6.6/10
797
28 user 7 critic

Adam Had Four Sons (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 18 February 1941 (USA)
A governess becomes the center of a wealthy family after her employer's wife dies.

Director:

Gregory Ratoff

Writers:

William Hurlbut (screenplay), Michael Blankfort (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ingrid Bergman ... Emilie Gallatin
Warner Baxter ... Adam Stoddard
Susan Hayward ... Hester Stoddard
Fay Wray ... Molly Stoddard
Richard Denning ... Jack Stoddard (older)
Johnny Downs ... David Stoddard (older)
Robert Shaw ... Chris Stoddard (older)
Charles Lind Charles Lind ... Phillip Stoddard (older)
Billy Ray Billy Ray ... Jack Stoddard (younger)
Steven Muller Steven Muller ... David Stoddard (younger)
Wallace Chadwell Wallace Chadwell ... Chris Stoddard (younger)
Bobby Walberg Bobby Walberg ... Phillip Stoddard (younger)
Helen Westley ... Cousin Philippa
June Lockhart ... Vance
Pietro Sosso Pietro Sosso ... Otto
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Storyline

Early 1905, French governess Emilie Gallatin (Ingrid Bergman) is hired to care of a luxurious family mansion and the four sons of wealthy Adam Stoddard (Warner Baxter) and his wife, Molly Stoddard (Fay Wray). Things couldn't be more perfect, until in 1907, first Molly dies, and then the stock market crashes, wiping out the Soddard's fortune. Emilie is forced to go back home to France. The parting is difficult, for the teenager boys - Jack Stoddard (Billy Ray), David Stoddard (Steven Muller), Chris Stoddard (Wallace Chadwell), and Phillip Stoddard (Bobby Walberg) - had grown to depend on Emilie more after the loss of their mother, and Emilie had fallen in love with Adam. Seven years later, just before the beginning of World War I, the family's fortunes have improved, and Adam insists with Emilie to return and stay on as part of the family - preserving her from the foreseeable fates of war. The four boys are adults, and they all serve in various branches of the military - Jack Stoddard (... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only credited title with both Ingrid Bergman and Susan Hayward. See more »

Quotes

Hester Stoddard: What are we drinking for - to stay sober?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ingrid (1984) See more »

User Reviews

 
Old Fashioned Drama
7 December 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I just saw Adam Had Four Sons for the first time and the thing that struck me was that I believe that the model used was Theodore Roosevelt and his four sons. They were approximately the same ages as the four boys in this film. Warner Baxter in his portrayal of Adam Stoddard talked about the same values and family tradition that you would have heard from our 26th president without some of the more boisterous aspects of TR's character.

Like TR all of the Stoddard sons serve in World War I, in this case though the youngest only loses an eye instead of being killed.

But what if a female minx gets into this all male household and disrupts things? That's Susan Hayward's job here. In one of her earliest prominent roles, Hayward is a flirtatious amoral girl who marries one son, has an affair with another, and starts making a play for the third. It's an early forerunner of the kind of a part that later brought her an Oscar in I Want to Live.

I suppose that with as powerful a model of decorum as Theodore Roosevelt was and Warner Baxter portrays, everyone is afraid to tell Father what's going on. The sons and also their governess Ingrid Bergman. Here's where the plot gets a little silly. Bergman is introduced to us as a governess hired by Baxter and wife Fay Wray for their kids. Wray dies and Baxter suffers some financial reversals in business. Bergman has to be let go. She goes back to France and years later comes back to the family when the kids are grown up.

I'm sorry, but I can't believe the kids need a governess now. Hayward is quite right when she confronts her that it wasn't the kids who brought her back. In the normal course of things, Bergman would have gotten on with her life.

One of the previous reviewers said that a quarter to a third of the film I have was edited out. Possibly that could be the reason for the many plot holes we have.

It's too bad that Ingrid and Susan could not have done another film together in the Fifties when Hayward was at her heights and Bergman had just made a comeback.

Susan Hayward is the main reason to see Adam Had Four Sons. And I'm willing to believe that a good deal of Ingrid was left on the cutting room floor.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Legacy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$488,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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