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28 user 17 critic

Four Daughters (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 9 August 1938 (USA)
Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Lenore J. Coffee (screen play) (as Lenore Coffee) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claude Rains ... Adam Lemp
Jeffrey Lynn ... Felix Deitz
John Garfield ... Mickey Borden
Frank McHugh ... Ben Crowley
May Robson ... Aunt Etta
Gale Page ... Emma Lemp
Dick Foran ... Ernest
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Ridgefield
Tom Dugan ... Jake
Eddie Acuff ... Sam
Donald Kerr Donald Kerr ... Earl
Priscilla Lane ... Ann Lemp
Rosemary Lane ... Kay Lemp
Lola Lane ... Thea Lemp
Edit

Storyline

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the girls' Aunt Etta, in the long time family home. Of the four, Kay has the greatest promise as a musical performer, specifically as a singer. Theirs is a loving family, however much the girls exasperate their father with their love of popular music, since he loves only the classics, most specifically Beethoven. The girls support each other however they can, but each is an individual with her own distinct personality and wants, including the type of man each wants as a husband. Practical but deep in her heart romantic Emma has long been courted by their next door neighbor, unassuming florist Ernest Talbot, and clever Thea wants to be Mrs. Ben Crowley, he a wealthy up and coming banker with prospects. Only the youngest, the fun loving Ann, states that she doesn't want to get married. Their collective ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FANNIE HURST'S great masterpiece becomes the most beloved picture of the year! "Superb" say the critics!

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fire døtre See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Garfield admitted that he based the way he played his character, Mickey Borden, on Oscar Levant. See more »

Quotes

Adam Lemp: I'm going down to the Hall of Records to strike my name off your birth certificates!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Swingtime in the Movies (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade
(1823) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
Sung by Rosemary Lane
See more »

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User Reviews

Fresh family drama introduced a new star . . .
8 March 2004 | by tjonasgreenSee all my reviews

It isn't hard to see why frequent moviegoers in 1938, wise to the formulas of most movies, would have found FOUR DAUGHTERS a fresh and surprising picture. The story of four musical sisters and their romantic problems begins as conventionally as any Deanna Durbin musical but quickly evolves into an absorbing romantic melodrama.

Director Michael Curtiz keeps all four actresses bubbling sweetly and predictably, but when Jeffrey Lynn enters the picture trouble begins. Though one sister is engaged and another nearly so, all four in some way become smitten by this young musician. Then the script tops itself (and electrified audiences) by introducing a further complication named John Garfield. Cynical, depressive, darkly attractive and clearly a New York 'ethnic' type, Garfield is in every way the opposite of tall, handsome, WASPy Jeffrey Lynn, who in any other picture would probably have made more of an impression. Though friends, the men vie for Priscilla Lane, whose unaffected acting style creates a nice tension with both actors. Believing it best for her sister, Priscilla marries the wrong man, at once confounding and satisfying audience expectations. Halfway through this film you are apt to wonder what will happen next and how events will play out, which is not what you expect from the sunny opening.

Garfield's success overshadowed every other good thing about this film. Clearly Warners' thought they had a successor to Jimmy Cagney. In fact they had the forerunner of Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Montgomery Clift, Brando and James Dean, though Garfield was warmer and more likable than any of those.

This movie was remade in 1955 as a Technicolor musical called YOUNG AT HEART starring Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. Though not a bad idea in theory, the original is a better film.


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