7 user 2 critic

Four Mothers (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 4 January 1941 (USA)
Adam Lemp and his four daughters, Ann, Thea, Kay, and Emma, are in financial and emotional crises. Thea's husband Ben has promoted a Florida housing development to everyone in town, and ... See full summary »


William Keighley


Stephen Morehouse Avery (original screen play), Fannie Hurst (suggested by the book "Sister Act" by)




Complete credited cast:
Claude Rains ... Adam Lemp
Jeffrey Lynn ... Felix Deitz
Eddie Albert ... Clint Forrest
May Robson ... Aunt Etta
Frank McHugh ... Ben Crowley
Dick Foran ... Ernest Talbot
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Ridgefield
Priscilla Lane ... Ann Lemp Deitz
Rosemary Lane ... Kay Lemp Forrest
Lola Lane ... Thea Lemp Crowley
Gale Page ... Emma Lemp Talbot


Adam Lemp and his four daughters, Ann, Thea, Kay, and Emma, are in financial and emotional crises. Thea's husband Ben has promoted a Florida housing development to everyone in town, and when a hurricane wipes out the investments of all their friends, the Lemps decide to pay back the losses, even if it costs them their own home. Kay's husband Clint is so devoted to his medical research that he risks losing Kay. And Ann's husband Felix's loneliness puts his marriage at risk when he encounters Kay during an out-of-town trip. Meanwhile, as a result of the antipathy of the townspeople due to the investment disaster, Adam loses his beloved position with the musical society. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Look Who's Cornered the STORK Market! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Wednesday 10 October 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Bellingham WA Saturday 17 November 1956 on KVOS (Channel 12), in San Francisco Friday 7 December 1956 on KRON (Channel 4), in Spokane Wednesday 26 December 1956 on KREM (Channel 2), in Phoenix Thursday 27 December 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Miami Saturday 5 January 1957 on WTVJ (Channel 4), and in Los Angeles Monday 25 March 1957 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


When Clint and Ann first enter his laboratory, a moving shadow of the boom microphone can be seen on the lab equipment in the foreground. See more »


Adam Lemp: Come here.
Ann Lemp Deitz: Or what?
Adam Lemp: Or the best spanking you've ever got.
Ann Lemp Deitz: I'd almost enjoy it.
See more »


Follows Four Wives (1939) See more »


Written by Franz Schubert
Played by members of the Lemp family at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Sister act
19 December 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Really liked 'Four Daughters', which could have been overly-soapy, cliched and stereotypical, but turned out to be very warm, human, charming and well written and performed. Also liked 'Four Wives', if not quite as much, it had a lot of the previous film's good qualities with one or two improvements but also a couple of underused cast members and one unintentionally creepy scene. So 'Four Mothers', which also saw a good deal of the cast return, was seen with quite high expectations with no bias for or against intended.

Sadly, 'Four Mothers' left me quite disappointed. It is not a terrible film, far from it. To me it actually takes a lot for a film to fit that distinction, regardless of how it may seem from some of my reviews (which aim to be balanced, un-biased and encouraging and hope it comes over that way, enormous effort has always been made to be so) It also could and should have been a lot better, and it is quite infuriating actually that it wasn't better.

'Four Mothers' does have good things. It is nicely filmed and although Heinz Roemheld is no Max Steiner (a huge ask) his music score at least fits nicely and is appealing to listen to.

There are some amusing and charming moments, May Robson having some of the best material, and some cosiness that is true to the previous films. Regardless of the material, the acting is more than serviceable on the most part. Claude Rains, despite deserving more and better material, is charming and humorous despite the character being nowhere near as likeable and Priscilla Lane brings a lot of heart to Ann.

However, 'Four Mothers' mostly lacks the warmth, humanity and charm of the previous films, somewhat too dark and mean-spirited for the series, which makes it feel very bland excepting the fleeting cosiness. It doesn't deal with the subject with as much subtlety and at times too simple. In terms of individual scenes, nothing stands out really. Also found the story quite cobbled together and not as cohesive from trying to throw in too much and underdeveloping most of it, also with not as much energy, and although William Keighley's direction is competent it is also not particularly distinguished. Michael Curtiz is missed.

Jeffrey Lynn again like with 'Four Wives', whose role gets more underwritten and duller with each film (liked him actually in 'Four Daughters', since then he lost his spark), is bland. Did feel it did get contrived towards the end.

Overall, underwhelming but worth a one-time watch. 5/10

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Release Date:

4 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quatro Mães See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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