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A remake of a silent movie,"four sons" was overshadowed by Frank Borzage's extraordinary "the mortal storm" which was released the very same year.Both were propaganda movies,but while Borzage's work transcended that ,Archie Mayo's remained only a decent melodrama.Eugenie Leontovich is excellent as the mother courage who knows where military madness can lead a man ,having lost her dear husband and knowing that when the war is over,the only thing left will be tears.Her character reminds one of Madame Oupenskaia in "mortal storm" ;in both works ,brothers going different ways in a world gone mad.
The best scenes,in my opinion,are to be found in the second half: -the old mom,holding her son's body ,as the German soldiers march in her homeland -the old woman,sitting alone at her table and thinking of the good old time ,when the family was around the table;then the ghosts of her sons,a scene reminiscent of the last scene of Borzage's "three comrades" Like this ?try these....
"The mortal storm" Frank Borzage 1940
"The four horsemen of the Apocalypse" Vincente Minnelli 1961
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