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Four Wives (1939)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  25 December 1939 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 337 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

Three of the four musically inclined daughters of Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, are settling into their lives as wives, but not all is well. Thea Lemp has long ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Four Wives (1939)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rosemary Lane ...
...
Gale Page ...
...
Jeffrey Lynn ...
...
...
Frank McHugh ...
Dick Foran ...
Henry O'Neill ...
...
Mickey Borden (archive footage)
Vera Lewis ...
...
Frank
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Loia Cheaney ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Three of the four musically inclined daughters of Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, are settling into their lives as wives, but not all is well. Thea Lemp has long since married wealthy banker, Ben Crowley. Thea makes a unilateral decision which may disrupt their marriage. Emma Lemp married their neighbor, florist Ernest Talbot, after realizing that she truly did love him and not their border, composer/conductor Felix Deitz, after Ernest's actions at what was supposed to be Felix and Emma's youngest sister Ann Lemp's wedding. Emma receives some sad news which too may place a pall over her and Ernest's marriage. And Ann, after the suicide death of her husband Mickey Borden who she married as his possible salvation, and Felix are once again engaged, he who she always truly loved. But the memory of Mickey, who was an acquaintance of Felix's, may be a major roadblock on the road to happiness for Ann and Felix, especially as Mickey leaves something a little unexpected ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The "Four Daughters" are now "Four Wives" It's a four belle picture! For these four wedding belles!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuatro esposas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shown at some engagements with Warner Bros.' new Vitasound audio process. Often incorrectly called a stereophonic process, Vitasound actually combined a standard, variable width monophonic soundtrack with a second, variable width control track, located between the soundtrack and the sprocket holes, that increased loudness for certain scenes by switching on additional amplifiers and speakers. See more »

Goofs

Anne is already pregnant at Christmas time. The baby comes well after Father's Day (June), probably July or even later and there is no attempt to make her look pregnant - not even maternity-type clothes. She continues wearing skirts and tucked-in blouses, remaining thin through the entire picture. She's even wheeled into the Delivery Room with her stomach looking as flat as a board. See more »

Connections

Followed by Four Mothers (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

The Barber of Seville Overture (Il barbiere di Siviglia)
(1816) (uncredited)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Played by the music students on the French horn and trumpet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sentimental film well directed by Curtiz and scored by Steiner...
5 August 2012 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

An air of melancholy runs through FOUR WIVES because Priscilla Lane is still haunted by the memory of her dead husband (John Garfield, seen briefly in a cameo role), while engaged to Jeffrey Lynn who doesn't know she's carrying Garfield's child.

But through all the dramatic twists and turns, the family unit remains strong, supportive and determined to move in the direction of a happy ending for all. Frank McHugh is on hand for some levity, Rosemary Lane makes a very beautiful Kay, Claude Rains is the musician father, and Priscilla Lane and Jeffrey Lynn carry the romantic leads in a pleasant enough manner. Lynn even gets to conduct Max Steiner's stirring "Symphonie Moderne" which wraps up the story with musical finesse.

I actually found Rosemary Lane to be the most natural beauty of the Lane sisters and her acting here is more than competent. But the Warners evidently groomed Priscilla Lane for stardom instead. She gets all the best close-ups, including her hospital scene listening to the radio concert with tearful pride.

It's enjoyable enough without being really special. Julius J. Epstein has written a graceful script and the Steiner score is a gem. Director Michael Curtiz keeps the camera flowing smoothly through many a detailed scene.


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