost; as is the 1928 MGM version, Across to Singapore, which starred Ramon Novarro. The 1953 version is directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Pandro S. Berman from a screenplay by Harry Brown. The music score is by Miklós Rózsa, the cinematography by George J. Folsey and the art direction is by Randall Duell and Cedric Gibbons.

It stars Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger and Ann Blyth, with Betta St. John, Keenan Wynn, James Whitmore, Kurt Kasznar, Lewis Stone (his final film, released posthumously), John Lupton, and Michael Pate.


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2017)

Seafaring saga of two brothers and the woman they both love. Set against South Pacific islands, this love triangle pits the good brother against the bad as they squabble over a woman and a bag of pearls on the floor of a lagoon; the bad brother redeems himself, however, by helping fend off a mutiny.



MGM bought the rights to the novel in 1936. Following the success of Captains Courageous, they announced they would make the film with Robert Taylor and Spencer Tracy.[3][4] However, plans were postponed.

In November 1951, the film was reactivated as a vehicle for Taylor and Stewart Granger.[5] Elizabeth Taylor was originally announced for the female lead.[6]

Filming started on location in Jamaica in early 1953 with Granger and Bella St John.[7] While the unit was on location, Elizabeth Taylor, who had just given birth, was replaced by Ann Blyth.[8]

Granger later called the film a "crappy melodrama" and said the studio made him do this instead of the role he really wanted, the lead in Mogambo. He said he had been promised the latter but Dore Schary had reneged and given the role to Clark Gable. Granger enjoyed working with Robert Taylor, saying he "was the easiest person to work with but he had been entirely emasculated by the MGM brass who insisted that he was only a pretty face. He was convinced he wasn't really a good actor and his calm acceptance of this stigma infuriated me. He was such a nice guy, Bob, but he had even more hang-ups than I had."[9]

Lewis Stone died a few weeks after completing filming.[10]


The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Color Cinematography, (George J. Folsey).

Stewart Granger later called the film "bad" but admitted "I had an OK villain's part."[11]

Bosley Crowther in The New York Times panned the film: "What it all boils down to, in essence, is a lot of pseudo-salty South Seas whoop-de-do, put together with little distinction and without going off the studio lot."[12]


According to MGM records it made $2,004,000 at the North American box-office and $2,624,000 elsewhere. It recorded a profit of $958,000.[2]

In France, it recorded admissions of 1,909,704.[13]

Proposed follow-up

In July 1953, MGM announced it had optioned another sailing adventure novel by Ben Ames Williams, Black Pawl, which they intended to film as a follow up, also starring Taylor and Granger. It was never made.[14]


  1. ^ All the Brothers Were Valiant at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ a b c 'The Eddie Mannix Ledger’, Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study, Los Angeles
  3. ^ "NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Metro Plans Second Sea Story-Selznick Increases Program by Two-Deal Denial From Schenck Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.". The New York Times. February 24, 1937. p. 19.
  4. ^ "News From Hollywood". New York Times. November 8, 1936. p. 31.
  5. ^ "Drama: Eileen Christy Lead With Bill Shirley". Los Angeles Times. November 30, 1951. p. 26.
  6. ^ Hedda Hopper's Staff (April 10, 1952). "Looking at Hollywood: Elizabeth Taylor to Play in Sea Adventure Film". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. C2.
  7. ^ JOHN H. ROTHWELL OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA (February 8, 1953). "CAMERAS OVER THE CARIBBEAN". New York Times. p. X6.
  8. ^ Schallert, Edwin (12 February 1953). "'Caesar' Pioneer to Do Gauguin; Adventuress Bids for Mala Powers". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "All the Brothers Were Valiant", Turner Classic Movies at Turner Classic Movies
  10. ^ "Lewis Stone, 'Judge Hardy' Of FilmsDies". The Washington Post. September 14, 1953. p. 16.
  11. ^ Brian MacFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Methuen 1997, p. 230
  12. ^ Crowther, Bosley (December 29, 1953). "'All the Brothers Were Valiant,' a Yarn About Whalers, Opens at Loew's State". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  13. ^ Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  14. ^ Schallert, Edwin (July 21, 1953). "Ghosts Will Gambol in 3D; 'Black Pawl' Due to Star Taylor, Granger". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
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