I'm not usually a big fan of soap opera type women's pictures, but I found 1938's Four Daughters thoroughly enjoyable. Maybe it was the musical background, maybe the joyous work of Claude Rains, maybe the fact that three of the four daughters were played by the Lane sisters who had possibly the most charming and inviting smiles in Hollywood. Perhaps it was the notable introduction of John Garfield in his debut picture. If so, he's the only piece of the picture not to make it through the first sequel, Four Wives, to the final part of the trilogy in 1941.
Claude Rains returns, along with the four daughters/wives/mothers (Priscilla Lane, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, Gale Page) and supporting actors Jeffrey Lynn, Eddie Albert, May Robson, Frank McHugh, Dick Foran, Vera Lewis, you name it. That's a big cast to fill less than an hour and a half, but director William Keighley and scriptwriter Stephen Morehouse Avery do their best to give them all screen time, yet leave some for the babies. Naturally, as the title would imply, there are now four of them, one to each of the mothers.
The trigger for plot here is the Ocean Zephyrs property development in Florida, that Ben Crowley (daughter Thea's husband) has been making a fortune off. Unfortunately a hurricane put paid to the whole thing and all their investments, along with those of half the town of Briarwood, are gone with the wind.
The repercussions go well beyond the obvious, with family patriarch Adam Lemp losing his position at the conservatory and the four husbands band together to make enough money to pay back the Briarwood investors. Meanwhile Adam himself puts his house up for sale to raise the money himself. There are other little side plots to complicate things and give people screen time but they're hardly the focus, and of course everything turns out fine in the end, wrapping up not just this film but also the series.
Huh? An A-Z of Why Classic American Bad Movies Were Made
(front cover by Eric Schock of Evil Robo Productions)
Velvet Glove Cast in Iron: The Films of Tura Satana
(front cover by Keith Decesare of KAD Creations)
|I'm climbing the stairway to Cinematic Heaven to review everything in the IMDb Top 250 List, supposedly the greatest motion pictures of all time. Are they really? Find out here.|
|I'm also driving the highway to Cinematic Hell for the awesome folks at Cinema Head Cheese to post a review a week of the very worst films of all time. These are so bad that they make Uwe Boll look good.|
|I'm reviewing everything shown at the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival, now in its 9th year. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films and to my reviews of all 2012 films.|
|I'm also going to review everything I can from the Phoenix Film Festival, now in its 13th year. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films.|
|I reviewed all films shown at the independent horror film festival, Phoenix FearCon, now in its 5th year. Here's an index to my 2012 festival reviews.|