6.5/10
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32 user 13 critic

The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961)

A crusty, eccentric priest recruits three reluctant convicts to help him rescue a children's leper colony from a Pacific island menaced by a smoldering volcano.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy (as Mervyn Le Roy)

Writers:

Liam O'Brien (screenplay), Max Catto (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Father Matthew Doonan
Frank Sinatra ... Harry
Kerwin Mathews ... Father Joseph Perreau
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Jacques (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
Grégoire Aslan ... Marcel (as Gregoire Aslan)
Alexander Scourby ... The Governor
BarBara Luna ... Camille (as Barbara Luna)
Cathy Lewis ... Matron
Bernie Hamilton ... Charlie
Martin Brandt ... Doctor Wexler
Louis Merrill Louis Merrill ... Aristide Giraud
Marcel Dalio ... Gaston
Thomas H. Middleton Thomas H. Middleton ... Paul, Co-pilot
Ann Duggan Ann Duggan ... Clarisse
Louis Mercier Louis Mercier ... Corporal
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Storyline

Three convicts enroute to Tahiti are put to work at a children's leper hospital when their plane makes an unexpected stop on another island. There, Father Perreau is to get off and replace Father Doonan, who's been relieved of his duties by the cardinal. Once on the island, things get out of control when the volcano decides to erupt, and the Governor orders an evacuation. The convicts, priests and leper children are all on top of the island and have no sure way to get down and off to safety. All must work together if any are to survive. Written by AzRanger <Ranger273@azrangers.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

48 HOURS OF TERRIFIC SUSPENSE AS NATURE GOES ON A RELENTLESS RAMPAGE OF DESTRUCTION ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 October 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Teufel kommt um vier See more »

Filming Locations:

Fallbrook, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,721,786 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,550,000, 31 December 1961
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Mervyn LeRoy, said of this film in his autobiography, "Mervyn LeRoy: Take One": " . . . what made it a problem was that the climactic scene involved a volcano, and that's the kind of thing you have to worry about and plan for with extreme care . . . It was done partly on a Hollywood sound stage, partly in the Hawaiian Islands. And we also used miniatures extensively. We built a mountain near La Jolla, on Gil Hodges' farm. Mostly, though, we shot in Lahaina, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. We built a lovely set there--an entire village, complete with a street, a church and even a jail. Even though we were shooting in one of the most beautiful places on earth, it was a tough picture." See more »

Goofs

Going into a cave would not protect anyone from the smoke of a fire. The cave would fill will smoke as the fire progressed. And it would be slow to clear. See more »

Quotes

Marcel: Harry, what if it
[the parachute]
Marcel: doesn't open?
Harry: When you hit the ground, tell me about it and I'll fix it for you.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Missionary: Impossible (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Worth the time
26 July 2004 | by RipshinSee all my reviews

Turner Classic Movies is my favorite cable channel. I have worked in the production industry for twenty years, and have picked up a few film degrees. TCM is a goldmine. I was not familiar with this film, and am pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is a precursor to the 70s disaster films, in a way, but still a worthy film for Tracy and Sinatra.

Today, the film would be saddled with an obligatory happy ending, so the realism, per se, of this script is welcomed. The heroism is earned, not dictated.

All in all, worth the two hours. And since IMDb now requires ten lines in order for a comment to post, I will continue typing. If ONLY most "posters" could LIMIT themselves to ten lines.


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