IMDb > The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961)
The Devil at 4 O'Clock
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The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Liam O'Brien (screenplay)
Max Catto (novel)
View company contact information for The Devil at 4 O'Clock on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 October 1961 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
Starsky And Hutch Star Hamilton Dies
 (From WENN. 2 January 2009, 4:08 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
"It is hard for a man to be brave when he knows he is going to meet the devil at 4 o'clock"... See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Spencer Tracy ... Father Matthew Doonan

Frank Sinatra ... Harry

Kerwin Mathews ... Father Joseph Perreau

Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Jacques (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
Grégoire Aslan ... Marcel (as Gregoire Aslan)
Alexander Scourby ... The Governor

BarBara Luna ... Camille (as Barbara Luna)
Cathy Lewis ... Matron
Bernie Hamilton ... Charlie
Martin Brandt ... Doctor Wexler
Louis Merrill ... Aristide Giraud

Marcel Dalio ... Gaston
Tom Middleton ... Paul, Co-pilot
Ann Duggan ... Clarisse
Louis Mercier ... Corporal
Michele Montau ... Margot
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eugene Borden ... Citizen (uncredited)
Earl D'Eon ... Radio Operator (uncredited)
Jean Del Val ... Louis (uncredited)
Max Dommar ... Grellou (uncredited)
Janine Grandel ... French Woman (uncredited)
Moki Hana ... Sonia (uncredited)
Warren Hsieh ... Napoleon (uncredited)
William Keaulani ... Constable (uncredited)
Guy Lee ... Tavi (uncredited)
Robert M. Luck ... Captain Olsen (uncredited)
Ma Ma Loa ... Dancer (uncredited)
Michael Mancuso ... Hawaiian Boy (uncredited)
Tony Maxwell ... Antoine (uncredited)
Pearl Rose ... Hawaiian Girl (uncredited)
Robin Shimatsu ... Marianne (uncredited)
Nanette Tanaka ... Fleur (uncredited)
Norman Wright ... Fouquette (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy  (as Mervyn Le Roy)
Writing credits
Liam O'Brien (screenplay)

Max Catto (novel)

Produced by
Fred Kohlmar .... producer
Mervyn LeRoy .... producer (as The Mervyn Le Roy-Fred Kohlmar Production of)
Original Music by
George Duning 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (director of photography) (as Joseph Biroc)
Film Editing by
Charles Nelson 
Production Design by
John Beckman (uncredited)
Art Direction by
John Beckman 
Set Decoration by
Louis Diage 
Makeup Department
Ben Lane .... makeup supervisor
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carter De Haven Jr. .... assistant director (as Carter DeHaven Jr.)
Floyd Joyer .... assistant director
Sound Department
Charles J. Rice .... sound supervisor (as Charles J.Rice)
J.S. Westmoreland .... sound (as Josh Westmoreland)
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... special effects (uncredited)
Willis Cook .... special effects (uncredited)
Daniel Hays .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Ralph James Hall .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Milton Feldman .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
126 min
Color (Eastman Color)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Finland:K-12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2006) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #19964, original rating) | USA:PG (re-rating) (DVD)

Did You Know?

Director Mervyn LeRoy, said of this film in his autobiography, "Mervyn LeRoy: Take One": " . . . what made it a problem was that the climactic scene involved a volcano, and that's the kind of thing you have to worry about and plan for with extreme care . . . It was done partly on a Hollywood sound stage, partly in the Hawaiian Islands. And we also used miniatures extensively. We built a mountain near La Jolla, on Gil Hodges' farm. Mostly, though, we shot in Lahaina, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. We built a lovely set there--an entire village, complete with a street, a church and even a jail. Even though we were shooting in one of the most beautiful places on earth, it was a tough picture."See more »
Factual errors: After the island explodes, the sea is perfectly calm. A huge eruption like that would have produced a huge tsunami.See more »
Harry:Hey, Holy Joe, we don't owe you nuttin', so don't start pushin'.
Father Matthew Doonan:Where you from, tough guy? I hear echoes.
Harry:I've been around... What's it to ya?
Father Matthew Doonan:You spit your T's. That'd be Jersey, I guess, maybe Jersey City. Hunh! I came from just across the River - Hell's Kitchen. We used to eat punks like you.
Harry:Maybe. That's when you had your teeth.
See more »
Movie Connections:


Who is it that gets sucked into the quicksand?
How does the movie end?
What is 'The Devil at 4 O'Clock' about?
See more »
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
"It is hard for a man to be brave when he knows he is going to meet the devil at 4 o'clock"..., 21 January 2009
Author: NCarolinaGirl from Greensboro, NC

This film, starring Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra, is about a priest on an island that has essentially lost his faith. The island has a volcano that starts to erupt and the priest is concerned about evacuating the children's Hospital that he founded. The movie is titled for the fact that after the volcano starts erupting, Father Doonan only has until 4pm to rescue the children before the last boat leaves the island.

The film starts slow and never really recovers from the slow pace. The one high spot of the film is the location shooting in Hawaii which is gorgeous. But this hardly saves the movie. The biggest flaw I found was with the script. The dialogue and action were for the most part dull and uninteresting. I think they could have done a much better job creating and maintaining tension given the extent of the looming disaster.

I thought the special effects were very good for the era. It's amazing that they actually "constructed" the volcano on farmland in California. It looked very realistic. The earthquakes and destruction of the town's buildings were also fairly realistic. I thought some of the studio sets were pretty fake though - like most of the film as they are escaping down the mountain from the volcano. All the rocks, cliffs and vegetation were obviously fake. Especially the rocks, they looked "shiny".

So far as the acting performances, there's a reason no one won, or even got nominated, for awards. There are no intense performances like you would expect when people are in the midst of an apocalyptic disaster. But it mostly comes across as exaggerated acting. There is one tender moment of fine acting near the end from Tracy when he is saying his goodbyes to Charlie and praying to God. I suddenly felt like I was watching an entirely different film, it stood out so much from the rest of the performances. Tracy only appeared in 4 more movies after this one before dying in 1967. Barbara Luna plays the exotic beauty Camille, the blind nurse. You may remember her from Star Trek, or "One Life to live" (Maria Roberts - "the bitch everyone loves to hate). I have never seen eyes so dark.

I must say for a film made by Hollywood, where they usually laugh at spiritual matters - there is a pretty good message of redemption and forgiveness here. The theme of a disillusioned priest rediscovering his faith reminds of a similar message in "Signs". But unlike the latter, this film didn't enjoy the same box office success. Now, I see why. Too bad.

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