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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
This picture is a cross-genre hybrid film: it is both an adventure movie and a disaster film. See more »
When one of the convicts has fallen in the mud pit, a bald headed man in dark clothing (crew member) can be seen behind the fauna to the right, pulling him with a rope further from rescue from Frank Sinatra's character. See more »
[first title card]
"It is hard for a man to be brave when he knows he is going to meet the DEVIL at 4 o'clock"
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Volcano shenanigans make for enjoyable disaster pic.
The Devil at 4 O'Clock is directed by Mervin LeRoy and adapted to screenplay by Liam O'Brien from the novel of the same name written by Max Catto. It stars Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Kerwin Mathews, Jean- Pierre Aumont, Grégoire Aslan, Bernie Hamilton, Barbara Luna and Cathy Lewis. Music is by George Duning and cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc.
Pleasantly old fashioned film making, a disaster movie from the early 60s that boasts star appeal and nifty effects for the era. Plot finds Tracy as Father Doonan, a cleric who has lost his faith and likes a tipple or two. Ensconsed on a pacific island that houses a children's leper hospital, Father Doonan is to be relieved of his duties by Father Joseph Perreau (Mathews).
Enter three convicts who have to stop by the island, fronted by angry agnostic Harry (Sinatra), the cons are put to work in the leper hospital just as the island volcano decides it is time to erupt and level the island post haste.
What transpires sees a race against time formula adhered to, with added slices of sacrifice and redemption unfurled for our emotionally tickled enjoyment. It's undeniably too long at over two hours, really stretching the premise to breaking point, but such is the fine work of cast, photographer and director, it rounds out as spiffing entertainment. Great ending as well! 7/10
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