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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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1 win. See more awards »

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Stars: William Haines, Jack Pickford, Mary Brian
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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:

BIG AS THE HEART OF HUMANITY! (original print ad - all caps)

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

The film set a permanent attendance record at New York's Roxy Theater 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

Major von Stomm: You have a son in America. Give me his letters.
Mother Bernle: I haven't heard from him in many months - not since the war.
Major von Stomm: The better for you. He's a traitor fighting against the Fatherland!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Omnibus: John Ford: Part One (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited) (1739)
Christmas carol composed by Charles Wesley, with music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (uncredited)
Heard on soundtrack when boy mustakes rabbi for Santa
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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