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The Four Poster (1952)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 8 October 1952 (USA)
Adapted from the prize-winning Broadway play that featured two people and a four-poster bed, in which the couple enacts their marriage, from its day in 1897, until he dies, some time after ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Reis

Writers:

Jan de Hartog (play), Jan de Hartog (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... John Edwards
Lilli Palmer ... Abby Edwards
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Storyline

Adapted from the prize-winning Broadway play that featured two people and a four-poster bed, in which the couple enacts their marriage, from its day in 1897, until he dies, some time after she has died from cancer. It is a "love" that endured wars, an "other" woman, and the death of their favorite son. The episodes are bridged and linked by cartoon sequences done by UPA (United Productions of America.) Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Himmelbett See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Four Poster" by Jan de Hartog opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City on October 24, 1951, ran for six hundred thirty-two performances, starred real-life couple Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, and won the 1952 Tony Award for the Best Play. The author wrote the play and the screenplay for the movie versoion. See more »

Connections

Version of Het hemelbed (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The writing
15 January 2019 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

Who was Jan de Hartog? Whoever he was, he wrote a splendid, perceptive, entertaining play, "The Four Poster," which was a Broadway hit with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (how I'd have loved to have seen them in it), and, during that run from 1951 to 1953, was filmed and released by Stanley Kramer. Two-character plays were rare then, and two-character movies rarer still, but this one survives quite beautifully, preserving de Hartog's clear-eyed, comprehensive views on marriage, ego, womanhood, and creativity. The husband, played a bit stiffly to my eye by Rex Harrison, is a self-centered writer who nonetheless shows great sensitivity to his wife when it's required, and the wife, played beautifully by Lilli Palmer, is a searching individual whose identity is tied up almost exclusively in her marriage. The real-life marriage of this couple was, as other posters have noted, fraught, and the tension plays well into their characterizations. It's cleverly augmented by John Hubley's animated transitional sequences, which are rather brilliantly scored by Dmitri Tiomkin. Musical theater fans will know that the piece was successfully turned into "I Do! I Do!", and they'll be intrigued by the changes librettist Tom Jones made (the characters' names, the somewhat happier ending). I'd tried to track this one down for years and am glad to have finally seen it. It's unique. And it works.


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