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Four Sons (1928)

Passed | | Drama, War | 13 February 1928 (USA)
A family saga in which three of a Bavarian widow's sons go to war for Germany and the fourth goes to America, Germany's eventual opponent.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Philip Klein (adapted by), I.A.R. Wylie (story) (as Miss I.A.R. Wylie)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Mann ... Mother Bernle
James Hall ... Joseph - Her Son
Charles Morton ... Johann - Her Son
Francis X. Bushman Jr. ... Franz - Her Son
George Meeker ... Andreas - Her Son
June Collyer ... Annabelle
Earle Foxe ... Major von Stomm
Albert Gran ... The Postman
Frank Reicher ... The Schoolmaster
Archduke Leopold of Austria Archduke Leopold of Austria ... A Captain
Ferdinand Schumann-Heink Ferdinand Schumann-Heink ... A Staff Sergeant
Jack Pennick Jack Pennick ... The Iceman
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Storyline

In Burgendorf, Bavaria, Mother Bernle has four sons. Franz is in the army, Johann works at the forge, Andreas tends the sheep. Joseph is riding a hay wagon with a pretty girl when some of the hay falls off, landing on the fearsome Maj. Von Stomm. Joseph gets a slap from the major... The jovial postman has brought a letter from America. Joseph has the offer of a job in the States. But getting there is so expensive... It's Mother Bernle's birthday and most of the town gathers for the dancing. Mother gives Joseph the money she has secreted away. He leaves for the USA... It is "Der Tag", The Day when war is declared. Franz and Johann are excited about their new uniforms. But America is still neutral. Joseph runs the German-American Delicatessen with his new wife Annabelle. The reports of the first German battles with the Russians are good. So why does the postman carry a black-edged letter for Mother Bernle? When America does enter the war, Joseph enlists and meets his friend, the iceman ... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave them up, one by one, and her heart and soul with them, on the altar of self-sacrifice. (Print Ad- Morning Bulletin, ((Rockhampton, Queensland)) 26 April 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuatro hijos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Movietone) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the cruel Major gets off the train with his monocle, there is a close-up of a reaction shot of another man with a monocle wearing a helmet, yet that man was not in the previous master shot, a real editing faux pas which disorients the observer. Mistakes like this show that often in the Twenties, the director had no input into the editing process, even a master auteur like John Ford. See more »

Goofs

In the New York City sequences, which take place immediately after World War I (1919-1920), all of the women's fashions are strictly in the style of 1928, and all of the automobiles are of late 1920's design. See more »

Quotes

Joseph - Her Son: [to his mother] Another letter from Fritz Kellner asking ne to come to America - It's a great country - America. Everyone is equal. If I only had the money.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Four Sons (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Mother
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Erno Rapee
Lyrics by Lew Pollack
Sung by Harold Van Duzee and the Roxy Male Quartette
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Must see Classic
30 May 2010 | by ROC-7See all my reviews

By chance I wound up watching this wonderfully beautifully crafted film on all counts this evening on Turner. The film work is masterfully done with John Ford's usual care and sensitivity to his audience. Mary Mann is outstanding as the mother of her ever faithful sons who go to war. Many will remember her right away as the sweet Grandma in The Little Rascals "Go fly a Kite" and proves what a powerful performer she was and it's a pity she was not given more opportunities.

James Hall who plays Joseph who goes to America to seek his fortune is a real find and I would like to know more about him. Handsome and quite charming and it's puzzling why he was not utilized in his career as well. A silent film that would be a nice introduction to anyone who has been hesitant about watching this lost art form. Worth the time and love to own this if it ever comes out in DVD.


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