The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  18 October 1961 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,537 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 13 critic

A crusty, eccentric priest recruits three reluctant convicts to help him rescue a children's leper colony from a Pacific island menaced by a smoldering volcano.


(as Mervyn Le Roy)


(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in


Airs Wed. Dec. 09, 11:30 PM on TCM

1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Joseph Perreau
Jacques (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
Grégoire Aslan ...
Marcel (as Gregoire Aslan)
Alexander Scourby ...
The Governor
Camille (as Barbara Luna)
Cathy Lewis ...
Bernie Hamilton ...
Martin Brandt ...
Doctor Wexler
Louis Merrill ...
Aristide Giraud
Tom Middleton ...
Paul, Co-pilot
Ann Duggan ...
Louis Mercier ...


Three convicts enroute to Tahiti are put to work at a children's leper hospital when their plane makes an unexpected stop on another island. There, Father Perreau is to get off and replace Father Doonan, who's been relieved of his duties by the cardinal. Once on the island, things get out of control when the volcano decides to erupt, and the Governor orders an evacuation. The convicts, priests and leper children are all on top of the island and have no sure way to get down and off to safety. All must work together if any are to survive. Written by AzRanger <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It was Father Perreau who arrived, Father Doonan who was to be replaced. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Teufel kommt um vier  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,721,786 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In his autobiography "Sun and Shadow", Jean-Pierre Aumont, who played Jacques, spoke of scheduling conflicts between Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra: "[Tracy], a genial man who was not well at the time, couldn't work past the morning. The problem was that Sinatra would only work in the afternoon. In the morning he hired a private plane and hopped from island to island trying to convince the startled inhabitants to vote for [John F. Kennedy] in the next presidential election. Around two o'clock he returned, exhausted, at the precise moment when Tracy was retiring for the day to his rooms. How, in these conditions, the scenes between Tracy and Sinatra were shot is a mystery to me." See more »


After the island explodes, the sea is perfectly calm. A huge eruption like that would have produced a huge tsunami. See more »


Father Joseph Perreau: God go with you.
Harry: God? Who is he?
Charlie: I've never heard of him.
See more »


Featured in The Sopranos: Another Toothpick (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Spiritual Movie
28 November 2004 | by (Independence, CA USA) – See all my reviews

I have watched The Devil at 4 O'Clock several times on Turner Classic Movies, the BEST channel on television. It is a spiritual movie without being syrupy or preachy. The acting is superb, especially Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra. It is not the type of movie that would be produced today... no violence, filthy language, or sex. What is does have is the redemption of the main characters and their rediscovered or newly acquired faith.

The music complements the movie's theme. I am going to purchase this film because it has a timeless story and is entertaining at the same time. Spencer Tracy was able to convey so much with facial expressions and gestures that seem completely realistic unlike the stilted Method Acting technique ( which seems to me so patently artificial). I rate this film an eight out of ten.

10 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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