13 user 13 critic

Four Men and a Prayer (1938)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Mystery | 29 April 1938 (USA)
The sons of a disgraced British officer try to clear his name.


John Ford


Richard Sherman (screenplay), Sonya Levien (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Louisiana con man enters his steamboat into a winner-take-all race with a rival while trying to find a witness to free his nephew, about to be hung for murder.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned after innocently treating President Lincoln's assassin in 1865.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Warner Baxter, Gloria Stuart, Claude Gillingwater
Tobacco Road (1941)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Hillbilly family life in 1941 rural Georgia.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charley Grapewin, Gene Tierney, Marjorie Rambeau
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Willie Kluggs enters the service with hopes of going overseas, but his uncanny marksmanship keeps him at home as a shooting instructor... much to his embarrassment.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Dan Dailey, Corinne Calvet, Colleen Townsend
Seas Beneath (1931)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the waning days of WWI, a U.S. "Mystery Ship," sets sail for the coast of Spain towing a submarine. Their mission is to find and sink a U-boat that has been especially effective in ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: George O'Brien, Marion Lessing, Mona Maris
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A meek milquetoast of a clerk is mistaken for Public Enemy #1, and the notorious killer takes advantage of the situation.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, Arthur Hohl
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A naval officer is demoted for negligence and put in command of a run-down submarine chaser and with a motley crew.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Richard Greene, Nancy Kelly, Preston Foster
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The wartime romantic misadventures of Captain Flagg, commander of a company of US Marines in 1918 France.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Cagney, Corinne Calvet, Dan Dailey
Judge Priest (1934)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Judge Priest, a proud Confederate veteran, uses common sense and considerable humanity to dispense justice in a small town in the Post-Bellum Kentucky.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Will Rogers, Tom Brown, Anita Louise
Certificate: Passed Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during World War I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford


Cast overview, first billed only:
Loretta Young ... Miss Lynn Cherrington
Richard Greene ... Geoffrey Leigh
George Sanders ... Wyatt Leigh
David Niven ... Christopher Leigh
William Henry ... Rodney Leigh
C. Aubrey Smith ... Colonel Loring Leigh
J. Edward Bromberg ... General Torres (as Edward Bromberg)
Alan Hale ... Mr. Furnoy
John Carradine ... General Adolfo Arturios Gregario Sebastian
Reginald Denny ... Capt. Douglas Loveland
Berton Churchill ... Mr. Martin Cherrington
Barry Fitzgerald ... Trooper Mulcahay
Claude King ... Gen. Bryce
Cecil Cunningham ... Piper
Frank Dawson Frank Dawson ... Manders


Colonel Loring Leigh, British Indian Army, appears to have issued an order that cost 90 lives. Cashiered, he returns home, tells his sons of a conspiracy by an arms syndicate to supply the rebels...then is found dead, an apparent suicide. To clear their father, the four sons must globetrot in a hazardous search for evidence, closely followed by Geoffrey's sweetheart Lynn Cherrington. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

army | father | yacht | forger | sheik | See All (32) »


Adventure | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Štirje osvetniki See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Once when director John Ford called Loretta Young to the set, the actress refused to leave her trailer until she was happy with her hair. After waiting for her for a while, Ford and several grips went to her trailer and began shaking and rocking it until she came out. See more »

Crazy Credits

Manders, the butler, is listed as Mullins in the credits. See more »


Referenced in 20th Century Fox Promotional Film (1936) See more »


Irish Washerwoman
Played on a player piano in a Jerishtawbi bar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Four Brothers
22 September 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Perhaps the inspiration for the 2005 film "Four Brothers," this overlooked John Ford gem from 1938 is a winner all the way, except for the nondescript title which makes one think this is going to be some type of religious outing, especially since Barry Fitzgerald is in the credits.

Good performances abound, in particular Loretta Young as a headstrong globetrotter, Lynn Cherrington, who is determined to get her man but gets involved with murder and intrigue along the way; David Niven as one of the Brothers Leigh, Christopher, whose derring-do is often derring-undone; George Sanders playing against type as another of the Brothers Leigh, Wyatt, a barrister who knows the law better than he knows people; Reginald Denny as a gunrunner named Capt. Douglas Loveland who lets a pretty skirt get the best of him; Alan Hale as Mr. Furnoy, a scoundrel in sheep's clothing; and the always reliable C. Aubrey Smith in a brief appearance as the father, Col. Loring Leigh. Veteran actors Barry Fitzgerald and John Carradine do their usual superior jobs but have only small roles.

John Ford's direction adds much to the total effect of the film. Note the action scenes in South American of the revolution where camera work and film editing are paramount. The firing squad sequence plays almost like a clip from Woody Allen's "Bananas," including several covert comedy touches that would later be labeled black humor.

Not surprising for such a crisp script with probing lines, the hand of novelist William Faulkner shows through. This is obvious in the conversations between the brothers, at times playful, at other times dead serious, and in the repartee between Lynn Cherrington and the four brothers--also between her and her father.

The story concerns Col. Leigh being accused of causing the death of several of his men in India. He is given a dishonorable discharge by the British army as a result. He summons his four sons to meet with him at their home in London. The youngest is enrolled at Oxford; the oldest is a practicing barrister; another is some sort of diplomat in Washington, D.C.; and the fourth is in the military. The Col. has a briefcase full of papers to prove his innocence. While perusing the documents in the study to get his defense together while the four brothers are waiting in the foyer, a shot rings out. The Col. is dead but not from suicide as indicated by the position of the body and gun in hand. That the papers are missing points to murder.

The four brothers then begin globe trotting to find the killer and the motive behind it. Two go to India to investigate. The other two go to South America. Geoffrey Leigh's American girlfriend, Lynn, tags along to help though her assistance is discouraged by the brothers. The plot becomes more complicated when it is learned that a gun syndicate called Atlas Arms may be behind it all.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed