7.2/10
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3 user 5 critic

4 Devils (1928)

Passed | | Drama | 1 August 1929 (Argentina)
Four orphans, raised by an aging clown, becomes a high wire act in a circus.

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (story "De Fire Djaevle") | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marion
...
The Lady
...
Charles
...
Adolf
...
Louise
...
The Clown
Anders Randolf ...
Cecchi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
André Cheron ...
Old Roue
George Davis ...
Mean Clown
...
Adolf - as a Boy
Wesley Lake ...
Old Clown
...
Louise - as a Girl (as Anita Fremault)
...
Woman
Jack Parker ...
Charles - as a Boy

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Storyline

Four orphans, raised by an aging clown, becomes a high wire act in a circus.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE - THE MOST ENTERTAINING PICTURE EVER PRODUCED! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1929 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Four Devils  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(sound) | (silent)

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone) (talking sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film historian and collector William K. Everson stated that the only surviving print was lost by actress Mary Duncan, who had borrowed it from Fox Films. In the December 1974 issue of "Films in Review," he explained that Duncan, one of the film's stars, wanted it to show to a group of friends in Florida. The star was aware that it was a dangerous nitrate print and assumed that Fox had others. She threw the only copy in the ocean, a mistake characterized by Everson as "a monumental blunder to rank with Balaclava, Sarajevo, and the Fall of Babylon as one of history's blackest moments." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Janet Gaynor (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Destiny
Lyrics by Lew Pollack
Music by Erno Rapee
Copyright 1928 by DeSylva, Brown & Henderson, Inc
See more »

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User Reviews

Further information and a synopsis.
14 September 2001 | by (Putney, VT) – See all my reviews

After reading Lotte Eisner's biography of MURNAU, one learns that the film was about four orphaned children, protected by a clown, in a travelling circus. They are daredevil trapeze artists. One girl, Aimee, loves one of the boys, Fritz, but Fritz' head is turned by a glamorous woman, who throws him roses and eventually seduces him into a wanton life, so wanton that he misses the trapeze during one of the rehearsals. Aimee goes to the woman to plead with her to give him up, but is rebuffed. She tries to win Fritz back but fails. In an act of suicide and murder, she deliberately lets go of the trapeze during their act, plunging them to their deaths in front of the vamp.

The theme of the seduction of a good man from a good woman by a vamp echoes the plot of SUNRISE.

A sound version (the last two reels) substituted a happy ending, where only Aimee falls but survives.

Neither version has survived. Although Eisner reports that the negative is in the Fox vaults at the time of her writing (1964), this may have been only hearsay.



Hollywood tampered with Murnau's vision of the film due to the lukewarm boxoffice reception of his masterpiece SUNRISE the year before.


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