IMDb > Adam Had Four Sons (1941)
Adam Had Four Sons
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Adam Had Four Sons (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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William Hurlbut (screenplay) &
Michael Blankfort (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Adam Had Four Sons on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 March 1941 (USA) See more »
A governess becomes the center of a wealthy family after her employer's wife dies. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(8 articles)
Fiery Red-Head Hayward Is TCM's Star of the Month
 (From Alt Film Guide. 3 September 2015, 9:13 PM, PDT)

New on Video: ‘Imitation of Life’ (1934/1959)
 (From SoundOnSight. 14 April 2015, 8:24 PM, PDT)

Indie Spotlight
 (From DailyDead. 6 October 2013, 11:51 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
lovely film, if on the short side See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ingrid Bergman ... Emilie Gallatin

Warner Baxter ... Adam Stoddard

Susan Hayward ... Hester Stoddard

Fay Wray ... Molly Stoddard

Richard Denning ... Jack Stoddard (older)

Johnny Downs ... David Stoddard (older)

Robert Shaw ... Chris Stoddard (older)
Charles Lind ... Phillip Stoddard (older)
Billy Ray ... Jack Stoddard (younger)
Steven Muller ... David Stoddard (younger)
Wallace Chadwell ... Chris Stoddard (younger)
Bobby Walberg ... Phillip Stoddard (younger)

Helen Westley ... Cousin Philippa

June Lockhart ... Vance
Pietro Sosso ... Otto

Gilbert Emery ... Dr. Lane

Renie Riano ... Photographer

Clarence Muse ... Sam
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Darien ... Horace (uncredited)
Charles Hibbs ... Young Boy (uncredited)
Dickie Mason ... Young Boy (uncredited)
Guy Usher ... Constable C.E. Clark (uncredited)

Directed by
Gregory Ratoff 
Writing credits
William Hurlbut (screenplay) &
Michael Blankfort (screenplay)

Charles Bonner (novel "Legacy")

Produced by
Gordon Griffith .... associate producer (as Gordon S. Griffith)
Robert Sherwood .... producer
Original Music by
W. Franke Harling 
Cinematography by
J. Peverell Marley (director of photography) (as Peverell Marley)
Film Editing by
Francis D. Lyon 
Production Design by
David S. Hall  (as David Hall)
Art Direction by
Rudolph Sternad 
Set Decoration by
Howard Bristol 
Costume Design by
David Kidd (gowns)
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Norman Deming .... assistant director (as Norman W. Deming)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Coyla Davis .... gowns executor (as Coyla)
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Rudy Schrager .... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min | 108 min (director's cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in The Break-Up Artist (2009)See more »


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
lovely film, if on the short side, 15 April 2011
Author: blanche-2 from United States

There are some plot gaps in 1941's "Adam Had Four Sons," possibly because 25 minutes have been cut. As it is, it's an okay film thanks to the performances.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ingrid Bergman plays Emilie, a young foreigner hired as a governess for the Adam Stoddard family's four boys. Everyone takes to her immediately, and she becomes one of the family. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes the family when the boys' mother Molly (Fay Wray) dies. Then there is a reversal in the stock market, and Adam Stoddard (Warner Baxter) loses his business. His aunt (Helen Westley) puts up the money to send the older boys to school, and Stoddard has no choice but to sell his house and move into an apartment with the youngest boy, Phillip. He has to send Emilie back home, but he promises that as soon as he can, he will send for her to return.

Years later, before World War I, Adam sends for Emilie, and she comes back. The three older boys, and eventually Philip, all fight in World War I. One of the boys, David, brings home the manipulative, trashy Hester (Susan Hayward) as his wife, and she lives in the house while he is away. Emilie has her number right away. Hester has an affair with the oldest son, Jack (Richard Denning), and, so Adam will not find out, Emilie claims that it was she that he saw in Jack's room.

Well, the big question any viewer will have is, why did Adam send for Emilie to return when his kids were grown and, in fact, about to go off and fight a war? And what the heck was Emilie doing all those years? This may be what is missing in the 25 minutes that were cut. My hunch is that Emilie continued to work as a governess, and probably even turned down a couple of offers of marriage, because she had fallen in love with Adam. When he sends for her, it's because he needs her to run his household. But I'm guessing because we see none of that.

Ingrid Bergman is beautiful and charming, and she has excellent scenes with Susan Hayward, who is a real spitfire. Richard Denning makes a strong impression as Jack, and Warner Baxter is very good as Adam, a gentle, optimistic man who loses his beloved wife. Fay Wray is the wife, and she, too, is quite beautiful but doesn't have a huge role.

This is an enjoyable movie if you fill in the story so it makes sense.

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