Four Wives (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 December 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 354 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 »



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Gale Page ...
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Mickey Borden (archive footage)
Vera Lewis ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Loia Cheaney ...
(scenes deleted)


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


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


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuatro esposas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Featured in The John Garfield Story (2003) See more »


Melody in F
(1858) (uncredited)
Music by Anton Rubinstein
Played on violin by Ann and her student, and then by Felix
See more »

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User Reviews

The Lemps
13 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Not having seen the first part of the series, this film came as a surprise on a cable channel. Michael Curtiz directs with his usual flair and the Epsteins, Julius and Philip, wrote the screen play, which is based on a novel by Fanny Hurst.

We are taken to the Lemp household. It's a happy home of some extraordinary musicians and educators, led by the patriarch Adam Lemp, who has the good fortune of having Aunt Etta overseeing everything. At the beginning, we see the four Lemp sisters as they go to accompany Emma to the doctor. It's expected she is pregnant, but no, the big surprise is that Ann is, but the problem is that Mickey Borden, the father, has died recently. Ann has been seeing Felix, a kind man who, as a conductor, was associated to Burden. What to do?

Well, the comedy is a delight. We see all the four Lemp sisters supporting one another in their difficult times. Emma can't conceive and they all rally to her side. Thea and Ben decide to adopt. Kay falls in love with the young Dr. Forrest and finally Ann has the baby prematurely. By the magic of the movies, we get to see the little angel who, surprise, surprise, appears to have conquered the problems she had at birth thanks to the transfusion of Felix's blood and in a matter of days looks as though she was carried full term!

But, never mind, this comedy will charm anyone because the amazing performances Mr. Curtiz got out of the cast. Best of all, Priscilla Lane, who is absolutely marvelous in the film. Rosemary Lane is perfect as Kay, the girl in love with the doctor. Lola Lane, as Thea is good and Gale Page is the fourth Lemp sister, Emma. Claude Rains doesn't have much to do. Eddie Albert as the young doctor is fine, but best of all is Jeffrey Lynn, who as Felix makes it clear he is the man for Ann. May Robson also is fun as Aunt Etta. Frank McHugh and Dick Foran complete the quartet of husbands. John Garfield is seen briefly in a dream-like sequence.

"Four Wives" will warm anyone's heart.

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