Every Time We Say Goodbye is every bit a classic WW II love story
starring Tom Hanks and Christina Marsillach. Hanks plays an RAF pilot who
enlisted in Canada before the US entered the war, much to the chagrin of his
pacifist preacher father. As the film opens, he is in Jerusalem recovering from
a leg wound. He is discharged, and his wingman gives him his flat. Turns out the
wingman is getting married. Tom is not convinced that marriage to anyone is a
good idea in the middle of a world war, but this girl is a Spanish Jew - part of
the group that left Spain in 1492 and, to this day, retain their language
(Ladino) and their customs. The marriage, for her, means being ostracized from
her family forever. So Tom is against it, but goes with his friend to meet her.
She brings along her friend, Christina Marsillach, and Tom is immediately
As Christina leaves, a drunken Aussie attacks her, and Tom comes to the rescue.
Her cousin, and the man she is expected to marry, thanks Tom and invites him to
the family Sabbath diner. He receives a warm welcome from the entire family,
until it becomes clear that he is romantically interested in Christina, then he
is thrown out, and mom orders her to never see him again. Eventually, the family
goes so far as to kidnap her, and lock her in her room with no clothes.
I will leave the ending for you to discover.
For those who think this sort of wartime romance is a little far-fetched, let me
assure you that such things happened. My father's best friend was stationed in
London. He ducked into a pub one night in the fog, and ended up marrying the bar
maid/ pub owner's daughter. They had no cultural problems to speak of, but he
had a difficult time explaining her to his sweetheart back home. The added
cultural problems in this story greatly add the the tale, much more so than had
it been a straight wartime romance. I very much enjoyed it.